VMY Slovakia´s first activity for the year 2016 was a post Christmas gathering last January 7 where in the different local VMY communities from the north-east of Slovakia were gathered. This was a lovely time chance to get to know each other better and plan some events for the upcoming months.
Last January 16, a ball was organized for the youth that started with a holy mass. This was attended by both Sr. Mariana and Father Pavol. The youth had a great time relaxing, dancing and having fun with each other.
Another activity that was initiated was the "Vincolympics", a quiz competition for children and youth. Before the competition is announced, members of the National Council decided what topics will be covered in the quiz. Some of the items were about the life of St. Bernadette of Lourdes and of St. Faustyna Kowalska, the World Youth Day, Novena of the Miraculous Medal, the Holy Scripture. It was a unique opportunity for the leaders to lead the children and youth to enrich their spiritual knowledge and to teach them how to work together as they compete in teams.
A preparatory and planning was done in Žilina last January 23. This was a meeting of youth leaders from two regions of the northern Slovakia. The meeting had several goals: to evaluate the activities done by respective communities within this region, to do an evaluation of the past year and also planning of activities for the upcoming year. Animators and leaders also shared their experience and ideas so that they could inspire each other in their leadership and animator’s role. The following day, January 24, a similar meeting was held this time for the leaders from Eastern Slovakia in Košice . A plan for a national meeting in August was conceived during this meeting.
A course for future animators in the East region was held on January 29-30, 2016 in Hermanovce with 16 participants. This was one of 10 meetings from which a training for future animators consists of. This time the weekend session concentrated on formation, social communication, creativity and knowledge of how to lead and animate respective age categories. This was a lovely time for young people to work towards their future animator’s role, to develop new skills and also to deepen their spiritual life.
In VMY Slovakia we organize each year a very popular event – a carnival in which children always look forward to. It’s a chance for them to wear a different costumes of different personalities. Usually children get dressed like saints or some biblical characters and can also talk about their lives. Program is always prepared by the animators and contains of various competitions, short theatre performances and dancing. These were the schedules:
Carnival – 30 January 2016 – in Nitra – 44 participants
Carnival – 6 February 2016 – in Rabča – 40 participants
Carnival – 7 February 2016 – in Hlohovec – 104 participants
On February 6, a Youth Ball was organized in Parchovany. This was a ball prepared by young people from several towns in the east of Slovakia. Some of the parents of the young people were a great help They helped with cooking and some organizational matters. This was a nice example of parent-child cooperation and a lovely meeting of youth from the whole Slovakia. On the same day, a Marian consecration also happened in VMY Hlohovec with 38 newly consecrated members.
A Spring Town Camp was held on February 14-16 in Košice with 40 participants. The main aim of this camp was to give joy and cheer to children from socially challenged background and children from Roma communities. VMYmembers prepared a special program which was designed to help children develop their talents and skills and also to teach them how tomeaningfully spend their free time. Each day of the camp had a special program: ranging from table games, quizzes, competitions, various sports, fairy-tale screening, short sketches and special prayer of rosary.
To answer the spiritual hunger of the VMY members, a retreat was held in Hlohovec last February 19-20. The retreat was consist of four lectures and five practical activities Participants were presented with different points of the mental hygiene, with various methods of stress elimination, and also with tips on how to prevent depressions and neuroses.
The National Council met last February 26-28 in Veľký Biel to plan and discuss various events for the year 2016, to prepare budget for 2016 and also to discuss the publishing of formation materials.
Another spiritual retreat last April 8-10 in Nitra. The topic of this retreat was: Hero of the 21st century. Our priest, Father Miroslav, told us about a young man, Janko Havlik, who lived in the 1950’s in Slovakia during the communist repression, and can be a great example to us. Father Miroslav made a parallel: although we now live in a free world, it’s not so easy to stand for our faith at school or at workplace. He encouraged us that we don’t have to do big things, we don’t have to fight, it’s enough to show who we believe in with our own lives.