Report & Pics: Bro. Cheriatt Jose SDB,Coordinator, YCS/YSM Shillong Archdiocese

Shillong Apr 08, 2018: A  retreat was organized for the YCS/YSM Shillong Archdiocese from 28th March to 31st March in Pastoral center at Malki, Shillong. Hundred and sixty nine students from 18 schools participated in this retreat. As the students arrived with their parents and animators all were warmly welcomed with Tea and snacks.
The retreat began with the inaugural function at 5:30 pm. and the testimonial talks of Mr. Edward Thma, the former NEXCO member and Jimmy Pdang, former national president YCS/YSM India. The well prepared input session by Fr Jude Sebastian SDB, the former YCS/YSM Chaplin of Kolkata Region, enlightened the students about the YCS/YSM movement since the majority of the students were freshers of YCS/YSM movement. He focused on the Spirituality of YCS/YSM (Review of life: See Judge and Act) and this input session helped them to know and understand the soul the YCS/YSM movement well. Later  Fr Felix Dhakar SDB, the director of Pastoral Centre, welcomed the students and familiarized them with the rules and regulations of the center.






The camp fire that was organized after the dinner and the Rosary helped the students to overcome home-sickness and shyness. Once all the students went to bed the Retreat coordinating  team of Salesian brothers, sisters and Jesus Youth, met and evaluated the day and planned for the next days.
The morning prayers and  Praise and worship, conducted  by the sisters and the team of Jesus Youth, enabled the students to relish prayer at the start of each day. During the three days of retreat there were three different resource persons to animate the students. Fr Paul Olphindro Lyngkot SDB, Vice Provincial of Shillong province, animated the youth on Maundy Thursday, on the importance of the Holy Week. Sr. Angela Dhakar preached on Good Friday and prepared the students for confession and Fr Edmund Gomes SDB explained the Holy Eucharist and its relationship to daily life. All the sessions were much appreciated by the students. The presence of six priests helped all of them to make good confession. After each session the  students thanked the fathers and sisters with thank you card and with YCS/YSM clap as token of gratitude. In short the retreat was a big help to them to  participate meaningfully in the Holy Week experience and to strengthen their faith formation.

The Maundy Thursday was lived meaningfully through the Mass of the Lord's Supper, the washing of the feet, the Seder Meal and adoration at eh Altar of Repose.

On Good Friday, the students were given frugal and simple meals to inculcate the importance of the day of fasting and abstinence. Another remarkable event was the enactment of the Way of the Cross and Passion Service with relevant explanations so as to make the students understand their significance. The screening of the movie The Passion of Christ helped them to enter more personally into the sufferings of Christ.
The Retreat came to an end with each participant writing a practical resolution to continue growing in the faith,  evaluation of the retreat and concluding a short ceremony. The retreat has been an evangelizing experience for the participants. It  is hoped that its fruits will revitalize the YCS/YSM Movement in the Archdiocese.

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