The Holy Father Pope Francis has declared this year as the year of Mercy to experience God’s infinite Mercy and Goodness in our everyday situations and to express the same merciful love of God, the Father towards our neighbours. Keeping in with the same theme, “Blessed are the Merciful”, the Youth fest was organized and celebrated by the Chennai Province on 20.08.2016 in Auxilium College, Vellore. The chosen 585 young people accompanied by the sisters from the 34 Salesian Schools and Colleges of Tamil Nadu actively and enthusiastically participated and 102 students from Auxilium College took active part in it. It was solemnly inaugurated by Rev. Sr. Magnificat Soosai, the Provincial of Chennai province with the releasing of balloons and the solemn procession proceeded to the Auditorium, accompanied by the Auxilium School band. The theme song was song by all the young people at the start of the event. Rev. Sr. Magnificat Soosai delivered athe inaugural address on the theme and exhorted the young people to be loving and compassionate with oneself and others.
In the second session, a panel of five members – Rev. Fr. David Maria Selvam, Youth animator from Citadel, Chennai spoke about the “Merciful Father” followed by Sr. Jayaceli, Asst. Professor, Department of Tamil, Auxilium College enlightened the audience about the “Merciful Son”. Mrs. Amutha, Asst. Professor, Department of English, Auxilium College, explained how mercy can be expressed in the families followed by a past pupil and a present College student’s sharing about their experiences about the importance of “Receiving Mercy and Imparting Mercy to others”. They shared their experience of trust in God, obedience to elders, forgiveness and the joy of sacrificing some of the comforts for the sake of others.
After the coffee break, after the penitential service ten priests were available for confession and the young people approached the sacrament of reconciliation. There was also group discussion in which the participants were divided into 25 groups and were given two questions to discuss: 1.What are the works of Mercy which you have carried out in your life? 2. Enumerate the ways one can resemble Jesus Christ through works of Mercy.
The young people were asked to express their ideas in a pictorial form. All the group members creatively presented their ideas. To mark the year of Mercy a solemn Mass was concelebrated by five priests. Rev. Paulraj, Youth animator from Don Bosco animation centre explained the Corporal and Spiritual works of Mercy.
The hallmark of the day was the cultural programme. The theme of the day was expressed creatively in the form of different Dance dances like classical, Western, Kollattam, Kailattam etc, Skit, Mime, Choreography etc. The young people expressed through the cultural programme their talents and originality. The youth enjoyed and learned many things from the day’s programme and they expressed their gratitude for organizing the grand Youth Fest and they thanked spontaneously the Salesian sisters. They departed to their respective places enriched with the day’s programme. As a token of love and appreciation of their joyful participation in the youth fest the young people were given a Souvenir each.