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Events : MAC organizes 1st Youth Retreat and Lenten Service
on 2013/3/25 23:00:00 (1102 reads)

Our youth are continually blitzed with messages via social media, parents, teachers and friends on who they should be and how they should act. Wouldn’t it be wonderful for our youth to hear what God thinks about them and what he wants them to be? Spending time away from the pressure and mayhem of our day to day lives and having an opportunity to hear and experience God’s message and his amazing love can be very powerful and life changing for young people.

With this objective in mind, the Mangalorean Association of Canada (MAC) organized its first Youth Retreat on Saturday, March 16, 2013 at the KOC Hall at Sts. Martha and Mary Parish. The response from the youth was tremendous with participation from at least 30 youth from the community and parishes around Mississauga. With great enthusiasm, youth retreat leaders from St. John of the Cross Parish demonstrated leadership and joined forces with MAC organizers to introduce a 4 hour session of Fellowship and Worship. The session began with an introduction and games so that the participants relaxed and got to know each other in an informal setting. Rev. Joyson G Pottackal O.Carm. of St. Martin of Tours Parish talked about one common goal and that is to find happiness. The tendency of humans is to attain happiness through materialistic possessions but we need to focus on those areas that bring us closer to God, concentrate on his word to enhance our spiritual life and work on strengthening our relationships with people around us. His ultimate message was “Surround yourself with people that motivate and help you become the best version of yourself”. A brief and inspirational film encouraged a discussion and interaction between participants and this was followed by a break. Tania Moreas, the next speaker engaged the audience by sharing her experiences, her insecurities, her challenges and her fears and how she overcame them to find peace and confidence. When situations get difficult, people are so engrossed in feeling sorry for themselves or being angry with God but it is during these times, people must remember that God can see the whole picture while they can only the current hurdle. This perspective is referred to as the “Helicopter view”. Tania was able to relate to her audience exceedingly well as she is a young adult and she has experienced the tumultuous activity and pressures the teens experience today. An activity determining the priorities of life was followed by praise and worship and the Youth Retreat concluded with our youth confident of their place in society and cherished by God’s love and his amazing grace.

The youth of our community also demonstrated leadership and initiative by leading the Stations of the Cross entirely in Konkani. They also participated in the Youth Choir and with limited practices put on an outstanding and moving performance by singing melodiously and flawlessly in Konkani. The Konkani mass was accompanied by this youth choir and the youth leaders read the Prayers of the Faithful in their mother tongue, Konkani. Such was their involvement and contribution that the entire congregation was unanimous in their praise and acknowledgment that our children can never be underestimated. Given the challenge, the opportunity and the motivation, the youth of our community can rise up, overcome and conquer.

Our sincere appreciation and thanks to the leaders and the volunteers who selflessly gave their time and energies to coordinate and organize the retreat, practices for the singing and recitation of the prayers and manage the Konkani service.

Mangalorean Association of Canada
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