Youth Rally Bicentenary Celebration at City Of Hope Lusaka Zambia
3rd -7th July 2015 – Youth Rally Bicentenary Celebration at City Of Hope Lusaka Zambia
There was great joy at city of Hope, Lusaka- Zambia, the community of the Salesian sisters where the Youth Rally Bicentenary celebration took Place from the 3rd to the 7th of July 2015.
The youth Rally was organized by the FMA Pastoral of the AFM Province and the SDB Youth Delegate of the ZMB Province.
The Delegations of the youth comprised of young people from Namibia, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Zambia. The youth rally attracted over 900 hundred people. Present were 15 Salesian sisters, 5 FMA novices, 12 FMA Aspirants, 18 Salesian priests, 10 Salesian novices 4 Salesian Deacons and over 30 Salesian seminarians. In attendance was also a good number of Salesians coo-operators and lay people, who along with us all assisted the young people very well.
Friday- 3rd of July- The evening started with welcoming remarks and a prayer by Fr. Vincent Tembo, the sdb youth delegate, soon after the youth took to the stage with group introductions, based on the theme “Celebrating 200 years of Don Bosco’s Birth”. This was done with a lot of creativity and here one could witness the beauty of the various cultural expressions within our African context. The day was closed with a night prayer, which was conducted by city of Hope young people.
Saturday 4th of July. After breakfast and Morning Prayer, sr. Rysarda Piejko read the opening remarks sent by Sr. Julienne Munyemba our provincial who could not be with us. This was followed by two talks, the first one was on “Don Bosco and the Church”, given by Fr.Hamwete, newly ordained Sdb and the second one was on the “role of the youth in the Church” and it was given by Fr. Musonda Kaputula, a diocesan priest from the archdiocese of Kasama. The first talk was concluded with a group discussion and feed back to the assembly, while the second one was ended up with an open forum where the young people could ask questions to a panel of adults.
The pick moment of the 4th was the opening Mass, which was presided over by Fr. George Chalisery, the sdb provincial. In which the young people participated actively.
Worth highlighting still on the second day of the youth Rally was the evening Adoration, which was guided by Deacon Simba Sdb. The 900 plus young people and adults were all recollected in a prayerful silence, after which we all retired to sleep.
Sunday 5th July, This was our great day of the pilgrimage to the Marian shrine. At the beginning of the pilgrimage, Fr. Louis Malama had to climb on top of the minibus, to make sure that all the youth heard his explanation of the meaning of the pilgrimage. It was amazing to see the joyful multitude of young people on the street of Lusaka heading to Mother Mary’s shrine, carrying their painted Don Bosco Banners, singing with drums. The people in vehicles and those on foot stopped to look at what was happening on that Sunday morning.
Upon arrival at the Shrine, the youth were prepared for confession by Fr. Michael Mbandama sdb, after confessions we had Mass, which was presided over by Fr. Charles Mukuka, a Fransciscan priest. After Mass, we had our packed lunch and a free moment of relaxation and interaction before going back home. In the evening after supper we had Don Bosco Quiz.
Monday 6th of July, – We still had talks on our Christian calling and the call to religious life, these were co-presented by Mrs Veronica Pepala and Sr. Mulenga Florence FMA. This was followed by our closing Mass. In the afternoon we had sports.
Well appreciated on this day was the message of Sr. Runita Borja FMA, our Councilor for Youth ministry which she sent to the young people through email. Thanks a lot Sister Runita for following us with lots of love, prayer and support, we hope to see you in our province one day.
In the evening we had a competion on the various banners which the youth from different places had painted in honour of Don Bosco. This was followed by a great social evening. We concluded with price giving in the various activities.
Looking back, one can say that the Youth Bicentenary celebration was an expression of gratitude to God, who gave Don Bosco such a big heart. It was great to see young people from different back grounds being able to speak the common language transmitted to them through the Salesian charism. Yes Don Bosco lives and he shall continue to live as long as there will be committed Members of the Salesian family to carry on his dream. We give Glory to God for all what we have experienced during this special time. A special blessing from God upon all who contributed in one way or another to the success of this great day. May our Lady continue to intercede for us the grace of loving the young people who are entrusted to us in every corner of the World.
Report from: Sr. Constance Chanda Nsofwa FMA, Pastoral Team AFM Province.