Bento D'Souza sdb
BHINGAR, JANUARY 11, 2012: "Awesome" is the apt word used to describe SJ Special 2012, Bhingar, by Prerna, a second year college student of Ahmednagar College. SJ Special 2012 was a twelve hour event held to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of the Project: Ahmednagar Mission. Bhingar played host to the event on the night of January 7-8, 2012. Planned for just two hundred and fifty youth of the Ahmednagar district, the turnout was three hundred and seventy two youth who braved the mild chill to experience Christ in a night-turned-to-day event that keep everyone on toes all through the night. Planned by event manager Bro. Ramesh and executed in partnership with Fr. Michael Bansode and his entire dynamic dedicated team of Parish council and youth.
The significant moments and highlights of the night experience were many. Registration was done with each participant drawing their left hands and placing expectations on a sheet of white flex paper with felt pens. Most came for a new experience of God in their life and were overt about it by penning in down on flex. Directions and Guidelines were given by Fr. Bansode, the Convener and this was followed by Supper. Fete games took place on the football ground with stalls manned by the Parish council and prizes were claimed on the number of coupons won. This carried on for two hours.
Gifted and armed with a proud Don Bosco T-Cap on the head, the group sat down in expectant silence. The WYD Cross was carried to the site by representatives of different parishes of the main event in front of the residence. At 10.00 pm, the inauguration of the camp fire was launched by Fr Thomas D'Costa with a motivational talk.
Fr. Briston Britto with his team of youth depicted the theme 'Rooted in Christ' through role play and followed it with a planned and prepared session on duties, privileges and responsibilities of young people as Disciples of Jesus.
Fr. James Nigrel spoke about stress of modern life and competitive spirit being the ethos of the age in which youth are incubated and the use and abusive power of the mobile.
Fr. Manuel Murzello spoke about the role of reconciliation on the growth and striving for peace that all young people aspire to and was appreciated.
The surprise guest appearance of Santa Claus who mercilessly spanked those who did not go for confession or attend mass regularly with his pink paper Magic wand, was an amusing sight to witness. Santa Claus conferred cute gifts to two Canossian sisters Sheila and Gracy who animate youth groups and other youth who behaved positively as young people and attended Youth group meetings and voted during elections, delighted the gathering.
At 3.00 am, a procession with the WYD Cross lined its way into the church where Aradhana and preparation for confessions was done by Fr. Michael. Seven priests including many Jesuits sat for confession. At 5.00 am, Fr. Geoge, Pratap, Osbourne, Rolwin and Ricxon celebrated the First Eucharist to a 'fired up' group of youth who lapped up all they said about the glory of being 'Anointed' for the Lord's vineyard.
Heeding the Rector Major's guidelines in searching for a more creative ministry with our young people, 'out of the box' thinking was applied. Day-time training given was dropped as it lacked all day time man- hour's time schedule needed for deeper inputs and reflections. "By the time we begin our morning program, we run out of time and it is time for them to go home, so this provides more time for a concentrated animation of the youth as well as providing them the much needed dance and activity breaks," said Fr Michael Basode, a popular Nasik- Diocese youth animator.
Fete-Games, Dance, Disco, jam sessions, discussion, action songs, competitions, campfire, cande-light procession, hoisting the WYD cross, kept everyone awake through the night and showcased a much needed break from regular humdrum traditional way of being Church, the Don Bosco way, to an electrifyingly new young way of being, Salesians connected to the 'fired up' young. Normally, we have a plan to train youth and we design the method for doing so and it is effective. This time we have done a u- turn, we studied and researched what the youth of Ahmednagar desire and based our response on what they expect, and eureka, it works! This is a radical new way of being Event Administrators, based on an ethnocentric approach to youth-centric driven work, looking at life from a youth perspective. The slogan is "Give the youth what they want and get them to do what they need for the greater common good and our long term goals." We used the youth fete to educate, evangelize and empower. The impact felt is that they came here with a baggage of heavy burdens, bandages and luggage and left with a heart of doves, flying like eagles, vibrant resuscitated Lazaruses, ready to take on the world and face the future with planning and hope. This was written on their faces, lives and souls.
Well-done to our Hosts, Fr. Michael Bansode and Bro Ramesh and their executing teams. Another event of the silver jubilee etched in the silver river of life! Congratulations is fitting!