The greatness of youth is never to be underestimated! Despite the propensity for striking a pose of disinterest, utter boredom, or aggravated ennui, teenagers actually love creativity, service and working together.
Speaking to youth in Toronto World Youth Day 2002, St John Paul II affirmed: “People are made for happiness. Rightly, then, you thirst for happiness. Christ has the answer to this desire of yours. But he asks you to trust him. True joy is a victory, something which cannot be obtained without a long and difficult struggle. Christ holds the secret of this victory.” (Welcoming Address, 2)
In Canada, our sisters have had the privilege of accompanying a group of young people in Peterborough for two major events: a production of “St Joan of Arc” adapted from the play by St Therese of the Child Jesus, and a children’s festival in honor of St John Bosco.
Catholic Tradition of Theater Even in Carmel
St Therese of the Child Jesus composed a play in honor of St Joan of Arc during the years of her beatification process. She led the efforts to perform the work for her sisters within Carmel. The Peterborough youth took on the same challenge!
During the second half of the play, Joan of Arc is captured by the English, spends time in a dungeon, is visited by the saints, and accepts death when falsely accused.
Good job to the actors, backstage crew, and sisters who worked so hard!
Don Bosco Oratory Festival – More Examples of Youth at Work in Carnival and Stage!
After the prayer in honor of St John Bosco (affectionately still called “Don Bosco” according to the form of address for priests in 19th century Italy), the youth went to work attending their booths for the younger kids to enjoy in a carnival!
The spirit of joy and of positive activities for youth are central to the message and legacy of Don Bosco and the Salesians whom he founded. We, too, have been very influenced and inspired by his life and works.
In all our apostolates and in our daily prayer we seek to support the young people of today. Let youth be invited to be creative, enthusiastic and joyful! This is what God has planted in each heart, and it is a foretaste of the greatness of eternal life. With Jesus, authentic joy allows youth to be courageous in following Christ on the paths of their lives. Don Bosco, pray for us!