Light up the world

CFCI Calangute chapter held their first ever CFCI Youth campi at Don Bosco, Parra from April 27th-29th 2018. Rigorous preparations began, with forms and posters being printed and evangelization in place. In the course of evangelization, it was revealed that the neighbouring parishes had their annual fete planned over the same weekend of the camp. This, however, did not serve as a deterrent and 25 participants registered for the camp.

A team was set up from amongst members of the CFCI Singles who prepared themselves to deliver sessions and conduct activities in a Spirit of prayerful service. The theme for the camp was “Light up the World” and it was conducted over a period of 3 days.

The first day began at 9am with the team setting up at the venue and praying together. The participants, along with their parents arrived that afternoon. An orientation session was conducted for the parents where they were briefed about the proceedings of the camp. After the participants had settled in, the camp was ‘declared open’ and an action song was taught. Ice-breakers were conducted which helped lighten up the mood, which was followed by sessions on “God’s love and his plan for us” and “Who is Jesus Christ”. After each session, group discussions were held to gauge the understanding of the youth about the talk and for any further clarifications on the topic as also to share their life experiences on the same.

Day 2 began with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist and a short talk on ‘vocal prayer’. The session to follow was based on the aspect of faith and so a “Faith walk” was conducted wherein the youth had to focus on the voice of God amidst the numerous distractions of life. This was followed by a 3rd session on “Repentance and Faith”. The participants then had an opportunity to partake of the grace of God through the sacrament of Reconciliation.

The next session delivered was “Life in the Holy Spirit” followed by the ‘pray-over’ to enable the participants to receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit and be empowered witnesses of Christ. It was an intense day that ended on a light note with some games. All the youth attending experienced the peace and joy that comes from knowing our Saviour personally.

The final day of camp began with a session on “Personal prayer” followed by the ‘letter-writing to parents’ in which the youth wrote letters expressing emotions of gratitude and appreciation towards their parents in an attempt to rebuild relationships that might be strained which they were to give them later in the day. The last session for the morning was on “Growing in the Spirit” and was followed by a time of water games which were thoroughly enjoyable and provided great relief from the sweltering heat. The parents of the youth were invited to spend some quality ‘one on one’ time with their kids, where they both exchanged letters and it turned out to be an emotional and touching experience as the parents and children shed tears of joy that brought healing in many relationships through the grace of God. This was followed by the Eucharistic celebration and the commitment ceremony in which 23 youth pledged to live out their call as children of God, upholding Christian values. A time of fellowship allowed the participants to share their experiences with the others. The camp ended with the “Praise fest” after which all the participants were filled with zeal to spread the good news to the ends of the earth.

Goodbye was hard as the participants had bonded with each other over the weekend. The newly inducted members of the CFCI youth, Calangute chapter, were invited to a ‘Welcome to the youth’ meeting on 6th May 2018 at the Calangute Church Hall.

Footnotes
*The Calangute chapter conducted its annual camp for the kids wing of CFCI early in 2017. After the camp, a few children felt they were older than the others, had grown spiritually and been seeking a deeper knowledge of God and the Catholic faith. They were invited to join the CFCI youth and readily accepted. Between June 2017 and March 2018 a group of 10 people met to conduct and participate in various activities for spiritual growth as well as to promote a community spirit among the children.

By March 2018, it was decided to have a youth camp for the children already attending the group activities as well as for youth in Calangute and the neighbouring parishes.

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