Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Ivo Coelho sdb
The 'How to Animate a Parish Youth Group' session was finally held on 22 September 2009 at Nashik. Frs, Greg D'Cunha, Edwin Colaco and Blany Pinto came up from Virar-Jyoti and kept a large group busy for over 3 hours. The group consisted of youth and youth animators from the three parishes of Nasik, the STI novices, the FMA novices, the M.Ph and the Third Year students of Divyadaan. Besides Frs Nelson, Diego and Ivo from Don Bosco and a Jesuit priest from Holy Cross were also present. There were 50 participants in all.
The team began with an AV prayer and went on to talk about how to begin a youth group in a parish. Then there were suggestions about vision, registration (interesting set of details besides name, address, phone number and email id), how to plan the meetings (the agenda prepared by the coordinating committee and posted on the notice board in advance; minutes), the structure of the youth group (priest coordinator, lay and religious animators, president, vice president, secretary, joint secretary, treasurer, assistant treasurer; the various groups - social, spiritual, entertainment, media). There was even a list of suggested activities and charts for planning activities (what, who, when, for whom, etc).
The whole session was spiced up with action songs and games by Fr. Edwin Colaco - which the animators insisted were important to keep the group lively and relaxed. One of the lovely things about this session was the ability of the animators to break into Marathi and Hindi (some impressively fluent and others 'apunka'), seeing that there were some youth from the Marathi-speaking group too.
The focus was on the three parishes that turned up: they were busy creating action songs, games, drawing up agendas, planning activities, and so on. Not that the religious were left out. At any rate, a new term has been coined: 'religious youth' and 'non-religious youth. The youngsters furiously took notes, and from their body language one can expect good things!

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