by Lloyd Nunes & Marina D’Costa
NAGPUR, MARCH 30, 2014: Fr. Dominic Lisboa, the parish priest of Our Lady of Fatima Church, Jaitala – Nagpur organised a formation course for the youth group and a Lenten retreat for the parishioners on the weekend of 29-30 March. Fr. Cleophas Braganza along with Lloyd Nunes and Marina D’Costa from DBYS Mumbai were the resource persons for these events.
On Saturday, March 29, after the evening mass, the youth gathered together for a session. While mentioning their personal expectations regarding the youth group, they also discussed the attitudes and behaviours they would like to see from their parish priest, the youth animator (priest/sister), pastoral council members and their own leaders. The principles of Salesian Youth Spirituality as well as the four human dimensions which should be part of a holistic youth experience were explained and discussed.
The youth gathered once again on Sunday, March 30 at 9am to continue their formation. They outlined the activities and methods of working that they had been pursuing to this day, mentioning both their positive experiences and the drawbacks. Marina and Lloyd conducted sessions that enabled them in setting goals and objectives, planning the yearly programme, developing leadership skills, resolving conflicts through dialogue, fund-raising and strengthening the youth group. The youth were very dynamic and participated whole-heartedly. It was clear that they were interested in working towards empowering and enriching the lives of one another.
At the same time, the other parishioners participated in a Lenten retreat in the church itself. Fr. Braganza explained the meaning of Lent, helping them understand that prayer, fasting and almsgiving should contribute to developing a deeper sense of Christian discipleship. They reflected on the parable of the Prodigal Son, before watching a video on the Stations of the Cross prepared by the Raipur diocese.
All the participants assembled together for a concluding Eucharist at 3:30 pm. It was a memorable experience for all present, and they went back with plenty of food for thought. Hopefully they will be able to reflect on what they learnt, take decisions, and implement them in order to contribute to the development of the parish and the youth group.