Encountering God in daily life and in the community

Common Ground

For Saint John Bosco, young people and their journey of salvation were always central. He was called Father and Teacher of youth because of his dedication to young people and his commitment to help them become “Good Christians and Honest Citizens”. That is where we can find the connection between Don Bosco, founder of the Salesians, and Fr Franciszek Blachnicki, founder of the Light-Life Youth Movement (also known as OASIS), with its aim of helping young people on their journey to “Christian maturity” through formation.

New Beginning

This year the two charisms have met again, this time in Ireland, where after the summer retreat experience we wanted to continue our faith journey. Thanks to Fr Lukasz Nawrat, our Moderator, and his Salesian Community, we found our place at the Salesian House in Celbridge.

Since the beginning of the year, we have been meeting every 4 weeks, and now there are over 30 teenagers in total in our group. For the time of catechesis, we are divided into smaller groups. As one of the aims of the movement is sharing personal growth and faith experience with our peers, each group has a leader who animates the meeting. During this time, we all discuss specific topics relevant to the liturgical calendar year or other topics regarding our faith journey.

Usually, the meeting is divided into 5 parts: 

  1. Short prayer
  2. Reminder of what was discussed at the last meeting
  3. Discussion about the new topic
  4. Reading Bible passages relevant to the topic
  5. Sharing what we have learned/our thoughts.

The last element of our monthly meetings is a time of games and playing music/singing together. This strengthens the bond between us as a group and gives us a joyful community experience.

Personal and Community Experience

The central element of OASIS is a personal encounter with God in our daily life and sharing our own experiences with others.

“On a personal note, I am always happy to come to our meetings and my group. I always have a great time and we learn and grow together. I’m very glad to be a leader and am thankful for this opportunity. The topics we cover are interesting and I can teach them what I know but also learn new things about God through it. At the beginning a lot of our participants were quiet. But with time we bonded, and we have seen how much they’ve opened up to everyone. The Holy Spirit gave them the ability to build trust and through that they feel safe in sharing their thoughts. Through Oasis, I feel I become strong in my faith. I can focus more on reading the Bible and I can stop and think about what God wants to tell me. It’s not just a group but it is also a way of life and a choice we make every day to be closer to God.” (Amelia Kulig)

“Being a young leader helps me strengthen my faith and develop my belief in God, even though it is challenging sometimes. I trust his actions to always guide me to a better life. It helps me with a good relationship with my family, to be more patient, calm and tolerant. It also helps me to appreciate what I have been given. (Patryk Kumorek)

“I am overwhelmed by how the Holy Spirit can form my life and send me the people I need in life. I want to continue growing in faith and thanks to this group I have this opportunity. It gives me a sense of community and makes me feel that I am not alone so then I can talk about my religion with more courage and confidence. Through the movement I found it easier to trust God’s plan.” (Joanna Szlachta)

Time of Friendship

The retreat in Clonmacnoise provided us with a peaceful time in the midst of our everyday, stressful lives. We got to spend time with others and talk about God together. We focused on Jesus being our best friend and how great it is to have Him in our lives, as He will always love us unconditionally.

It was lovely to see how the older participants took care of the younger ones and made sure they were ok.

The Eucharist was truly a celebration of friendship where we could all actively participate through singing, reading, serving, and bringing the gifts.

This experience deepened our faith, and trusting God with simple and random things helps us to approach our daily lives with joy. Trusting Jesus as our best friend makes us happier and we are thankful for every day and every person that God sends our way. This retreat really changed our views on how we see the world. Thank you to the organisers for a life-changing experience. We hope to have another one soon.