25 September, 2016


ST. XAVIER’S PARISH, Navrangpura, Ahmedabad.
The Youth Alive was a workshop conducted by Rev Fr. John Barretto, the former Youth Director of the Archdiocese of Mumbai. The workshop was conducted on 18th September 2016, Sunday at the Parish hall in St Xavier’s college Parish Church, Navrangpura. There were 70 youth participants from our parish.

The event commenced at 9:15am by welcoming Fr Baretto. After the prayer we had our first icebreaking session. It was helpful as we got a chance to interact with new people. It was a good start as the participants were energized with this activity. As it is said, a good start paves the way to success.

The next activity comprised of working in pairs over a set of questions. It was actually a pressure task as Father created an environment of competition and difficulty. It was quite similar to the tasks we face in normal day-to-day life. We get engulfed in the competition and hence fail to see the minute details.

The next activity that followed was a group activity. Each group of 8-9 members was given a different task to work upon. It was either a skit or a design or a poster. All the groups came up with very innovative ideas. There were groups that spoke on The Illuminati, Gender Equality, Women in Sports, New Machine invented, etc. It was a wonderful way to nurture the skills required to work in a group of new people with varying ages. We learnt to accept other’s ideas, give our own opinion, see the potential and talent of the other, realize our own plus points and most importantly Team work.

We had a short tea break before the commencement of the presentations. Then we had the presentations and then a talk on increasing our positive attributes, reducing our negatives and achieving our Needs. Fr. John very well categorized all the different attributes linked with our lives. The main point highlighted and focused here was “Belongingness”. Many members join the youth but fail to continue because they feel the others don’t want them, they don’t feel the sense of belongingness and hence discontinue.

After the lunch break, the session commenced at 2pm. It started with few games such as bursting the balloon, passing the polo etc. This lightened the atmosphere and drove away our sleep. Then we had an intense session where father spoke on Fellowship, Formation and Service as the primary objectives of a parish youth group. He asked to note activities for each of the following. The groups came up with unique ideas like Food contests, Worship Band, Visit to the sick and elderly, helping the others in studies, sports, music etc. Father also mentioned that the activity doesn’t end here. We need to make a schedule for three months or more having an activity each for fellowship, formation and service.

After this each group was given an event to plan. All the groups worked intently on the event given, seeing to every detail. This activity made us re-think the different aspects that need to be looked into before, after and during the event. An important point given by father was – the need to put tasks done by individuals on paper. Everybody gets a feeling of belongingness. There were various other aspects of organizing an event that were highlighted.
The workshop ended with a game followed by Holy Eucharistic which was celebrated by Fr. John and Fr. Jose.       

The workshop was a great success as it helped us to achieve our objectives of mobilizing the youth and getting all to work as a group. It helped us identify the talent possessed by others in our youth group. We also learnt how to manage and coordinate with new members in our group. Altogether it was an effective event.
Report Prepared by 
Betsy Fernandes,
The Youth Co-coordinator of St. Xavier’s Parish.

The Sunday Mass - 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time (September 25, 2016)

The Word Exposed - Gospel (September 25, 2016)