Kerala Catholic Youth Movement or KCYM is the official youth organization under the KCBC Commission for Youth spread across the three rites – Syro Malabar, Syro Malankara and Latin rites. With an aim of uplifting and capacity building of young people in Kerala, the Kerala Catholic Bishop’s Council of KCBC formed a commission for youth activities under the name KCBC Youth Commission in the year 1973.
Earlier in the year 1965, at the concluding message to the Second Vatican Council, His Holiness Pope Paul VI called for organizing youth across the world. It was in reply for this call, the Catholic Bishops Council in India or CBCI and KCBC formed youth commissions in the year 1972 and 1973 respectively. CBCI divided the diocese across India in to 12 regions, in which Kerala became one of the regions. At present, there are 30 member dioceses in the Kerala Region.
Even before the formation of the youth commissions several youth movements with various names were actively working for the church and society in most of the parishes across the Kerala. Soon after the formation of the youth commission, most of the dioceses formed diocesan youth movements with different names, by collaborating the parish youth movements.
After the formation of the youth commission, various youth camps were conducted across the state, for integrating the catholic youth in Kerala. Later, in the year 1976, a state level youth festival was conducted by the KCBC Youth Commission, at the cultural capital of Kerala, Thrissur. The youth festival was conducted with an aim to find the hidden talents in the catholic youth. The result of the youth festival made the Bishops in Kerala happy, when they realized the strength and talents of the young people. In the concluding ceremony of the youth festival, a rally and a youth meeting was conducted. It was in this meeting, an official organization for catholic youth in Kerala was declared.
In the year 1977, a constitution committee was formed to frame the bylaw and organizational set up of KCYM. After serious discussions and suggestions, the first state senate of KCYM was held at Mannanam K.E. College, Kottayam from December 28 to 31, 1978. KCYM was officially inaugurated in this senate and the office bearers for KCYM were elected.
Immediately after the first senate, various camps were held with an intention to introduce the movement to the youth across Kerala. In the year 1980, KCYM conducted a Jeep rally to protect the rights of Dalit Christians and secularism. In the following years, KCYM made notable interferences in the society. In the year 1982 KCYM stood together against the Gudalloor Eviction, in the year 1983 and 1984 KCYM organized a coastal strike to protect the rights of the people living the coastal area. As a part of the strike, KCYM submitted a mass petition to the Chief Minister of Kerala to take necessary action in the issue. It was in the year 1984 the KCYM Anthem came in to existence.
In the International Youth year 1985, KCYM emphasized corporation, development and peace. For the purpose, various study circles and classes were conducted across Kerala for the youth in parish, forane, diocesan and state level. The year 1986 was observed as world peace year. KCYM conducted four state level peace rallies from four directions – Kanjirapally, Kollam, Kodungallor and Thrissur.
In 1988, during the decennial year of KCYM, a human integrity convention and rally was conducted. KCYM state office, a place where the day to day activities of KCYM are monitored and administered, was inaugurated near Vyttila, Ernakulam in the year 1989. In the following year, various human rights meetings were conducted.
In the year 1993, the 15th anniversary celebration of KCYM was held at Kannur. The mother of poor, Blessed Mother Theresa was the chief guest of the celebrations. During the year 1994, KCYM stood against school politics and the issues in the fishing and agricultural sectors. In the same year the KCYM state office was shifted to Ernakulam Town from Vyttila, in Ernakulam.
The following year, 1995, witnessed the inauguration of the new KCYM state office. The national youth convention and rally was also held at Ernakulam in the same year. In the subsequent year, 1996, an International youth convention and rally, co-hosted by KCYM and MIJARC, was held at Trivandrum.
During the year 1997 KCYM called for an indefinite hunger strike against the government’s Liquor policy. The strike was held at Trivandrum. In the year 1998 ‘Dharmika Navothana Padhayaathra’ from Kasargod to Trivandrum was conducted. In the year 2000, a millennium youth meet was conducted at Thrissur and life protection rallies were conducted across the state. The first state convention ‘Keynos’ was held at Neyyattinkara Diocese in the year 2001. The year 2002 began with the silver jubilee announcement rallies. A rally against Panmasala, the killer in golden packets, was conducted across Kerala.
The year 2003 saw the silver jubilee celebrations of KCYM. In memory of the silver jubilee celebrations, an audio cassette, ‘Rajatham’, was launched. In the same year, ‘Shanthidhooth’, a procession of the holy cross and jubilee rally was conducted.
Following the silver jubilee celebrations, in the year 2004, agricultural protection march was conducted by KCYM. Mother Theresa Award for humanitarian and charitable activities was declared in the same year. Holy Communion convention was also conducted in the year 2004. KCYM also organized the Tsunami relief programs to help the affected.
In the year 2005, ‘Rashtrabandhan Rally’ and convention against Panmasala was conducted. In the same year Holy Communion congress and Kerala Jubilee announcement rally was organized by KCYM.
The year 2006 witnessed ‘Vachanam’ – bible convention, a five day protest and legislative assembly march for protecting Dalit Christian rights, Kerala Silver Jubilee convention and rally, minority rights convention, national youth pastoral conference. KCYM observed the year as the year against Panmasala.
In 2007, KCYM celebrated the world youth day at ‘Malayattoor’, on the auspicious occasion of Palm Sunday. Efforts to protect the rights of minorities in the society began in the same year. Pearl Jubilee year of KCYM was inaugurated and announcement rallies were conducted across the state.
Year 2008 was the pearl jubilee year of KCYM. In the pearl jubilee year, the youth organization joined hands to support the people evicted in Moolambilly. Farmer protection rallies, coastal protection rallies, railway development rallies, life protection rallies, and pearl jubilee state convention were also organized.In the year 2009, KCYM state committee actively participated in the Mullaperiyaar protection movement. Voluntary blood donation camps were also conducted. The state convention for the year was held at Thrissur.