Monday, September 5, 2011


Ajoy Fernandes sdb
MATUNGA, SEPTEMBER 5, 2011: Arranging accommodation, food, and travel; catechetical, liturgical and cultural programmes for about 1.5 million pilgrims in Madrid and the Dioceses for the WYD across a two-week span was truly an organizational feat. It called for coordination between the government, clergy, religious and secular institutions; security, medical, civil, and industrial services. Numerous volunteers helped dispense these services to pilgrims across innumerable nodal centres and institutions.
The Indian SYM contingent was hosted at the Salesian institution in the diocese of Guadalajara for the first week; and in an FMA institution at Ascao in Madrid for the second week. The SDB’s and FMA’s, Salesian Family and youth, went out of their way to make our stay comfortable and memorable. In typical Salesian style, they received us at metro stations; organized the accommodation and food; daily served at table, and personally cleaned up the living areas. The youth coordinated and animated the prayer, liturgical, cultural, educational and recreational programmes within the institution; and accompanied us on specific tours in Guadalajara. Moreover, some volunteers attended language courses in English, Italian and French to reach out to pilgrims of different nationalities. The Salesian groups they hosted were all praise for their warmth, hospitality, commitment, and dedicated service.
Through the entire experience, we had a living demonstration of Salesian – Laity collaboration. May God bless the Spanish Volunteers for their generosity and cheerful service, even as they serve as role-models for youth ministry in our Salesian Province.

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