National Youth Convention – Shillong
Due to heavy traffic we reached late to the venue and thus I missed the welcome march and mass. But I reached when the North East was showcasing its rich culture through the various forms of dancing. After a wonderful cultural evening we retired to bed.
Next morning, 14th October, we started with the morning prayer by the Taize brothers, followed by inaugural function with the chief guest, the governor of Meghalaya Shree Musahari.
The three days in Shillong, we had rejuvenating talks, workshops on various current issues and cultural programs at night by different regions of India, and who can forget the live performances by the very talented north eastern bands and choirs. I was a part of the workshops on peace building by Fr. Jerry Thomas and prolife by Mr. Sebastian Kattukaren. Both these workshops broadened by horizons and filled me with the spirit to do something for the society at large.
I made a lot of friends from different parts of the country, learnt a lot about the Indian diversity. I also enjoyed being a part of the Eucharistic Celebration in the Syro Malankara and Syro Malabara rites.
But the cherry on the cake was the Concluding Eucharistic Celebration by His Excellency Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio, who is the Apostolic Nuncio in India. The Holy Mass was attended by more than 1,00,000 Catholics from Shillong and nearby diocese. His Excellency Archbishop Salvatore read out the message from Holy Father, His Highness Pope Benedict XVI for the youth of India. During the sermon the Archbishop Salvatore appealed to the youth of India to take out time from there mobiles, sms, internet, television and to give that time at the service of Our Lord Jesus.
During the closing ceremony of the VIII National youth Convention, the venue for next youth convention was selected, the venue being the city of Jalandhar.
I knew I was taking back home a lot of things from Shillong (no I am not talking about the shopping I did...), I learnt a lot, enjoyed a lot, and met youth from all backgrounds. It was a great experience altogether.