On Saturday, October 6, together with the MC Fathers and youth leaders from local youth groups, we conducted a Youth Encounter in preparation for the upcoming Year of Fatih at St. Stephen's sub-parish in the Huruma section of Nairobi.
St. Stephen's has a large, beautiful church, adorned on the inside with colorful paintings that depict the Last Supper, the Stoning of St. Stephen, scenes from the Old and New Testaments, and the Stations of the Cross. It was the perfect venue for such a gathering.
Once again we began with early morning guided Eucharistic Adoration followed by breakfast. After some songs and animation activities I gave the first talk on the theme of "Faith," which was followed by small group discussions led by the leaders who had participated in the previous Saturday's formation day.
Following lunch and more singing, I gave a second talk on the Blessed Virgin Mary's personal pilgrimage of faith (a description used in Vatican II's Lumen Gentium, John Paul II's Redemptoris Mater, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church), and the way she accompanies us on our own pilgrimage of faith, sympbolized by the Rosary procession through the streets that followed. The day concluded with a jubilant celebration of Mass in Kiswahili, presided and preached by Fr. Ray, MC.
One of the Missionaries of Charity sisters who attended the day said that several young people commented to her that they experienced something at the encounter that they had never experienced before, and that it had been for them the happiest day of their lives.