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Spreading the message of family and love in daily life
By Fr. Mani Lazar SDB
Chennai, Nov. 26. Family and Love, was the theme around which the spiritual journey of Youth Awake - Season 2 started on February 25, 2017 and continued every last Saturday of each month, till October 28, 2017. Youth Awake is a retreat that refreshes and revitalises, and gives the opportunity to spend more time in prayer, to contemplate and rekindle one's relationship with God.
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''We have started this spiritual journey through night vigils and each month a diverse Biblical character was handpicked from Abraham of Old Testament to Cornelius of New Testament, for us to reflect. We have not only reflected on these heroic biblical icons but we have applied them to our daily life,'' informs Fr. Mani Lazar SDB, INM Province Youth Director.

Youngsters from various parishes gathered in one of the Salesian parishes in Chennai region. After praise and worship in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, the chosen biblical character of the month was disseminated with a deeper understanding in line with the theme. This session was followed by the practical application of the Biblical icons to the day to day life.

After completing nine consecutive night vigils, a full day retreat was held at Lourdes Shrine, Perambur where 327 youngsters from various parishes and institutions (Perambur, Vyasarpadi, Sathyamoorthi Nagar, Ayanavaram, Thiruvalluvar Nagar, Broadway, Puzhal, Sagayathottam, Metha Nagar, Chetpet and Thiruvotriyur) participated in this spiritual renewal. There were 20 confessors and spiritual lay counsellors assisting the youngsters and many of them have utilised the sacrament of reconciliation during this retreat. The entire praise and worship session was done by Don Bosco Voices (DBV) and Bosco Brass Band (BBB). Many youngsters gave their testimony and it was a great help for others to grow strong in Catholic faith. The Retreat was animated by Fr. Parthiban SDB, Fr. David SDB and Fr. Mani Lazar SDB. The place, food and other logistics were done by Fr. Deva Joe SDB, Fr. Pappuraj SDB, Fr. Thama SDB and Fr. Jamesraj SDB.

This well planned night vigil series of 'Youth Awake - Season 2' has come to a beautiful end for the year 2017. More than 50 youngsters voiced their wish to continue the night vigil in the coming year 2018, too. ''So, we will be resuming Youth Awake - Season 3 from February 2018. The Youth Awake is a collective effort of the Youth Pastoral departments of Chennai Province, namely, Deepagam, Niraivagam and DBYES. Through this spiritual exercise, we try to ​actualize the statement of Don Bosco - Dear Boys, in your presence I don't sin and in my presence you don't sin,'' says Fr. Lazar.

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