On the 3rd to the 5th the Eastern Cape Youth Cluster celebrated Mini World Youth Day in Pallotti Farm where about 500 young people from five dioceses, namely Aliwal North, De Aar, Port Elizabeth, Queenstown and Umtata met. The reason for this gathering was for them to bond and know each other before going to the National Mini World Youth Day in Johannesburg in December and the Poland next year (2016) June. In deed it was a special celebration. I shall give just a short summary of what took place.
Friday 3rd July 2015
Young people were welcomed in a special way with a brass band from Whittlesea, after the registrations there was a rehearsal for mass. Fr. Potlako Sello from Umtata Diocese was the main celebrant at Holy Mass with Queenstown diocese youth leading in music. He reminded all the youth that they all have their roots in the foundation of the prophets and Apostles as the church was celebrating the Feast of St. Thomas. He mentioned that it is time for the youth to be active in all the church activities. There was supper and ice-breakers games that were led by the Port Elizabeth Diocese. That marked the end of day one.
Saturday 4th July
There was a morning prayer and then a good breakfast as people had a long day to face. Fr. Luthando Xhamlayo gave the first talk on the theme, “From a bench-warmer to a role player in the house of God”. He challenged everyone who was there to use their expertise and skills for the church to be what it should be. There came a very big but interesting debate from the youth and their worries or rather concerns about the church which priests who were there took care of. After the first talk the Bishop of PE, Bishop Zungu celebrated Mass with Umtata and Aliwal North leading in music both in IsiXhosa and Sesotho as they have these languages dominating in their dioceses. Most people were toughed by the psalm of the day “God speaks peace to His people” which made them realize how much the church needs them. After Mass there was lunch.
His Lordship Bishop Zungu gave his talk on Patience as a virtue. He challenged everyone to wait on the Lord in their day to day encounters but they should be patient. There was a slide show of a young man who fell on the race but his father came and helped him all the way. The moral of the story was even if we fall many times in our way or calling as Christians but we should be sure of our father who cannot judge but support us all the way. After this the youth went for playing, there were songs and dance which helped them a lot to know one another.
After supper each diocese was given five minutes to introduce themselves. Then the talent show followed which was very interesting and also uplifting to see how much talent we have in the Eastern Cape. From there we can say without doubt that De Aar can act, Queenstown also as they had a drama on the suicide in honor of a youth member who was laid to rest on that day due to suicide. Umtata can sing and they came with two groups who have gone to the extent of recording their music. PE also joyfully sang and Aliwal North specialized in traditional dance. It was really a weekend to be remembered. The national chaplain Fr. Mthembeni Dlamini CMM was so impressed and even invited the youth to be there in December and render such items, in what he said you could really see that the Church does need young people.
Sunday 5th July
His Lordship Bishop Mpako of Queenstown Diocese led mass on this day and his message to the youth was, we must be true prophets but we should know for sure that we will not be accepted everywhere especially in our own people as the Gospel of the day was saying about Jesus being rejected in His hometown. PE and De Aar led in music. There followed breakfast and the sad time to say goodbye after nice and uplifting celebrations. Most people were not ready to separate but Johannesburg was a consolation.
Thanks to anyone who contributed in the success of this event. Special thanks goes to Fr. Thembalethu Matywatywa, Queenstown youth chaplain and his executive for organizing the whole thing so well. God bless you and keep the good work up!!!
With love and prayers from the Diocesan Information Office