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Salesian Youth Fest 2013 in Mumbai

By Fr. Cleophas Braganza sdb
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Mumbai, Jan. 24. The Salesians of Don Bosco, Mumbai Province, organised the traditional ''YOUTH FEST'' (Salesian Youth Festival) at Don Bosco, Borivli on Sunday, January 20, 2013.
The theme of the event was that of the forthcoming World Youth Day: ''Go and make disciples of all peoples'' (Mt.28:19). A large number of vibrant and energetic youngsters from Salesian presences participated in this event. The main coordinators of the event were Frs. Allwyn Misquitta and Edwin Colaco together with the DBYS team and the Salesian Youth Animators.

It all began at 8:00 am with youngsters from various parishes registering themselves and getting energized with a nice breakfast. The youth then participated in a praise and worship session led by the 'El Shaddai' music ministry from Don Bosco, Borivli. Every youth relived God's love and mercy through music and had a spiritual experience.

The youth were then regrouped into teams.  The inauguration service highlighted the Church's Year of FAITH, by the carrying of the Cross, lighting of the Lamp and the presentation of some Symbols of our Faith. Fr. Ajoy Fernandes, Vice-Provincial of the Mumbai province and Fr. Alyosius Furtado, Parish Priest of Don Bosco Borivli, then welcomed everyone gathered at this event.

We thereafter had a panel discussion on ''Living Your Faith''. The panellists Lenny Soares and Michelle Gonsalves shared their testimonies on how they lived their faith in life's difficult situations. The youth also got a chance to ask them questions. It was an enriching encounter, which gave much food for thought to the participants and helped them realise how they could be better witnesses to their faith in their daily lives.

This was followed by a presentation on the World Youth Day 2013 to be held at Rio de Janeiro,Brazil. Fr. Allwyn and a representative of Purple Orchid holidays informed the youth about a pilgrimage being organised by the Bombay Diocesan Youth Centre to the WYD.  A representative of Red Quanta also presented to the youth the concept of mystery shopping and the opportunities they could avail of.

We then celebrated the Eucharist presided by Fr. Glenn Lowe. The inspiring gospel of the wedding feast at Cana and the homily given by Fr. Glenn made us realize that this year of faith is an opportunity to fill the seventh jar of our lives and to commit to live our lives faithfully. The liturgy was well conducted and the choir helped us lift our hearts to God.

Having filled our spiritual hunger at the Eucharist, we then proceeded for a sumptuous lunch that was awaiting us. It was time then to shake our legs and set the ground on fire. Every one enjoyed the music and danced to the DJ's tunes. Spot prizes were also given.

Next, we had Mrs. Kia Scherr, who lost her husband and 13-year old daughter in the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attacks, shared her testimony and told us how she's trying to become an instrument of peace throughout the world.  She then flagged off a Peace March to Shanti Daan. At Shanti Daan, we were touched by the vocation lived by the Brothers of Mother Teresa, who carry out the mission given by Blessed Teresa of Calcutta to care for the abandoned and physically/mentally challenged. Br. Oscar, the director of the institute then spoke to us about their apostolate and its challenges.

It was then time for each parish to present their Youth Outreach Programmes. It was an informative and inspiring moment. Fr. Ajoy proposed the vote of thanks and thanked each and every one who had made the event a great success. The enjoyable and memorable day came to an end, with the youth walking out, having a cup of tea, making new friends, sharing their faith with others and learning to live their faith. And that is what the Don Bosco Youth Fest is really all about!


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