Mennaisian Youth Gathering - St. Francis Xavier's College, Liverpool, Dec. 19th-22nd

This year it was the turn of the English Brothers to host our annual Youth Gathering for students aged between 15 and 18 from De La Mennais Brothers schools. In recent years participants have come from France and England only (as members of St. John the Baptist Province: France-Italy-England), but this year it was decided to open the gathering out to schools run by our Brothers in Spain... with dramatic consequences!!


There were 20 French participants (16 teens + 4 lay adults) and an ever-changing number of English participants, mostly from SFX College, though augmented by some recent former pupils and friends, most of whom were past "Team Win!" De La Mennais expedition participants. The English group was augmented by the notable participation of Jacob, a student from the Brothers' school in Southampton, St. Mary's College. Far and away the largest (and loudest :-) group were the 40 Spanish teens + 4 adults (inc. 2 Brothers) who signed up for the weekend event,. These were no doubt enticed in part by coming to the city that has as one of its two internationally-renowned football teams (yes, Liverpool and Tranmere... only joking Everton fans :-) one that is managed by a fellow Spaniard (Rafa Benitez) and contains a number of other Spaniards in exile, most notably their current idol, Fernando Torres: yes, the Mighty Reds! But Liverpool also happened to be European Capital of Culture for 2008.

Both in numbers and in volume, our warm-hearted Spanish friends soon set the friendly tone for the weekend, one that was to have as its spiritual focus the sense of expectancy associated with Advent: what would be the key to our happiness? Do we find it in the gift of the child Jesus to us?

Activities/input during the busy weekend included: video + PowerPoint presentations, discussion + workshop groups...


...Christian rock and other religious songs sung and performed by the different delegations, Sunday Mass amongst ourselves with a local Redemptorist priest...


... party pieces during an evening of fun + games, much of which was led by the Spaniards. The English contingent contributed with the Macarena (went down well with the Spanish), Cha-Cha Slide...


...and YMCA...


We also took them to a children's carol service in a local parish church, as well visits to the 2 Liverpool cathedrals (Catholic + Anglican), the Albert Dock, Anfield Stadium (Liverpool F.C. - the outside only)...


... Liverpool One (the new shopping complex in the city centre) and St. George's Hall.


Here are a few video clips and other photos:

Post a Comment

Popular Posts

"The King’s Speech" - a personal reaction

"What do you hear, Starbuck?" "Nothing but the rain, sir." - the Battlestar Galactica finale.

Being successful + serving God, or being successful vs. serving God - pt. 1