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YOUKON- YOU ROCK!!! Youth Day Celebration - Konkan Province


By Fr. Anisio Jose Mota
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Panjim, Feb. 7. On the 3rd February 2013, the Don Bosco Complex, Quepem was transformed into an unusually bustling place filled with youth from different regions of the Panjim Konkan Province, gathered for the Youth Day Celebration.

The Complex was well decorated by the 'YouKon'(Konkan Province Youth Group) members since it was the day the members had been preparing for, for a very long time . It was a happy sight to see about 150 youth from Salesian Houses of Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa, coming together to build up and strengthen their faith in God.

The day's programme was well planned and executed and began with the welcoming of the youth by the YouKon members with a sunshine smile and a stamp of Don Bosco sealed on their arms.

The theme for the day was 'He, You and Me.....Bridged by Faith' aptly chosen, this year being the International Year of Faith.

The youth were made to feel at home when 'All for Jesus' choir group from Panjim with their melodious voices and pleasing music began the day. The programme was inaugurated with the symbolic lighting of the lamp by the Provincial Fr. Ian Figuereido, Vice-Provincial Fr. Paul D'Souza, Coordinator for Groups and Movement Fr. Anisio Mota, Commission Members Fr.Constantino and Fr. Clive with the representatives of YouKon members Irwin Braganza and Jolene Fernandes.

The youth were then invited to mix around with others to get to know their group members as the activities for the day would be held group wise.

The Eucharistic celebration marked the beginning of the programme which was celebrated by the Provincial Fr. Ian Figuereido with other concelebrants. The mass was well animated and the homily delivered by the Provincial was certainly an inspiring one which made the youth question and deepen their faith.

The next highlight of the day was a faith strengthening session given by Mr. James Kurian, the Resource person, in which he used a powerpoint presentation of the Apostle's Creed comparing it with the ways of the world, depicting the challenges in faith, faced by the youth today.

James Kurian's session led the youth into a vibrant discussion where they put forth some intense and strong questions about faith. To answer these questions, there was a panel comprising of Fr. Tamatur Cardozo, Mrs. Natty Noronha, Fr. Xavier Braganza and  James Kurian while the moderator of the discussion was Fr. Anisio Mota, who kept up with the lighter side of the discussion.

After having a delicious lunch, the youth had a Praise and Worship session by the gospel band 'All for Jesus', which made every youngster get involved in praising God through song and dance. It was a welcome sight to see the youth and their animators tap their feet to the great gospel music rendered by the band. Keeping in mind the energy levels of the youth, the 'YouKon' members and their animators planned a lot of games which were actively participated in by the youth.

Another highlight of the activities was a group painting/drawing activity where the members of the group had to creatively depict the theme of the day. The different groups thoroughly enjoyed the activity which could be seen from their gusto and creative artwork. The day's programme ended with more games and DJ music which was immensely enjoyed by every youth.

The entire day had a combination of holiness as well as fun and frolic. While it was noteworthy to see that about 16 Salesian Priests and Brothers were collectively involved in the Youth Day, it was also saddening to note that not  all  Salesian houses responded with enthusiasm but those who were present will never regret the experience.

It was not an ordinary task for the YouKon members  to host the Youth Day for the youth of the entire Konkan Province and moreover this being their first activity to be organised. The 'YouKon' members were more than prepared for the same, under the able guidance of their animators Fr. Constantino and Fr. Clive and where every meeting was coordinated by the Coordinator of Groups and Movements Fr. Anisio Mota.
 
It was indeed a commendable effort on the part of the 'YouKon' team and their animators for putting up an insightful day of this magnitude.
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