42 delegates from 5 provinces gathered for the weekend session on 'The Culture of Young People & Vocations' in Bordeaux, France 9-11 February 2018.
From England Sisters Clare Bernadette, Cathy, Emmanuel and Carolyn were joined by Fr. Erik Samson (Assumptionist Father), Helen (Assumption Volunteers), Anne Marie (Assumption Youth) and young people: Ciara, Caroline and Tra-my. Thank you for Sr Marie-Valerie, who organised the meeting, the intensive weekend gave opportunity for exchange of experiences and ideas, we listened to stimulating talks and reflections. There was a great joy, hope and enthusiasm shared within the group for the future of Assumption Youth ministry in Europe.
It was obvious to me that the Assumption family spirit of the Bicentennial Pilgrimage, was very much alive at our European Assumption Youth Gathering in Bordeaux. The weekend was an enriching experience both socially and spiritually. Old friends were reunited and new ones easily made. We felt immediately connected with each other because of our Assumption identity. Cultural and language barriers were transcended by our desire to communicate with and accompany each other. The social activities helped us to form bonds of friendship between all gathered, whether that was discussing our experiences over a meal, exploring the city, creating a HUGE whatsapp group or acting out scenes together. The topics presented enabled us to delve deeper into our faith and dare to ask questions, which required us to journey further as young Catholics. We were humbled to learn that the Bishop, Sisters and lay workers genuinely valued our opinions, suggestions and experiences. Their eagerness to plan events for us made us feel valued and gave our gathering purpose. The weekend was intense but drew us further into the Assumption family and increased our passion for the Assumption spirit. I would like to thank the FIAT team for proposing this gathering, the European Provincials for their eagerness for us all to take part and especially Sister Marie Valérie for her tireless work that made this vision a reality.
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