• August 25, 2014
  • 299

“I felt like being in another world”. Catholic Youth Day in Šumskas.

Common prayer, talking about the soul, faith and friendship, but also climbing the trees, singing, flash mobs and fitness – all these things could be found at Catholic Youth Day that took place in Šumskas. This year, a record number of participants took part on it – more than 300 people.

“The subject of this year’s youth day was ‘Possess your soul’. This is the motto from the letter of John Paul II to the young. In this letter the pope was talking about one of the most critical issues for the young generation – about self-upbringing. Only in the key of self-upbringing can we possess our soul. We tried to expand this motto during three days and share some new look with other people throughout the whole of our programme”, said Antoni Ciunowicz in an interview with zw.lt, the organiser from the Christian Centre for Youth Development.

“ A person develops on three levels – physically, intellectually and spiritually

“A person develops on three levels – physically, intellectually and spiritually. So the programme was arranged in these three keys. We had a lot of physical activities so that young people could feel their body. We had classes that required a lot of physical activity – shooting bows, playing volleyball using big balls, powerball, mounting and climbing trees. There was also an intellectual key – including conferences with teams of Propaganda Dei and Full Power Spirit, conferences of various priests, primarily the priest chaplain of this year’s KDM, the Piarist from Krakow father Marek Barczewski. We tried to expand the topics in an intellectual sense, to share with the youth certain values, or content. Finally, there was the spiritual key , that is, knowledge of our own interior. We had an amazing adoration, way of the cross, daily Masses, a lot of prayers,” mentioned A. Ciunowicz.

In his view, the organisers managed to carry out plans that were put before this year’s meetings.

“No, we do not aim to teach anything here, but rather to try to show different forms of getting to certain things, to know ourselves,” explained the organiser. As he emphasized, the ever increasing number of participants can provide that it is a success – from a few hundred a few years ago, to three hundred this year. Some of them come once again.

Agnieszka Litwinowicz from Vilnius took part the second time in the Catholic Youth Day (KDM).

“  The ambiance was so spirited that I felt like being in another world

“Here you can meet a lot of very cool people. There are interestingly held retreats, much of this can be drawn for yourself, to apply in life. It is always cheerful – I love singing together, with guitar in church, before dinner. Last night, there was a procession to the top of the mountain of three crosses, the ambiance was so spirited that I felt like being in another world. We talked about God, about life, about our problems, about friendship, love, the soul – about everything that was possible,” told us Agnieszka.

“I liked the fact that the participants are actively involved in conferences – do not sit listlessly, and actively ask, listen carefully. The programme was tight, we had little free time, so sometimes it was difficult to gather a group, but the main thing is that KDM has an extremely positive spirit,” says Victoria Pietrulewicz from Šumskas, an animator.

This spirit apparently infected everybody.

“We are very happy when people who come here, praise and appreciate what we do here. We have heard many words of appreciation from the priests, nuns, even from those grandmothers who before their Sunday Mass came to ours. Many people emphasize that they admire the youth that ‘wants’,” said Alina Zawadzka, the organiser.

“ We are not trying to teach anything, we rather try to show different forms of getting to ourselves

As she noticed, this year the mean age of participants was slightly lower than in the past.

“The trick is to combine business so that it would be interesting for 14-year-olds, and also 25-year-olds would feel satisfaction. God, faith, spiritual lectures – they probably make closer. It may be that sometimes the youngest participants do not fully know why they came here, or maybe they have other expectations at the beginning. But still, they come back,” summed up A. Zawadzka.

Translated by Patrycja Pawłowska within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.

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