MYSORE, India - “You who are young, be happy while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth.”- Ecclesiastes 11:9. “Yuva Milana” (Get-together of the Young), an eagerly anticipated program by both fathers and brothers was held again this year in Guru Mandir, our Postulancy house in Mysore. The ceremony was inaugurated on the 18th of October 2019 with the lighting of the lamp by Rev. Fr. Joseph Joseph, the Provincial of SMM India, along with SMM Fathers Selva Kumar (Vicar Provincial), Reny Joseph (Councilor), David Joseph (Rector of Gurumandir), Amalraj and Deepak (both in charge of Yuva Milana).
The theme of the program for this year was “Building Fraternal Communion Without Borders”. We were 110 altogether and were equally divided into four different groups with our young fathers as mentors. The title of each group was inspired by our Founder, Father de Montfort, namely ‘Montfort Soldiers’, ‘Montfort Conquerors’, ‘Montfort Contenders’ and ‘Montfort Radicals’.
In his inaugural address, Fr. Joseph mentioned the significance of young people quoting the Post Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, “Christus Vivit” and addressed the seminarians as young people who should be in a hurry and be hungry to learn new things and have the courage to take risks in developing one's skill with passion. He also motivated the young seminarians to be happy for their mistakes because ‘being wrong is an opportunity to learn the truth’. He further encouraged them to strive hard to be the best.
During the program, the young seminarians had the chance to dynamically partake in various activities such as sports, presentation of the life themes of St. Montfort, cultural programs, quiz and promotion of teamwork, fraternity and integrity. On the evening of the 19th of October, everyone including the laity actively took part in praying the Rosary with the candle procession, promoting the spirituality of St. Louie-Marie de Montfort. Then it was followed by a Holy Mass as we celebrated the second anniversary of the renowned Grotto, Our Lady of Favors.
On the morning of the final day, the 20th of October, we had the Institution of the Acolyte of our Bros. Lucas Dang, Anthony Allan and Santhosh Prabhu. Rev. Mgr. Rozario Menezes, SMM, the Bishop of Lae, preceded the celebration and preached a meaningful homily on the importance of Mission in the vocation that is presented to each one of us.
The day was concluded with a grand cultural evening as we awarded every group with gifts. During the concluding ceremony, we thanked the Provincial and the team for their initiation. We valued the excellent work of the organizers especially Frs. Amalraj and Deepak who worked hard together to organize, gather funds, prepare video presentations, distribute T-Shirts and gifts. We also acknowledged the special role of the animators and mentors who took great efforts for the smooth running of the program. We jotted down as well few observations and suggestions to make Yuva Milana even better with quality and purpose in the coming years.
In conclusion, Yuva Milana 2019 was a time to remember, laugh, celebrate, share our old stories and make new memories. It was a reunion that strengthened the bond of the Montfortian family and also reminded us the gift of belonging.
Fr. Nashwin, SMM