- Paul Hannette, Don Bosco Mission Group Leader
A Youth Camp focusing on the values of the Salesian Family was held from 11thto 13th September 2020.
The gathering organized by the Parish of Mary Help of Christians Rapolo took place in Don Bosco Technical Secondary School, Kokopo, and had as its theme: Forming Good Christians and Upright Citizens. It was an occasion for young people to be reminded of the Salesian values.
Participants came from DBTSS Catholic Boarding Students, Catholic Communities of Palnakaur, Tobera, Ramale, Malagunan, Nordup, Bitagalip and Livuan. For the first time in its kind, the parish was able to bring together 190 youths registered.
Youths were oriented by the parish priest in the planning process. The objectives for the camp were to help young people know, understand and appreciate the Strenna of the Rector Major for 2020. They are;
to develop firm convictions about the need to take care of the earth;
to take home a beautiful experience of youthful prayer,
Bosconian joy and camaraderie with other young people; and
invite them to be models of a good Christian and upright citizen at home, in the school and in their Church community.
Upon registration on Day one, the youths were immersed in a deep moment of prayer organized by the Salesian Sisters together with other animators. Then came a new thing-to-do for those who were not Don Bosco students: the good night talk. Fr. Albert challenged them to be candles in their own communities to light up the darkness faced by many young people today.
On Saturday, fun morning games were held, a prayerful Eucharistic celebration animated by the Don Bosco community. Then came the first talk on Laudato Siwhere Sr. Pamela, FMA made a very simple and down to earth insight for the young to understand the letter of Pope Francis.
She put her message in a play for the youths to grasp and to be challenged. During mid-day, a Vocation Forum was held between congregations of SDB, FMA, ADMA, Co-operators.
In the afternoon, a second talk on Youth and Citizenship was given. Bro Alfred Tarvilip, Christian Brother, brought the young people in the context of PNG now that it is about to celebrate 46 years of its independence.
His key question was, “As a young person of my parish and village, proud to be son of the country, how will I contribute to build this nation?” The night became vibrant when the young people began dancing and singing. The cultural night ended with the good night talk of Fr. Moise in where he highlighted the words of St. Philip Neri: “Run, Jump, make Noise but do not commit sin.”
The third day focused on the celebration of the Eucharist. The parish priest, Fr. Moise presided over the mass. It was followed by the resolution taking, the awarding of certificates to participants and the gift of a tree as an integration of the Laudato Simessage.
A youth leader, Patrick Norbert, thanked the Salesian family in his speech on behalf of the participants. He thanked to the local benefactors for their sponsorship and acknowledged the work of the facilitators and animators for the wonderful program. “As many of us have expressed it already in our laughter, this will remain a memorable gathering in which we not only made friends but we felt at home. We felt that we belong to a church very alive. We promise our catechists, parents and our priests that we will live up to what we have learnt,” said Christina, Youth leader from Malagunan.