BIS #7135 Celebrating Hope at SYMBIOS Mumbai 

By Mr Leander Pereira for BISMumbai

SYMBIOS 2024, held at the Don Bosco Matunga Campus, was a unique overnight event that brought together 200 youngsters from various Salesian institutions across the Mumbai region on 20 January 2024. 

With the theme ‘Rejoicing in Hope’, inspired by Pope Francis' message to the youth, the event offered a blend of spiritual, cultural, and educational experiences from the evening of 20 January overnight until the morning of 21 January.

The event commenced with an inspiring inaugural speech by the Provincial, Fr Savio Silveira, who eloquently traced Don Bosco's dream, his mission and the global fruition of his works. His words set a motivational tone, resonating with the event's theme of hope.

Participants wrote down their hopes and aspirations, attaching these notes to a beautifully decorated 'Tree of Hope.' These notes, symbolising their prayers and dreams, were to be later exchanged among the participants to be offered during the Holy Eucharist.

After some engaging icebreakers and dinner, everyone was ready for the forthcoming activities, which began with a cultural presentation featuring dances, songs and drama based on the theme of hope.

SYMBIOS 2024 featured insightful sessions like ‘Your Freedom, Your Rights’ by Fr Ivan D’Souza SJ, which highlighted the importance of human rights and personal freedom, and ‘Rejoicing in Hope’ by Fr Cletus D'Souza, which provided an uplifting perspective on maintaining hope. The Open Table discussion, led by the Salesians, offered a platform for open dialogue and the exchange of ideas among the participants.

A spiritually enriching praise and worship session led by Don Bosco Youth Services (DBYS) created an atmosphere of reverence and communal prayer. The Holy Eucharist was celebrated by newly ordained priests and was solemn and reflective. After the Mass, the newly-ordained shared their vocation stories, offering valuable insights and guidance to the youth.

The event concluded with a fun and energising Zumba session at six in the morning, marking a successful end to the overnight celebrations. Feedback from animators and participants alike was overwhelmingly positive, noting the event's impactful blend of joy, spirituality, and community engagement. The overnight format added a unique dimension, allowing for an immersive and memorable experience. 

SYMBIOS 2024 at Don Bosco, Matunga, was a remarkable event that was a celebration of hope among young people.