No, no, that is not a typo in the heading. Prend means friend and is a word that we invented during World Youth Day in Poland in 2016. To put it simply, it is an invention that began with our imperfect English. I remember that at that time I could not even properly recite prayers in Finnish and hardly follow people’s conversation. However, out of love, my friends - prends - helped me understand everything. We danced together, got lost together, roamed around in beautiful Krakow together. Those are nice memories.
In today’s gospel, Jesus called me again to be his friend. This is the second time in 3 days.
Finally, it is the time to look back upon this year. We have received uncountable favors from Our Lady, so we thank our Mom for helping us. A multitude of events happened this year and I list some of those that really helped me and my friends to grow in faith.
1. The Youth Weekends.
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”.
Stella Maris. It is a Marian Shrine and activity center. It was consecrated to Our Lady a few years ago and every May since then, this vow has been renewed.
This Sunday’s first reading (Is 55:6-9) is on the difference between God’s plan and man’s plan. Apparently, we plan in different ways for Stella Maris. For some of us, it is a diocesan activity center; for some of us, it is a Marian sanctuary; for some of us, it is a parish. And for many other people and me, it is a spiritual home.
It was a blessing to hear catechesis from Fr. Jacques Philippe, who talked about relativism, faith, love and the Truth. We have also heard beautiful and touching testimonies from people who have experienced extreme conversions and now work as instruments of God.
A group of around 60 people from Finland and Verona, Italy, arrived in Međjugorje in Bosnia and Herzegovina on July 30, 2017. Our pilgrimage was arranged by Father Gianni Sgeva CP. One of the main reasons for the pilgrimage was the World Youth Festival, which takes place at Međjugorje on August 1-6. This year the theme of the Festival is That your love may grow more and more.
This is a blog about being young and Catholic in Finland.
Yiran, or Maria Micaela. Born in China but baptised in Spain (2015), student in Turku. Participant of the Youth Weekends at Stella Maris. Cooking, running and photography are my hobbies.