European preparatory meeting in Torun

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The Redemptorist Youth Ministry coordinators, leaders and volunteers across Europe gathered recently (24-26 September) for the European preparatory meeting in Torun, Poland.  The purpose of our meeting was to help plan and discuss the next Redemptorist Youth Congress that will take place at the end of July 2022. 

The meeting started with Mass and then a wonderful gathering of introductions and connections with old and new friends from all across the different Provinces of Europe. We spent time reflecting on all our ministries with young people and our united hope of the future. 

The theme for the 12th European Youth Congress in Torun is “Go and Share” and throughout all of our meetings, excursions and discussions there was a great missionary spirit of speaking with courage and inclusion of all voices. 

A central part of the whole meeting was the decision making of two potential sites for the Youth Congress in July 2022.  Firstly, we were introduced to the ‘Wood Harbour’ facility which is also home to the newly built Shrine of Our Lady of the Star of Evangelisation.  Then we travelled towards the old city and university area to visit St Joseph’s Church and Parish which was home to a previously youth congress 20 years ago.  This was a great experience for all involved to get a sense of the sites, accommodation, Sanctuaries, stage/entertainment areas and places for meals.  A collective decision was made to host the congress in St. Joseph’s area, as to have a closeness to the people of the parish. We also will include a visit to the Shrine at some stage in the programme of events. 

Our final day together was to explore the beautiful historical city of Torun on the Vistula River, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which is one of the Seven Wonders of Poland. We were all in awe of this Medieval city which offered some much and we look forward to accompanying our young people from across the Provinces of Europe next summer.

A special thanks was expressed at the end of the gathering to the preparation group of the youth meeting (Warsaw Province) and to all those who attended to making this meeting special for all those attending. 

We left Poland with joy in our hearts to ‘Go and Share’ what we have seen to our Redemptorist Communities in Ireland.

Dermot Kelly

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