Łódź (Poland). From 15 to 17 October 2021 in Łódź, at the Community of St. John Bosco of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of the PLJ Province, the Interprovincial meeting of the young people of the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) of the FMA realities of Mary Help of Christians Provinces (PLA ) and Our Lady of Jasna Góra (PLJ).
“Eternally young” is the theme of the meeting organized by the young people of the SYM and the FMA, coordinated by Sr. Iwona Szymanik (PLJ) and Sr. Dorota Grzywacz (PLA), with reference to the history of the pioneering FMA who, like Abraham, left in 1922 towards the Polish land, following the voice of God and His promise, in the year in which is celebrated the 100th anniversary of FMA presence in Poland.
The meeting began with the prayer of Lauds, the presentation of the hymn of the 100th anniversary, and the Eucharistic celebration, presided over by Fr. Andrzej Wujek, Salesian of Don Bosco of St. Stanislao Kostka Province (PLE). Later, the young people participated in the formation workshops around the words addressed by God to Abraham, “Go forth from your land, your relatives, and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you.” (Gen 12 : 1).
The biblical passage accompanied the participants in the revision of their personal faith journey, entrusted to Jesus during the time of Adoration in which they had the opportunity to approach the Sacrament of Reconciliation. After the prayer, the recreation concluded with the ‘Jubilee cake’ and the Salesian Goodnight. It was an expression of the family spirit and the joy of being together after a long break due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Group games, dance, song and prayer, and workshops marked the different moments lived. Each group presented themselves creatively, indicating the name of the city of origin on the map of Poland.
The days ended with the Eucharist celebrated by Fr. Przemysław Solarski SDB of the PLE Province, who in his homily described the journey of faith as a dynamic path, which is born from listening, brings joy and motivates action, glory to God, and in turn generates faith in others.
The meeting in Łódź was an opportunity for the young people and the FMA to study together the history of the beginnings of the FMA Institute in Poland, arousing joy and hope for today and for tomorrow.
Some impressions of the participants:
“The climate was wonderful. It didn’t matter if we knew each other or not, we took care of each other. We all tried not to add work to the organizers, we tried to integrate. We simply felt like we were in a big family”.
“This time has been full of joy, enthusiasm, and community life. The meeting concluded with Sunday Mass, praying for the FMA Institute and the young people. In the end, each one received a mirror to recall the beauty that the Lord has given us. And now … with joy and courage we set out! Let us allow ourselves to be guided by Jesus and Mary and let us try to be … ETERNALLY YOUNG!”.
“In the testimonies we heard during the celebration, I liked the idea of bringing joy to others. Seeing someone happy thanks to you makes one feel happy. We are all together again in Łódź, as SYM, after a long time in which we have not been able to meet. I feel like I’m back home after a long journey. I hadn’t seen my friends for a long time, now we are together and it seems that we had seen each other only yesterday”.
“The atmosphere is fantastic, I find myself with my friends, the Sisters, and above all with Christ”.
“From today’s reflections I learned that it is worth spending your free time helping people, and ‘not spending your life sitting on the sofa’. Despite the suffering, fear, and failures, we must not stop doing good and serving others”.
Photo: Flickr FMA PLJ