- Date of publication 03-05-2009 Anaïs and Jeanne, two young people in charge of the scouts, came to the community to share what they had experienced at the world Youth Days in and Odile Hameau. Several Sisters responded to this invitation.
The two young people used a magnificent montage which concentrated on the events that had been most meaningful to them.
First of all : the send off by our new bishop, the same day as his episcopal ordination in Pontmain; the departure of 17 youth from Mayenne, all wearing an identical black jacket carrying these words: "God bless Mayenne"; the warm welcome given by the host families during the first week and the times of prayer with the parishoners and host families; the first Mass in Melbourne celebrated by Cardinal André Vingt-trois.
"I have a wonderful memory of the opening Mass with 200,000 young people." "I felt very small but I was not alone. I felt consoled to see so many other young people around me." "What a pleasure to see thousands of other young people sharing the same faith as us, to see how important it is to believe in god, to let oneself be guided by the Holy Spirit."
During the journey to Sydney (5 hours wait before departure then 12 hours of travelling) we received a catechesis on faith.
"This made me reflect: where am I up to today in my relationship with God?"
At each stop we found a Chapel where we could go and reflect.
"I thought this was wonderful!"
Each morning we had a catechesis on the Holy Spirit by 3 bishops.
"I like the words: the Holy Spirit creates something new, he makes us strong, he wants to build a new world with us." And again: "The Church cannot be made up of people who "think like me". "I really appreciated the prayers led by the brothers from Taizé. I was really moved. It really turned things upside down for me. It helped me to be able to welcome the Spirit." "The Way of the Cross in the streets of Sydney was very moving. I t made me reflect very deeply. I realised more fully God's immense love for us."
While waiting for the Vigil with the Pope, David improvised a catechesis around the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
"Often, young people are afraid of going to Confession. And yet it is good for us. It isn't as bad as all that!"
The consecrated hosts were reserved in big tents that became places for adoration and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The Mass with the Pope was a very moving occasion for everyone.
Moving also for David as it was the first time he concelebrated with the Pope and with his brother priests from around the world.
There was no end to the commentaries from Anais and Jeanne.
"We had a lot of discussions about our faith with the other youth from Mayenne. Before, I lived my faith without really understanding why. Now something has changed for me." "At the time it is difficult to see what has changed. Perhaps when we get home we will realise that we are not the same." "It has changed the way I think. I feel stronger and more serene. And i ask myself: what am I going to do now?"
After this unforgettable experience, the group from Mayenne chose to spend a few days in Thailand. Why? To have the experience of another culture: visit the Bishop, discover Buddhism, spend time in the slums and be in touch with the poor... this week also helped the group to go back over the experiences of the World Youth Days.
"The World Youth Days were a privileged opportunity for prayer, adoration, and reflection." "This pilgrimage was an opportunity for me to ask questions, to look at my commitment within the Church." "We received the strength of the Holy Spirit in all the emotion, the sharing, the meetings, the happiness, the singing, the discoveries, the prayers."
And now we must move on to something new, as Pope Benedict said to us: "How are you going to use the gifts you have received?"
"How are you going to use the strength that the Holy Spirit is ready to give you today?"
Questions which the Anais, Jeanne and all the young people who took part in the WYD will have to ask themselves.
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