On 24th February, 11 of us including 6 YPC members, 3 new recruits, Saleh DSP pre-postulant, and myself spent the day in prayer, planning and relaxation. The place chosen was my family’s holiday house at Gorai. Right from 7:45 a.m. onwards the beautiful experience of togetherness began from Borivli station itself, waiting for each other and then welcoming the 3 new recruits, from Jeri Meri parish, Valentina, Jacklin and Remita, studying in the 11thStd at Divine Child Junior College, Andheri east. Beginning with the Lenten Recollection talk which I gave, we went into an active mental and spiritual state of reflecting on passages from the Bible, where God tells us “Do not Fear”. I based the talk on the Lenten reflection from our congregational site www.paoline.org, by Rosario Carello. They wrote instances from their life where there were difficulties, and they were afraid, until they had surrendered to God and it passed by. After this there was a time of silence as I gave them the sheet with the talk for a deeper assimilation of Carello’s reflection, “A Slow-moving bike and race”. The recollection, concluded with a sharing of their experience of the Lord’s goodness and faithfulness in their lives.
After the recollection we began planning for the year 2013. Before anything else, in view of the new recruits, we explained in simple terms who the Young Pauline Collaborators were and what was their vision and goal. The members also reiterate in short an informal report of all the activity carried out in the past year, since June 20, 2012, when we began. I also shared with them informative bits about our Provincial Chapter, specially about the discussion regarding the YPC. I also informed them of the new name, “Young Pauline Collaborators” and the possibility of there being a chance of having other such groups in different parts of the country where we had communities. It was a time for rejoicing and enthusiasm and of course thanksgiving to the Lord.
We had carried calendars with us, and we went from month to month, planning formative and service-oriented programmes. A recruitment drive was also planned. In the course of the planning we felt the need to have a set of guidelines which would help us to present ourselves to other youth and parish team members in a clearer light. We planned programmes for animating youth in parishes and vulnerable groups of society. The group felt the need to have at least one common service-oriented programme in collaboration with the Senior Pauline Co-operators. There was also an interest to insert themselves in the actual apostolic programmes of the Daughters of St Paul, specially helping in the Parish Displays on Sundays and at the stall which is put up for one week, during the Mt Mary feast at Bandra. A brochure needs to be prepared where we could also ask for funds to carry out our projects. A strong desire to have a session on the Year of Faith was felt.
After breaking for lunch at around 2:30 and about half the year of planning done, we decided to unwind a bit and took a nice walk down the beach, dipped our feet in the sea waters and walked back via the village glancing at the simple lifestyle of the inhabitants who are mostly fisher folk. We paid a visit to the parish church and prayed a few minutes as we admired the beautiful and ancient architecture which was still so well-maintained from pre-British, i.e. Portuguese colonial times. After a hot cup of tea at one of the families, we trodded back to complete the planning. Soon it was time to say good bye to good old Gorai. So we waited until we could hire a ‘tonga’ as we call it in the local language, which is but a horse carriage so that all of us could fit in and also enjoy the ride back to the Gorai creek. Once again we crossed the ferry, which had brought us to this side in the morning. It was parting time, and soon we said our goodbyes but no less enthusiastic about making concrete all that we had absorbed during the beautiful day that had passed, recollection, planning, fellowship and all.
Sr. Joeyanna, Bandra