BIS #7119 SYMBIOS 2023 in Ahmednagar

By Fr Ajay D’Monte for BISMumbai

SYMBIOS 2023 unfolded its vibrant chapters at Don Bosco, Savedi, on 9 and 10 December 2023. 96 enthusiastic youngsters from three Salesian parishes and neighbouring villages in the Ahmednagar region converged for this event. Under the overarching theme, 'His Words, Our Actions', the youth immersed themselves in the profound essence of Jesus’ teachings, translating them into lived experiences.

The event commenced at 9:00 a.m. as participants registered, each receiving a camp kit that would accompany them during their time at SYMBIOS. The ice-breaking activities that swiftly ensued set an engaging tone, fostering an atmosphere of fun and friendship. What set SYMBIOS 2023 apart was that the entire programme was meticulously planned and executed by vibrant young minds.

Fr James Tuscano, the youth delegate of the Ahmednagar region, extended a warm welcome, officially inaugurating SYMBIOS 2023. Fr Christopher Vas, the Youth Director of the Diocese of Vasai, was the Chief Guest slated to lead sessions aligning with the event's theme.

Fr Vas, in his inaugural session, illuminated the youth on the richness of the Bible for their lives, urging them to delve into its teachings. The youth then gathered for a meaningful Eucharistic celebration. Post-lunch, the entertainment team invigorated the atmosphere with the action song, paving the way for the second session on 'Holy Bible and the Life of Youth.' Fr Vas accentuated the significant role youth play in the Bible and highlighted examples of their detachment from God.

Evening festivities featured animated games and a session led by Fr Briston Britto on 'Youth and the Church,' fostering insightful group discussions and reflections on role models within the Catholic Church. The evening unfolded with a soulful Taize prayer and a grand campfire, showcasing the talents of the youngsters through skits and mono-acts depicting the lives of saints. 

On the second day, Fr Vas delved into reflections on the fear of God's call and the Bible, urging the youth to chart the course of their lives. Sharing his own vocation story and those of others, he paved the way for the fourth session, emphasising 'His Words and Our Actions' and charting the way forward. Fr Ashely Miranda, the Vice Provincial, graced the event as the main celebrant for the Holy Eucharist. In his homily, he inspired the youth to discern the love of God in their lives, stressing that God's love is boundless.

SYMBIOS 2023 in Ahmednagar culminated with a festive lunch, a musical finale, and dance sessions. The youth departed not only with a deeper understanding of God's love but also with a commitment to act upon His words, carrying cherished memories of newfound connections and the celebration of their vibrant youthfulness.