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Fourth Salesian Youth Fest Celebrated in Kolkata

By Cl. Arvind Khalkho SDB
Peace March to the tomb of Mother Theresa during Youth Fest 2019
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Kolkata, Jan. 29. Salesian province of Kolkata organized Youth Fest 2019 at Don Bosco Park Circus from the 23rd to 26th January. Based on the theme 'Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment,' derived from the recently concluded Synod on Youth, the Fest welcomed the gathering of 375 participants, including the animators.
The annual youth fest, fourth since its relaunching was especially organized for the youth of the parishes and institutions under the care of the Salesian Family from West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Sikkim and also Nepal. The three-day-long youth fest was attractively designed with sessions, activities, games, dances, singing, novel ways of praying, peace march and group interactions.

Organized under the leadership of Father Patrick Lepcha SDB, the Youth Animator of the Salesian Province of Kolkata, the youth fest was inaugurated with the hoisting of the Youth Flag followed by Oath Ceremony and message by Fr. Joseph Parappilly, the Rector of Don Bosco School Park Circus. Father Nirmol Gomes, the Provincial along with  Father Joseph Pauria, Vice Provincial and several members of the Salesian Family were present at the inaugural function.

The past pupils of Don Bosco Park Circus took care of the hospitality sector. Some of the participating institutions went the extra mile by way of taking up the choir for the Eucharist, cultural and prayer dances, and other musical performances.
After the inauguration the youth were led through Jericho Prayer  by Father Ramesh Cherian SDB, Director of Spiritual Animation Centre, Kolkata. The night session was made meaningful by stage performance based on Biblical episodes.

On the second day, after the Holy Eucharist presided over by the Provincial, sessions on the Synodal theme  were conducted in various languages by the animators.  The afternoon was packed with fun and interactive activities such as Secret admirer and Signature game which were followed by a unique and surprising activity called 'Social Tableau Competition.'  Later in the evening, Father Gilbert Choondal, Director of Catechetics  Centre,  Nitika Don Bosco led the entire gathering through Taize prayer on the theme of mercy. Confession was an integral part of this moment of prayer.  After dinner various groups staged Biblical dance drama interspersed with cultural dances.

His Grace Thomas D'Souza, the Archbishop of Kolkata presided over the Holy Eucharist on the third day wherein he exhorted the young to make their own the theme of the World Youth Day, simultaneously held in Panama, 'Know Jesus and the Live for Jesus.'  Later in the day the young people organized a peace march to the tomb of Mother Teresa where Sister Prema, the General invited them to imitate Mother Teresa in her holiness. The evening was a musical extravaganza by Peter Gomes and his Gospel Band which kept the young people on their toes for three hours.

Father Joseph Pauria, Vice Provincial presided over the Holy Eucharist on the final day.  Being  Republic day the young people joined  the  hoisting of the Flag after which the  valediction ceremony was held  where institutions, parishes and individuals were awarded for their performances.

The Youth Fest 2019 is the continuation of the Youth fest which began in 1980.


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