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''Healthy Salesians for a Healthy Youth Apostolate''

By Fr Benny Joseph sdb
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Hyderabad, Sep. 16. Don Bosco Youth Animation (DBYA) - South Asia (SA) Groups and Movements conducted a training programme for youth animators and leaders in Salesian Pedagogy and formation of youth animating teams on 13th and 14th September, 2014. The seminar in which 32 youth leaders and youth animators from Tiruchy, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Kolkata participated, was held at Don Bosco Provincial House, Hyderabad.
Besides engaging sessions, the two-day programme incuded also the presentation of the handbook on Youth Animation, titled 'Youth Spaces'. The handbook, aimed at enhancing the involvement of youth in Salesian institutions and presences, presents both the theoretical and the practical side of animating youth groups. The focus of the first day was on forming youth animating teams.

Fr Brian Moras sdb commenced the programme presenting the Salesian pedagogy to the participants.  He emphasised the need to view young people holistically and place Christ at the centre of our apostolate.  He reiterated the words of St John Paul II to the Salesians: The best gift that you can give to the young is your own healthy selves: healthy spiritually, psychologically, physically and socially.

The post lunch session was animated by Fr Thathireddy Vijay Bhaskar, vice-provincial of the Salesian Province of Hyderabad.  Using interesting and involving methods he spoke of identity and relationships, concluding with the 10 commandments for youth leaders.  Earlier in the day the programme commenced with a prayer service and a warm welcome extended by Fr Thathireddy.

On the following day a hands on experience of running a youth team was given with a mock youth meeting. It was learning-through-doing time.  The forum also had time for group sharing and the each province presented a report of how youth animation is carried out in their respective province.

Fr Edwin Colaco, the national youth delegate, presented a short report on the whole groups and movements scenario in South  Asia, and a sneak peak into the website He exhorted the members to utilize to the best the available resources on the site, especially in view of the bicentenary celebrations.

The participants left for their provinces with fond memories, carrying the rich seeds of youth animation to be sown in their respective places for a vibrant and enriching youth ministry.
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