Friday, 12 August 2011

Heading towards Madrid

It all began in June last year, when Joachim, the then Youth Coordinator of our parish, St. Francis of Assisi, approached me to be spiritual director of the core team for planning the participation of World Youth Day in Madrid. The core team consists of 4 members (Joachim, Andrew, Magdalene and Julia), who participated in the WYD Sydney 2008. They had never organized such group before, yet because of their positive experiences, they decided to give this service to the parish. We met each month to discuss and plan for the promotional actitivites leading up to the actual recruitment.

This first general meeting with interested participants was in December. There were more than 25 in the list and we had actually decided to keep the group to less than 20. The final confirmed number was 18.

Our monthly meeting began in February as follows:

2nd Tuesday -- Group Adoration
3rd Saturday -- Formation Class with invited speakers
Alternate month -- bonding sessions outside Church

Also, all participants had 1-to-1 meeting with me once a month for spiritual direction and personal sharing.

We had 2 little fund-raising and exhibitions in June and July, mainly to bring more awareness to the parishioners, so that they can also be involved in some ways. In fact, the response was overwhelming. Many gave us petitions to be brought to various places: Avila, Madrid, Rome, etc.

In the midst of all these, the core team continued to meeet once a month for planning and discussion. I am really impressed by their dedication especially Andrew, who was not even going to Madrid.

All these preparation led to a day of Recollection, with Fr. Fred Quek who gave us a very practical sharing in preparing for the coming event. The sending off Mass the following day concludes our preparation towards and began a new phase of our journey.

So, finally, on 12 August 2011, about 14 (2 already went ahead and the other 2 will leave later) of us met at Singapore Changi Airport and head towards Madrid.

Here we come Madrid!

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