The One Body in Christ Youth Weekends continued with a wonderful group time at Stella Maris. We learned about vocation in the Spring and we continued about family and social challenges in the Autumn.
People from various places shared their testimonies, lots of providences were given (every weekend we received more than enough food, for free!), as well as blessings and healings from adorations, worship and prayers.
Unfortunately, it could not continue after October, since the use of the buildings was banned by the authorities. Nevertheless, we always stand united as “One Body in Christ”.
2. One Body in Christ Youth Festival
The Youth festival project started in 2016, we had the second youth festival during this Summer. The festival included approximately a week of community gathering and activities. Topics such as relativism, family, and vocation were discussed.
The Truth stands by itself, and we should not be ashamed to announce it!
Mary did this, and we can also do it!
Andy is our elder brother and we learnt a lot from him about how to serve God. He had his admission and then became acolyte. He is getting closer to becoming a priest! Early 2018, he will be ordained as deacon. Please remember to pray for him.
| || |
4. St. Henry’s Pilgrimage
St. Henry’s pilgrimage was an ecumenical pilgrimage and it was a wonderful experience. However, a lack of Catholic participation was an element of surprise to me.
I learned and meditate a lot during the pilgrimage and I will try to repeat next year.
We participated in the youth festival in Medjugorje during summer. It was a scaled-down version of the World Youth Day. Catechesis, testimonies and, praise and worship were organized almost every day. We met people from around the world, and on the last day, we met the parish priest by giving him some gifts from our youth festival. Many people have asked me my opinion about Medjugorje and I say: the Holy Spirit is among us when we gather in the name of God.
6. 24 h adoration at Stella Maris
After the Eucharistic retreat with Fr. Joseph Vadakkel in July, Fr. Gianni and Fr. Tri decided to have 24-hour adoration at Stella Maris on every Saturday. Several groups from different parts of Finland: Tampere, Kouvola, youth groups etc. took responsibility of staying one weekend each during the month. The adoration project started after the diocesan feast.
The adoration is still available nowadays, since Fr. Gianni and Andy are still present at Stella Maris. For assisting them, you will need to contact Andy for its arrangement.
Oh, this has been my doubt through the year. Since last year, the Curia wanted to send Fr. Gianni back to Italy and this time it was about shutting down Stella Maris. Confusions were flying around in all kinds of media and Fides as the Curia seemed to be changing their mind from one day to another. Well, it is our Lady’s sanctuary, I think Mom knows her rules.
I understand there is a financial duress, but I also see possible answers. For everything, we only need people’s will to be more active and involved to the apostolic life. I pray for this, not only in Finland, but also for the entire Catholic Church.
Alejandro was in the Nordic Youth Meeting in Vadstena, Sweden. He shared his wonderful experience with us, and it is clear we have all kinds of problems in our society. We should be strong to face it, and should not be afraid!
9. Parish in Turku
As a tradition, the youth group in Turku’s St Bridget's Parish helps in many events like communion, confirmation, Christmas Bazaar, etc. But this year, we also did a lot of new things. With Fr. Jean-Claude, we had interesting talks and discussions, in Autumn we started adoration with Fr. Peter. For me, the funniest activity that we did this year was wrapping the whole church in newspaper, as it would get painted the next day.
In October, we started an online Rosary group. The idea came from a reunion of people who we met and those moved away from Finland but were still participating actively. The initial intention was only do it for once but later, people requested for more and it continued.
Every Thursday, we have a meeting on-line, wherever you are, if you have connection to Holy Spirit and our Lady with or without internet, you can join us! We start at 21:00 to pray the rosary in different languages, with meditations and petitions. If you have any petition, you can also write me and we can pray for that. It will start again after Christmas time on 11th January 2018.
I hope that you enjoyed reading the article, may your faith and love grow more and more in 2018! New year resolutions? What about getting closer to Mary and her Baby Son Jesus? Happy New Year 😊