Focus 2007

Easter at Madrid - SMA01-06-2007

Project: Easter celebrations with the young
Date of foundation: Easter each year
Place: Madrid province (cities and towns)
Province: Madrid (SMA)

One of the activities of faith formation for young people which the Salesian province of Madrid has been working on, is the Holy Week ceremonies and celebration.

Easter with the Young
‘Easter with the young’ brings together around 350 young people from across the province of varying types and levels. In Easter with the Young they find opportunity to celebrate Holy Week by reflecting on Jesus’ passion and resurrection and their significance for Christian living. Personal prayer, groups, then full assembly, reflecting especially on celebration of the liturgical events, which helps them understand the content of these days. The initiative is aimed at helping young people to udnerstand, in an appropriate language and setting, the central mysteries of the Christian faith.

Easter in the Province
Around 250 took part in the so-called Province Easter events. There were males and females from 16 to 25 years of age. In all there were three of these gatherings, in various Salesian settingss, at three different levels. Those taking part could only participate once at each level, and between the second and third level, they are asked to take a pause for at least a year in terms of participation, the idea being that they are meant to be a part of their own parish celebrations (or other point of reference) for that year.

The first level was held at the Salesian House at Arévalo (Ávila), for 16 year olds. This is the first occasion for them of such an experience, and it has an educational slant so the participatns can understand and experience these days of celebration. The second level, for 17 year olds took place at La Adrada (Ávila), and this focused on the person of Jesus and the Paschal mystery. The third level took place at the Youth Spirituality House in Mohernando (Guadalajara), where 19 year olds and beyond took part. Most of them are leaders in other youth centres. At this gathering silence, prayer and personal as well as a plan of life, held first place.

Easter in the City and suburbs
The City Easter event involving 150 young people this year, had them celebrating Easter in their own parishes. Here they took part in their parish celebrations, helped with the liturgy as well as finding opportunities for reflection both personal and group, organised especially for them.

Easter celebrations with the young forms part of a formation curriculum in faith which is offered by Salesian parishes and youth centres around the Province. Efforts are made to see that this is no isolated experience in their journey to Christian maturity. A good presence of Salesians, leaders, Salesian Sisters, make this an excellent opportunity for personal accompaniment in faith.