Salesian Youth Movement: Youth Animator’s Mass
Gabutu, Port Moresby: The Salesian Youth Movement commenced its first Youth Animators Mass on 5th March 2022 at the Chapel of Don Bosco Technical School, Gabutu. The youth mass was attended by youth animators who also animated the liturgy. It began with a “meet and greet” where participants introduced themselves and shared how they were related to the Salesian Mission.
In charge of the SYM in the PGS vice province of PNG and SI, Fr. Ambrose Pereira sdb, gave a brief introduction that Youth Ministry was the spiritual formation of a person. 'It is in creative and positive group activity that a young person grows and develops. Activities bring the group together and the animator uses these occasions to connect to their inner and spiritual selves', he said.
Amongst those present were Salesian educators, past pupils, Salesian co-operators, and friends of Don Bosco who were interested in the formation of young people. They shared their personal stories and struggles that helped increase their Catholic faith and calling to serve whilst finding the inspiration to share the same with those around them, particularly young people.
Dwelling on the theme of ‘Temptation’ Fr. Ambrose, during the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, referred to the Gospel of the first Sunday of Lent (Luke 4:1-13) which told of how Jesus was tempted by Satan in the desert and urged the participants to be vigilant to the signs of temptations in their lives.
Using the desert as an example, Fr. Ambrose spoke of how life sometimes would get ‘dry’ and ‘lost’ because of situations that we face or decisions that we make that leave a person alone, afraid, unloved, sad, lost and without focus in life.
He then invited those present to share related experiences which opened moments of truth and joy as participants gave testimonies and reflected on the joy of being saved by finding their identity in Christ.
“When we find our identity in Christ, we are able to extend the same towards those around us. As youth animators, we learn to value and appreciate a young person and help him or her find their identity in Christ”, said Fr. Ambrose.
Lucy Napitalai, an instructor at DBTI shared how she used to be so self-centred in the past but her experience with the Salesians changed that and she now finds herself always reaching out to her students.
“My students also see me as their friend, not just a teacher. So, they find me approachable to come and share their problems with me, making it easier to guide them because I am aware of what is bothering them”, she added.
After the Mass, a group picture was taken followed by refreshments being shared as well as sharing each one’s interests to animate the young.
Youth Animators Mass will be held every month. The next gathering is on 26th March 2022 at DBTS, Gabutu chapel at 4pm.