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Brikama Parish host second National Youth Cross Weekend

Jun 15, 2011, 3:33 PM | Article By: FR. EDU GOMEZ - Parish of the Resurrection, Brikama General Secretary Gambia Christian Council

The Resurrection Parish, Brikama seems to be the heart beat of the Catholic Diocese of Banjul. Within two months, three memorable events were celebrated in grand style. The first was Father Edu’s priestly silver jubilee celebration, the annual parish feast and lastly the hosting of the annual Youth Cross weekend. The latter was held last weekend, 10th -12th June 2011.

It could be remembered that last year during the celebration of the year of the priests, a day was proposed to celebrate with the youths of the diocese. This activity was marked with a long procession of youths and adults with a giant cross of Jesus Christ from the Fajikunda Parish to St. Peter’s Parish, Lamin. This event was hailed as a tremendous and memorable success because it brought joy and happiness to all who participated.

Last weekend, 10-12th June 2011, the event of the National Youth Cross was repeated in Brikama Parish. The weekend entailed the long procession with the giant cross of Christ, a talk and forum for faith discussions, carnival dance entertainment and thanksgiving mass to end the weekend.

Friday, 10th June was the first day and youths from the various parishes gathered in large numbers at the gate of the Gambia College at 4.30pm, where the procession began. The youths sang with great joy and danced to gospel music. The procession went through the streets of Brikama and ended at the Presentation Upper Basic School after two hours. The evening was concluded with prayer devotion and youths retired sleep after nice dinner.

The second day of the weekend was Saturday 11th June 2011 and the day began with the celebration of Holy mass at 7am followed by breakfast. The main activity of the day was a talk and faith deliberations, which was led by Father Edu Gomez, the host priest. He led the youths to reflect on the theme of the day, i.e “Firm in faith, we walk in the footsteps of Christ” (col2:6-7).

Father Edu challenged and encouraged the youths not to be passive but active in their commitment to their faith. He underlined the following points quoting from Blessed John Paul II, which the youths should take note of:

1. The youths should see their baptism as a source of their calling, identity and dignity in Christ so that they can offer their services always in the Church.

2. The youths should look outward and go out to live the gospel, speak the gospel and make the gospel know and affect change in society.

3. The youths should be reminded that they grow to have various vacations but in all these they should work together to build the Kingdom of God.

4. Lastly, they youths should be given ongoing formation so that they can grow into maturity to know their calling better to walk in the footsteps of Christ.

After Father Edu’s talk, the youths gathered in groups of various forms to discuss more on the talk.

The climax of Saturday evening was the carnival entertainment and dance. The youths dressed up in different tribal attires took to the streets of Brikama again singing and dancing to their delight. The carnival dance began from the presentation school, where they resided to the Gambia College gate and back. Everyone including passersby in the streets could not help but danced with the jubilating youths.

Sunday, 12th June was the third and last day of the weekend and it was the feast of Pentecost day. It was marked with the celebration of holy mass of thanksgiving with a much larger congregation of over one thousand worshippers from Brikama and other parishes. Father David Jarju, Vicar General was the celebrant together with Fathers Edu, Bruno, and Yenes. Father Jarju dealt in his sermon on the meaning of Pentecost and later challenged the youths to be self reliant in their venture to seek funds for the activities of the youth cross weekend. He advised that they should first look for their own ways and means of getting funds instead of relying on others.

The mass was followed by a lunch for all who attended and the next National Youth Cross weekend was pronounced to be held in the Cathedral Church, Banjul in 2013. This means that the organizers shifted the event from being an annual even to a bi-annual event. All these activities for the youths were held by the Catholic Church for the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ among youths and to the glory of God.