LONAVALA, MAY 16, 2011: The vocation camp began with a lot of excitement and enthusiasm on May 3, 2011 and concluded on May 12, 2011 leaving fond memories of Don Bosco Lonavala in the hearts and minds of the young. Eighty seven youngsters from different Parishes of Mumbai, Thane, Pune and Ahmednagar took part, of which forty boys formed the Senior group comprising of Std. XI, Post XII and post Graduates, and forty seven boys formed the Junior group comprising of Std. VIII, IX and X. The camp was well planned and organized under the baton of Fr. Ajoy, the Vice-Provincial of Mumbai Province with his team of Fathers, Brothers, volunteers and the House of Lonavala.
The camp began with the boys getting to know something about each other. Each one of the campers took a commitment that they would fulfill during the days of the camp. Each day of the camp focused on a particular passage from the Gospel. Day one focused on the Parable of the Talents which highlighted the fact that God has blessed each one of us with gifts of nature and grace. Day two focused on Jesus feeding the five thousand which showed us that each of us has a unique gift and that we have to be generous with what we have more by giving off ourselves than the material things that we possess. To this effect, all the boys displayed their talents and skills in the show “Thirty Seconds to Fame”. Day three focused on the parable of the Good Samaritan which encouraged each one to reach out and help others especially those in need. To this effect the boys had an outreach program where in they put a lot of hard work physically helping in the village. It was a wonderful experience which brought them in terms with the fact that as Catholics we ought to think first of others just like Jesus who died for us on the Cross. Day four focused on the Walk to Emmaus which encouraged us to experience Jesus in our life and share that wonderful experience with whoever we meet. On the concluding night the campers took another commitment that they would fulfill after they returned to their respective homes and Parishes.
Thus all in all the campers had an experience of the four dimensions of the Salesian Youth Ministry. Indeed it was for them a deep and touching experience of being in a Home, a School, a Church and a Playground wherein they learnt how to live in peace, happiness and joy. This camp was indeed for all of them an experience of a lifetime.
Thanks to all the Vocation Promoters of the different regions without whom this camp would not be possible.
Following are two poems written by one of the campers Cletus D’Souza of std XII during the camp
There Is a Fine String
There is a fine string between right and loving,
The right asks justification but love keeps sacrificing.
Often separate from each other, we tend to choose right over loving,
Obeying God’s laws, but His will disobeying.
There is a fine string between kindness and loving.
Kindness only brings us closer but love is uniting.
We be kind at times, for the heck of doing it,
But when done lovingly, miracles start flowing from it.
There is a fine string between loving and winning.
Winning gives us satisfaction whereas joy comes from loving.
Because in the end it’s not about how many tournaments we have won,
But rather it is about how many loving deeds we have done.
There is a fine string in between indicating a great divide.
That makes love stand, victoriously on the other side.
There is fine string in between that shows the loving way to do,
This is the fine string that binds me with you
I came for this camp, called Vocations
With no plan of joining this year, in my mind.
I was confused in my thoughts and needed intervention
From someone who was holy and divine
I gave to Mary, all my options and ways
She answered to me, “You’ll know in these five days.”
The first day I observed, many of us were called,
But the question about myself was still not solved.
The second day to us, our talents were exposed,
We realized that we were much more blessed, than what we supposed.
First, the door of my sorrows was shut and sealed.
All my deepest wounds of the soul were miraculously healed.
The works made us tired, but our minds became active
To god’s one sided conversation, we became reactive.
Like thunder and lightning we collectively played our games
Restoring our coverage, obtained 30 seconds to fame.
Through prayer services we discovered our mission
Sessions inspired us to be the Good Samaritan.
We did hard work in our outreach,
Our Gospel of life, through our works we preach.
The life of Saints has inspired us very well,
The call of God, in us now dwells,
Finally now the questions in our minds, that revolved
Through the intersession of Mary, have now been solved
In this institution of the Salesians,
We thank you Lord, for revealing our Vocation.
- Cletus D’souza