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MORE THAN JUST A PARTY-MADRID


By Ajoy Fernandes sdb
Mumbai, Aug. 18. For the seven thousand plus youth from fifty countries across the Salesian world, the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) gathering at the church of Mary Help of Christians, Madrid, was more than just a party.
Participants revelled in fete games and cultural items staged through the early part of the evening. However, the entire seven thousand plus gathering turned reverentially silent over the final hour and a half that was dedicated to reflection and prayer.
MADRID, AUGUST 18, 2011: For the seven thousand plus youth from fifty countries across the Salesian world, the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) gathering at the church of Mary Help of Christians, Madrid, was more than just a party.
Participants revelled in fete games and cultural items staged through the early part of the evening. However, the entire seven thousand plus gathering turned reverentially silent over the final hour and a half that was dedicated to reflection and prayer.
A two hundred strong choir; brass, woodwind and string orchestra; and a cast of young actors led the gathering via tableaux to feature music, song, dance, drama, and audio-visual presentations. The tableaux presented the typically Salesian apostolate of turning 'wolves' into 'lambs'.  Through reflective commentaries, songs and choreography, the presentation culminated in a brief Eucharistic adoration in which participants were invited to get inserted and rooted in Christ.
In his brief good-night talk that followed, the Rector Major told the youth that technology, economics or politics cannot change persons. Only the Love of Christ can work that miracle. He expressed the hope that the youth would be transformed by Christ by the next World Youth Day.
''I couldn't believe that such a huge gathering of youth could be so prayerful, commented a participant.'' ''The entire presentation was gripping and breath-taking; I couldn't imagine that instruction, prayer and art could be so well blended,'' said another. The tableaux lived up to the tradition of Don Bosco - using all available means of communication to lead all persons to Christ.
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