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Youth Ministry in « Mexico Central »

05/05/2010: Mexico

On 11, 12, 13 and 14 March, the National Camp of Friends on the March was held at a place called Camp Marist, in the region of the Azufres, surrounded by an impressive forest. The fresh air of the woods facilitated and encouraged the work.
The National Team, accompanied by a support team and mothers who were going to prepare the meals, set out several hours earlier so that all would be ready for the beginning of this experience so looked forward to.

When all was ready, the participants arrived from our schools in the following order: Instituto México Toluca, Colegio México, Colegio Pedro Martínez Vázquez, Colegio Jacona Marista, Instituto Sahuayense, Colegio Esperanza and Colegio Marcelino Champagnat. They numbered 324, and included the Friends, guides, co-ordinators, the support team and the kitchen mothers. We formed a great family!

The central value of our « Escalada Azul » is love of the homeland; no better pretext for our camp than the Bicentenary of our independence, with the aim of reviving the values which have given meaning to our nation: Equality, Liberty, Democracy and Justice.

To better involve the children in our history, we presented three key historical moments in our independance: the first, when Hidalgo, Allende and Aldama decided to advance the beginning of independance and the priest called on his followers to take up arms ; a day before the end of our camp a video was shown which featured the moment when Guerrero and Iturbide decided on a cease-fire, signed by the famous « accolade d’Acatempan ». The show finished with an enactment of the Treaty of Cordova, where Iturbide asked Juan de O’Donojú for the independence of our country with the words: « Let us try to untie the knot without cutting it ». A representative from each patrol, in the name of his comrades, signed this treaty, by which they promised to fight for the freedom of our country with the proper attitudes and sense of responsibility.

The patrols are named after the people who took part in the struggle for independance: Hidalgo, Josefa Ortiz, Vicente Guerrero, Ignacio Allende, Juan Aldama, José Ma. Morelos, Ignacio L. Rayón, Agustín de Iturbide, Leona Vicario, Andrés Quintana Roo, Guadalupe Victoria and Mariano Abasolo.

Under the motto « 200 years proudly Mexican », and in an atmosphere of joy, friendship and work, our camp enjoyed great success. The topics « Values of the Bicentenary » and « History, we are the ones who make it », night games, track races, rallies, prayers, songs and games, all provided an ideal framework for continuing to work on « new hearts for a new world ».

Another significant moment was the Eucharist celebrated in contact with nature. The priest invited the children to become friends of Jesus and true children of God by their actions.
Finally we can say that the Camp of Friends on the March was blessed by Jesus and our Good Mother. They were certainly there in every smile, every shout, through fatigue, conversations and the different experiences.

National Assembly of Cities for the second and third Secondary classes

Under the motto « Young hearts which renew the world », pupils from the 8 Marist schools of the Province gathered at Querétaro on 19, 20 and 21 March. The days were an ideal time for sharing life through games, songs, reflection: a beautiful space for encountering reality.

The young people had the possibility of living and sharing their time and activities in different houses where the suffering are cared for: « Asilo Sans Sebastián », House of the « Niñas de Jesús », « Comedor de San Isidro », Catechetical centre and School for the Blind and Part sighted. Little by little the pilgrims came to meet Jesus, Jesus in the face of a child, an old person, a hard-working woman. It was in following their hearts that they looked at life, with simplicity, hope and passion.

The Assembly also counted on the enthusiastic participation of the Marist postulants, who collaborated in the various activities and joined with the pupils of the second and third secondary classes.

There was a rally in the city of Querétaro, which coloured the streets with orange and created young rivers of joy and life, inviting the passers-by to joint them, to sing, to play, to help, and to come to know a little better what it is to be a young Marist.

Towards the end of the gathering and by way of prayer, the participants reflected on those people who, through their ideas, dreams, and witness, have transformed the world, and are, in our day, models announcing that the Kingdom of God is possible, here, on earth.

National Assembly of Cities for the first Secondary classes

It was a week-end when God’s gift was shown in a light rain, the stars in the firmament, the clear dawn with the fragrance of life, the landscapes which will constitute a magnificent souvenir of Camp Marist of the Azufres, Mich. This activity was a space for sharing – games, songs, and prayer – where the youth of eight cities gathered around an enthusiastic team of parents, teachers, and Marist brothers. Thanks to them, this experience allowed the sowing of a message of hope, an invitation to keep an open heart, attentive to the needs of humanity.

An ideal week-end to make new friends and encounter Jesus through the prayer which punctuated the meeting a number of times. Thus it was possible to take on new commitments, to share dreams, to show gratitude for the possibilities life offers us.

A week-end when the Heart of the young gave meaning to the present world situation and to the importance of keeping one’s senses watchful so as not to become habituated to violence, to suffering and to the destruction which seem so common.

A week-end which united « sister » schools, where the charism of Marcellin is spread and encourages this sort of activity, so that these spaces remain sowers of hope for setting out with Mary to take the message of Jesus to new lands.

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