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Kolkata Youth Fest 2015 kicks off to a glorious Start

By Bro. Banti Mondol SDB  - 1 Comments
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Kolkata, Jan. 23. As a fitting to Tribute to Don Bosco in this Bicentenary Year, the legendary Kolkata Youth Fest has been revived today after a gap of nearly 30 years with over 500 young boys and girls gathering at Don Bosco Park Circus for a four day programme from 23 to 26 January.
The brainchild of Bro. Lawrence Mondol, the Director of Youth Services, the Youth Fest is being organized with participation from 38 Salesian Institutions in West Bengal, Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, Sikkim and Nepal run by the SDBs, FMAs, MSMHCs and SMIs.

A mini India is camping at the venue with participants belonging to Bengali, Nepali, Santali and Hindi and English speaking backgrounds creating a beautiful cultural and linguistic mosaic. The campus has been beautifully illuminated and decorated for the occasion.

The Opening Ceremony was held at DBPC auditorium at 3.00 pm in an atmosphere that was both electrifying and exhilarating with scintillating performances by the Night School and Day school children of DBPC with the mood of the youngsters in the hall reaching at times hysteric levels.

Fr. Joseph Pathickal, the Rector of DBPC welcomed the participants and wished them four days of sharing, fun and fellowship coupled with reflection and prayer. The Chief Guest, Fr. Nirmol Gomes, the Provincial, turned nostalgic when he delivered the message recalling to mind the very first Youth Fest he participated some 35 years ago as a student from Sonada. He congratulated the organizers for this praiseworthy initiative, injecting life and vitality into youth apostolate in the province.

Fr. Robin Gomes, who was the lifeline of the earlier edition of Youth Fests, in his keynote address interspersed with songs and dramatics, drove home the point that Youth Fest is a moment of self-discovery for the participants and a time to sharpen one's goals in life, all done in an atmosphere of companionship and friendship cutting across all barriers of language and culture.

The opening ceremony was followed by an adoration service conducted by Fr. James Mathew and Fr. Samuel Mondol. It was during this time that 3 young people gave powerful witness of their encounter with Jesus, the Saviour. This was followed by confessions. It was indeed touching to see the number of youth making confessions to 14 priests. An atmosphere of prayer was created beautifully with the accompaniment of Taize prayers and hymns all throughout the time of adoration and confession.


January 23, 2015

If I remember right, the first so called youth fest was started by Fr Thomas Pulickal and Br Trophy D’Souza and Sonada team at DBPC in the winter of 1978. It grew steadily becoming a Youth Fest Movement involving youth of all parishes, institutions and youth movements of the archdiocese of Calcutta and neighbouring dioceses… The last edition of YFM, as Fr KK Antony would call it, was held under his leadership in 1991 as open air event at DBPC grounds. Besides active participation of youth commission of the province and diocese, the YFM was backed by Nitika Catechetical Centre and Catechetical team of the province and archdiocese with zonal level animation program and mini youth fests held in the parishes and institutions for various language groups. The YFM Calcutta had grown so massive and elaborate with so many activities demanding too much effort and involvement by the youth animators that it had a natural death with the transfer of Fr KK Antony.


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