On Thursday, 28th of April, nine members of the Vincentian Marian Youth of Bosnia and Herzegovina, went to Sinyak, Ukraine, and had a warm welcome by our host, Father Vasyl Zinych. The reason for our arrival to Ukraine was the VMY formation of Eastern European countries. We have gathered from Ukraine, Belarus, Slovakia, Slovenia, Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The program was well implemented by the team from Slovakia and conducted very creatively, in a spiritual, educational and memorable way, all under active supervision of their advisor Father Pavol Noga.
THE COURSE OF EVENT
Our days started with prayers each morning led by the different groups in their own language. We, as well, got our chance which made us so happy and proud. After the prayers and blessings, we would all go to breakfast then back to church where we had introductions to topics, short plays and lectures regarding the identity of Slavic people, the roots of our languages, about Mary our Mother and our founder St. Vincent, whose charism should be lived out by the entire Vincentian Family, including VMY. During our work breaks, each team had a task to answer questions in regards to Slavic identity, emphasizing the identity of the people and countries we come from, the role of Mary in our own history, and how we are following the Vincentian charism in our VMY. After everything, each team showed and presented their drawing, which was joint together to give us a big, amazing picture. All the drawings and the flags of our countries were presents in a Thanksgiving Mass on Monday, which gave us great joy.
Our days were fulfilled with interesting work, with breaks for meals and a Holy Mass. One great night was reserved for games and dancing and another for a cultural presentation, where each group presented a small part of their own People. It was beautiful watching the variety of dances, colors and the joy of youth.
Our team begun the presentation proudly talking about the beauty of our country Bosnia and Herzegovina, showing it in a video and having our representative sing about her suffering, calling her to wake up, reminding her of the strength she gets from the Cross of Christ, in a song called " Moja Domovina" (My Homeland). This song was also a prayer for all our countries, as we share similar destinies and a lot more than that, we share the root, which is The Word itself.
We have also emphasized the importance of the Order of St. Francis who have preserved the religion of Croats Catholics in B&H. The importance of their role was faithfully presented by Stjepan Antolović, the priest of St .Francis, blessing our singer with peace to share it with others. We also prepared gifts for all; photographs of our homeland, a CD called" Ljubav je beskrajno domišljata" (Love is endlessly creative) with songs about the charism of St. Vincent, all this spiced with slices of goods, the famous Livanjski sir ( Livno's cheese).
This unforgettable and merciful gathering, was also actively followed, among others, by the International Council president Yancarlos de Jesus Carrasco, Father. Irving Amaro, the volunteer at The International Secreteriat Marie Claire S. Balo.
We are more than thankful for this experience and the chance given us to get to know better ourselves and others, who are so much more closer to us than we could ever imagine, for the new knowledge and discovering of new dimensions of our existence and our work, new ideas, new experience of joy, togetherness, acceptance, respect, and we dare to say pure love, that can only be a "stamp" of our Mother Mary in this big family, who, in each and every moment, was showing us her love, devotion and presence. We thank her from the bottom of our hearts!!!
Our hopes and dreams are that these seeds planted in Ukraine, will give us many beautiful fruits, spread in wide ranges, grow in heights and discover the depth of the essence of the VMY.