by Cleric Felix Almeida
NASHIK, DEC 14, 2017: Eighty youth from different regions of the Salesian and FMA Mumbai province gathered together at Maria Vihar, Nasik to celebrate 'Faith Fest', an event to help them strengthen their faith on December 9.
The faith celebration began with an inauguration ceremony at 5:30pm, with the girls from Maria Vihar boarding presenting a prayer dance to help the participants enter into a moment of prayer. Sister Salomi D'Souza, the FMA novice mistress declared the 'Faith Fest' open. The inaugural message dwelt on faith which is about being faithful, available, indebted, together and holy.
In his speech, Father Ashley Miranda, the Chief Guest, mentioned how faith is a significant element of life and that faith and action go hand in hand. In her welcome note, Sister Philomena D'Souza emphasised on how Nashik is a centre of faith for many people and therefore for us gathered here it is now an experience of strengthening our faith.
Sister Nilima Rodrigues, the chief coordinator, then introduced the organisers. An ice-breaker session was held to help the youth make new friends. The participants were divided into eight different groups. Activities were conducted to help them reflect on the aspects of faith in their lives and what God means to them. To further inspire the youth, biblical games were organised. Seeking the guidance of our Blessed Mother, the youth then prayed the candle light holy Rosary and contemplated on the Joyful Mysteries.
At supper the youth had time for recreation and to mingle with others. The day ended with praise and worship adoration service in which the youngsters offered their weaknesses and failures before the Lord. Sticking to the Salesian tradition, Father Jacob Palaparambil shared a goodnight message asking youngsters to be bearers of Christ in their respective setups.
The next day began with an animated morning prayer after which the youngsters had meditation in their respective groups. During the meditation, the youngsters reflected on the Gospel passage of Jesus being lost in the temple. The later session was intense in nature with youngsters being given personal time to reflect on life and relationships especially in the family. This meaningful journey continued with the sacrament of reconciliation wherein the youngsters spend quality time with themselves in silence. The holy Eucharist was then celebrated by Father Kenneth Pereira who helped the participants to understand the different parts of the Eucharist and its significance.
Post lunch a session was organised by the brothers with the theme 'You too can be a Saint'. The session focused on how holiness is a matter of opening ones heart to God. After the session, participants spent some time sharing their experiences. The last input session was given by Father Robert Pen who spoke on motivating oneself which is a crucial element in the life of every youngster. The 'Faith Fest' celebration ended with a closing ceremony and prize distribution. The youngsters were grateful for the experience and expressed their sentiments personally to those who contributed to the process of growth in their lives.