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Youth celebrate family, promote peace
By C.M. Paul
Kolkata, Jan. 23.  An international group of young people from 30 Salesian institutions of Calcutta province spread out in India and Nepal celebrated family values and promote social harmony holding a peace rally in Kolkata, 20-23 January.

Various sections of the Salesian family including Fathers, Brothers, Sisters, Cooperators and alumni pitched in to organize various events of the fest such as animators and sponsors.
Some 500 young people took part in the youth fest events held at Don Bosco School Park Circus. The youth belonged to institution run by Salesians and Salesian Sisters spread out in Bengal, Jharkand, Sikkim and Nepal.

''Youth Fest 2017 is the celebration of our oneness in the Don Bosco family,'' said Father (Dr) Nirmol Gomes, Provincial of Kolkotta explaining the theme of the fest 'We are a family, every home a school of life and love.'

Recalling the words of Pope Francis and Rector Major of the Salesians, province youth Director Br Lawrence Mondal told young people gathered at Don Bosco School Park Circus, ''We are asked to make the world a home, like a big family, play ground of friends, of apprenticeship of life, of encounter with God.''

Speaking to Matters India Brother Mondal explained the main objective of the Youth Fest 2017, ''to interiorize the motto of the year Rector Major gave to Salesian Family worldwide - 'We are a Family' with lots of group dynamics and leadership programs which will enable them to think, speak, act prudently and maturely as responsible members in the family and the Church at large.''

The four day events consisted of catechesis in language groups of English, Bengali, Hindi, Santali and Nepali and Biblical item competitions on the youth fest theme.
The days' events were interspersed with friendship games, praise and worship, celebration of the sacraments of reconciliation and Holy Eucharist.

One of the highlights of the fest was two kilometer peace rally held on Sunday afternoon 22 January from Don Bosco School Park Circus to Loreto School Entally, the institution which nurtured the call of St Teresa of Calcutta to work for the poorest of the poor.

The youth under the leadership of the Principal of Don Bosco School Park Circus Fr Bikash Mondal took out a peace rally along C.I.T. Road on to Mothijheel slum in which Mother Teresa started her work. The young people carried placards with statements on the need of peace, fellowship and harmony.

The youth dressed in their traditional and ethnic attire arrived at Loreto Entally and gathered at the Marian grotto to pray for peace within and among families, and for harmony among people in the country.

The highlight of the evening was dance Night, DJ Band and Celebrity Show starting with Mr Peter Gomes and THE MESSENGERS, a Kolkata band consisting of music teachers from leading city schools getting youngsters into dancing and rocking to popular Biblical numbers in English, Sadri, and Hindi.

Bengali actress and youth icon Pallavi Chatterjee made a celebrity appearance from her shooting schedule and motivated youth to ''be positive in their attitude towards life and respect their elders to be blessed in life.''
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