Christmas in Summer, a one day program was conducted by the CFCI Youth, Mangalore on 4 May 2015 at St. Dominic’s Church, Ashoknagar. The program started with Avinash Serrao, CFCI Youth from Mangalore, explaining the meaning of Christmas in Summer. He reminded the youth gathered, that we usually occupy ourselves in preparing for Christmas materialistically with gifts, parties and celebration while we forget to prepare ourselves to invite Jesus into our hearts. He also explained how we consider going through this preparation only during the time of advent and how we have a call to do it every day of our lives.
The program began with an activity called the “spider’s web”. Every person gathered in the hall, had to pass around a ball of wool and share their most embarrassing moment. At the end of this activity, Andrea, CFCI Youth, pointed out that, as the wool connected all the youth together, so also God our father does so without any distinction or differentiation. Hence we are called to share our lives with each other, without distinction, thus enabling us to bond with one another, an aspect vital to us, as members of CFCI.
This interesting activity was then followed by the Praise and Worship led by Jokshith, CFCI Youth from Mangalore. Following this, the members were divided into groups of three namely – “Leona”, “Go green “and “Ostin”. Many games such as lagori, dodge the ball and bursting the balloon were played.
The games were followed by lunch and a small time of bonding. It was followed by singing of the Divine Mercy Chaplet while walking around the church compound. While the youth passed around the statue of Mother Mary along the edge of the compound, Avinash Serrao, CFCI Youth, explained the benefits and importance of being a good Catholic and also the importance of attending weekly meetings. He focused on what it takes to be a CFCI Youth, the importance of meetings/sharings to grow in the community, and relationship with God. He also explained few difficulties that might come in the way and how we can put that aside for God.
This was followed by the Liberation Rosary for various intentions. After a small break, the treasure hunt began. All the youth participated enthusiastically in the hunt for clues and Team Ostin managed to find the treasure.
Following the tiring but exciting treasure hunt, the youth were made to sit together in a circle. Each person had to write their names on a sheet of paper and pass it around. The others were asked to write the things that inspire them about that person. This activity helped the youth encourage each other in their walk with God. That one sheet of paper managed to be the perfect gift for every youth’s Christmas in summer.
Understanding that the purpose of Christmas in summer is to welcome Christ into our lives throughout every season and not just in December, was a key take away of the program. Every youth left the premises having learnt something new and resolving to always keep Christ in their lives, every season the year.
Report by Sharon Serrao, CFCI Youth, Mangalore.