Summer 2016 was very busy for VMY Slovakia. A lot of events were organized during to deepen our relationship with God, a great time to spend with our VMY-ers while learning something new.
The highlight of this summer was the event called AnimaGrace which took place from 19 till 22 August. Around 130 members of VMY met in the very east of Slovakia in a small picturesque village called Ohradzany. This event was a huge blessing, a time to experience a touch of God. Each day offered a rich program with Holy Masses and adoration. Another special part of the program was a prayer of rosary which was compiled from videos of VMY-ers from all around the world, members of the National Council of Slovakia and the organizers praying Hail Mary. Except for the spiritual program, a chance to take part in a course called Jumpstart for starting yourself and finding your life goal and motivating youth to be active in their spiritual lives was also given. Sunday afternoon was dedicated to various workshops: participants could choose from various sports like hiking, baking muffins, preparing fun program for local children or visiting old and ill people from the village which was a deep experience to reach out and serve the poor.
As per other important events of this summer, World Youth Days was truly another crucial one. A group of 37 members of the Vincentian family represented Slovakia during the Vincentian Days. This was another great experience as we experience the greatness and unity of the Vincentian family. We thank God for all we experienced during the days in Piekary, Skawina and Krakow.
What would summer be without summer camps? VMY Slovakia organized several of them. The theme of this year’s camps was Mercy. Children had to accomplish various quests for them to find out more about God’s great mercy and could also learn about mercy in people’s relationships and also about Mary’s mercy.
Another milestone were courses for animators. This year three courses ended and two started. These courses are crucial for VMY because here we form our future leaders. A big thanks goes to Father Pavol, Sister Mariana and Sister Karitas for their great support.
These days we are active in the collection of money called Fight against hunger. This is the tenth year of this collection. We bake gingerbread hearts at our homes or in cooperation with people from parishes and we sell the hearts in the streets or in front of churches. The collected money is used at the missions in Haiti, Honduras, Ukraine, Russia, Albania and also for the poor in Slovakia. This is a great example of cooperation of the Vincentian family here in Slovakia – each branch contributes towards this great work.
Most the events are prepared and organized by the VMY National Council. Since February the council met two times – in the end of April and in September. During these meetings we mostly concentrated in the preparation of the summer events and the last meeting was mainly devoted to preparation of events which will take place in the upcoming months and in summer 2017. We did not only prepare new events but also discussed the ones concluded – feedback is crucial as that is also one of the things which helps us to improve.