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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

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Day 4 - Saturday
The participants were allowed a sleep-in this morning and after they arose from their deep sleeps to a warm and hearty breakfast. Today’s theme was ‘We as the Image of God’ and this was portrayed to everyone during Morning Prayer where we were each given a piece of a puzzle to write our gifts and talents on the back. These pieces were then put together to form the image of Christ.

Today’s talk was given by Jess and Rasika. They shared their encounter of the 2011 World Youth Day pilgrimage to Aix-en-Provence, France and Madrid, Spain. Rasika shared her story of experiencing the life of St. Eugene de Mazenod and the Oblates. She described how the charism of the Oblates was truly enlightened by her journey through the south of France.
Jess then described her travels through Spain to the International Oblate Encounter in Malaga, Spain and then her personal encounter with the example of faith left behind by the legacy of the Spanish martyrs in Pozuelo. Their stories inspired us as to how pilgrimages can highlight that when we are gathered together we are truly the image of God.

Following a delicious morning tea, we watched a DVD about the Spanish martyrs. Being a true story that is close to our hearts, it was very touching. We then went into our share groups to discuss how fighting for our faith is an important challenge we must face and the inspiration we received from this DVD will enable us to do so.

Again we enjoyed lunch outdoors, and then began the group photo session. Following this paparazzi parade we went to our final workshop for the encounter. This then led into community time, where once again the participants had the chance to socialise and grow in friendship.
The afternoon group activity included us writing affirmations for one another and took the time to review the NOYE and reflect on what we want from OYA in the future. A dinner of roast beef and vegetables nourished our hungry stomachs and prepared us for the night ahead.

We gathered outdoors before our Final Mass so that we could truly appreciate the wonders of God’s work and then as we processed to the Main Hall for Mass we chanted a psalm, which united us in one voice. The Final Mass, as always, was nothing short of a Fini spectacular, where he emphasised that we are all truly and uniquely beautiful and as the image of God we are the patrons of the Church today.

Ending Mass on a high note we began the ‘After Party’ where the band pumped us up with some great tunes to rock the night away!

We were all so pleased to hear from many of you. We thank you for your prayers over this encounter and we all can’t wait for next year!

God Bless,
The NOYE team

And here's a special surprise dance for you from Emma!

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