by Evelyn D'Souza
BANDRA-MUMBAI, JULY 20, 2013: The Archdiocesan Youth Commission (AYC) organized the "Diocesan World Youth Day Celebration" at St. Andrew's College, Bandra on 14th July, 2013 to commemorate the World Youth Day (WYD). The WYD, which is the largest youth event in the world, is being held this year from 23rd to 28th July in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Youth from Catholic parishes, institutions and groups from all over Mumbai were present. The program began with the Mulund Youth choir presenting the WYD theme song "Go and make Disciples of all nations." An opening march with flags of the thirteen Bombay deaneries as well as the national flags of the previous WYD's set the day in motion. The students of Sophia College invoked God's blessings by a beautiful prayer service in Portuguese. Fr. Aniceto Pereira, the rector of St. Andrew's warmly welcomed the youth with his words of encouragement and wisdom, followed by the felicitation of Rev. Bishop John Rodrigues. The members of 'Jesus Youth' presented the history of the WYD. 'Capoeira' the Brazilian martial art form thrilled and entertained the audience. The Focolare enacted the life of Blessed Chiara Luce through a musical. A Koli cultural dance by the Marathi-speaking youth and an action-packed performance was delivered by the Tamil-speaking youth. The AICUF organised a talk show to share experiences of three youth who participated in previous WYD's.
The WYD Cross was brought in procession by the Diocesan Youth Council, with children performing a prayer dance as Archbishop Cardinal Oswald Gracias entered. After the Archbishop was felicitated, he addressed the youth and answered questions raised by them.
The Konkani Charismatic youth group 'Rupantar' danced gracefully to a medley of Konkani songs, while the hosts St. Andrew's College put up a reflective skit called "Amazing Grace". The Gospel band "By Grace" held the crowd spellbound with their music.
The Don Bosco Youth Services (DBYS) played a very significant role in organising the WYD. They presented a documentary on the life of Pope Francis, followed by a touching skit entitled "Coming Home". They also provided ushers for the event. The celebration concluded with the Commitment statement read by DBYS representatives as the newly elected Denary leaders brought in the denary and WYD flags. Bishop Agnelo Gracias gave a concluding message to the youth bringing to a close this wonderful event.