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24 July

Saints John Boste, George Swallowell and John Ingram

Marist Calendar - July

Summer School 2011



In harmony with the World Day of Youth

06/09/2011: Cuba

From 18 to 21 August, the Cienfuegos Youth Ministry held the Summer School of 2011 in the “Perla del Sur”. This session was held to fit in with the WYD in Madrid. The objective: to live the experience of the WYD here, in Cuba, in harmony with the universal Church. The youth taking part came from the various parishes of the province of Cienfuegos.

At the start, a space was opened for the integration of the participants into Life Groups and to discuss:  What are WYDs? What pastoral objectives do they have? What are some of the elements that form them and what experiences do they propose to live?

In drawing up a summary, the WYDs were seen to bean ecclesial eventin which faith in Jesus Christ is expressed in an extraordinary way. Why extraordinary? Because the ordinary way is for each young person to live the following of Jesus Christ in a particular Church and their country, in ordinary daily life: “to be salt for the earth and light for the world”.

The WYDs,however, are characterized by afestive meeting: where the youth demonstrate the dynamism of the Church and give witness to the relevance of the Christian message. It is a sign ofecclesial communion: young people from all over the world,  from different associations, communities, groups and movements come together around the successor of Peter and the Bishops, united by the same love for Christ and the Church and for his mission in the world.

The motto:“Rooted and built up in Christ, firm in the faith”, (Col 2:7) was the  transversal axis of our Summer School. As such, it is theclear, direct, enthusiastic proclamation of the faith of the Church in Jesus Christ.

The Catechesis of the mornings was centred on the person of Jesus, Mary, and Social Commitment. Brother Jesús Bayo Mayor, Mariologist, shared in the catechesis: “Like Mary, rooted and built up in Christ”, where he studied and actualized the silences, looks and words of Mary in the Gospels. Brother Carlos Martínez Lavín, sociologist,was the facilitator of the catechesis: “Cuban youth, rooted and built up in Christ”, which urged us to live “the Church of the towel”, that is, the Servant Church. There was a space to take the pulse of youth commitment with regard to the Social Doctrine of the Church.

In the afternoons, the participants in the Summer School of Cienfuegos lived experiences of Faith and Life in Jesus Christ making use of the sacraments of  Reconciliation and the Eucharist, Prayer Vigils and sharing of their own lives. The experiences of the way of the cross and solidarity activity with most needy were left as tasks to be done on their return to their communities.

On the afternoon of Saturday 20, they were able to join in directly, through the tv, the Vigil of Prayer with the Pope at the airdrome of Cuatro Vientos in Madrid and the start of the Eucharistic adoration. On Sunday 21, they were up very early to see in direct the Mass of closure of the WYD, with the Pope celebrating with the bishops and priests, and hear him address the young people to send them out to testify to their faith, as the Lord did with his Apostles.

On Sunday, after our eucharist in the S.I. Cathedral, there wasfestive sharing in the Cuban style, with each contributing something of his own creation to celebrate the God of Life.

Mons. Domingo Oropesa, who accompanied the youth in the experience, invited them to be missionaries so that many Cuban youth may have life in Jesus Christ.

This was how the youth of the diocese of Cienfuegos were able to live a different summer, a “summer with my own”, with the young people of the diocese to share faith and life from the following of Jesus of Nazareth. The final exhortation was for every youth: to live as Paul proposes to the youth of Colossae: “Rooted and built up in Christ to live firm in the faith” (Col 2:7).

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