Sunday, October 9, 2011

Youth Encounter with the Missionaries of Charity

Animating the crowd at the beginning of the day.
On Saturday, October 8th, our now complete mini-team, Maynor Ballesteros, Dr. William Stallings (who arrived on Thursday evening) and I, partnered with the Missionary of Charity Fathers and Sisters to lead a youth encounter with the theme "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God (Mt 5:8)" at the MC Sisters regional house in the midst of the Huruma slums. Approximately 340 youth turned out, almost 100 more than expected. Most were from the immediate area, though others came from neighborhoods near the MC Sisters' other houses in the Nairobi area.

Br. Juan Pablo and Sr. Colombiere
with some of the local "glue boys" who participated in the day.
The day began with a quiet Eucharistic Holy Hour in the early morning as participants arrived. That was followed by breakfast and a time of teaching songs and animating the crowd.

Dr. Will Stalliings leads a young men's discussion group.
I gave the first talk, which was based on our relationships with each of the Persons of the Holy Trinity, God the Father of Mercies, Jesus the Redeemer of Man and the Holy Spirit, Lord and Giver of Life. The purpose was to express the immense dignity we possess in being created in God's image, something that only Jesus fully reveals to us and restores, and which is fulfilled by making a gift of ourselves to others. This, of course, has profound significance for our understanding of the meaning and purpose of human sexuality, which was the focus of the day. After the talk, the young people broke down into smaller groups for discussion.

Br. Juan Pablo speaks with the male participants about
what it means to be a man in Christ. 
After a short break the young men and young women met apart. Sr. Eucharitica (from Canada) gave her personal testimony, and spoke to the female participants about what it means to be a woman in Christ, while Br. Juan Pablo did something similar with the young men. Everyone then came back together for a session of questions and answers, followed by a time of Eucharistic Adoration and prayer for healing.

Some of the youth participants.
We broke in the mid-afternoon for lunch and came back for Mass and a commitment ceremony, which was led by Fr. Ray, MC, in Kiswahili. The response of the youth and the sisters was overwhelmingly positive, and we are hoping to plan a full weekend Eucharistic retreat for the next mission trip to Africa shortly after Easter next spring.

A reminder of the charism of Blessed Mother Teresa.

No comments:

Post a Comment