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Jesuits News Youth Experiences offered at the beginning of the New Year by Percorsi di Vita

Experiences offered at the beginning of the New Year by Percorsi di Vita

Many significant programs for the end and the beginning of the year were planned by Percorsi di Vita, formative experiences for youth and young adults. “Formed in Ignatian spirituality,” Fr. Francesco Cavallini explains, “in addition to organization skills, the coordinators combine the ability to offer spiritual insights for meditation to the type of experience and the people involved, both believers and non-believers.”

Among the experiences planned, of particular significance is “New Year’s Eve on the Border”, coordinated by Giacomo D’Alessandro in collaboration with YoungCaritas Genoa. The experience took place in Ventimiglia on the border with France, where the participants were deeply engaged in the issues of migrants seeking hope and a future by crossing armoured borders.

In Trieste-Gorizia, others were then offered the opportunity to participate in the National Peace March, an initiative coordinated by Marco Emanuele Schiatti. Participation at the work desks and workshops organized for the event were also scheduled. But of special significance was the meeting with migrants of the “Balkan route,” their testimonies, their stories and those of the volunteers who assist them and the meditations of Fr. Luciano Larivera SJ in an atmosphere of conviviality and deep sharing.

The experience at the “Le Fontanine” fraternity in Sestola in the mountains above Modena had as its main theme “Nothing is a waste – from the desert to the garden”, coordinated by Daniele Merlini and Paolo Bovio. This initiative combined the practical work of reusing and enhancing discarded wood with spiritual meditation and an insightful review of the year.

The days at Casa Betania, in the beautiful setting of the hills above Genoa-Voltri, were coordinated by Paola Parodi. This experience included excursions, testimonies of civil engagement, meditation, sharing, games, songs, and prayer. These were four days rich in experience and depth so as to start the new year with more awareness, more passion, and more motivation.

There was also a pilgrimage to Jordan, coordinated by Samer Arkilo and Luca Bombelli (amo-fme). “This was actually much more than a spiritual pilgrimage to the beautiful places of Jordan. It was a journey of encounter with local realities and local people. Thanks to the relationships cultivated over time, it was possible to be hosted by the Dossettian monks in Main, to be led into meditation by Brother Luca, to participate in the Te Deum of the local parish in Arabic and English, to celebrate with local families, to meet in Madaba the two girls from Sermig of Turin who have been present for many years in an important centre for children and young people with disabilities and to listen to their beautiful testimony. In Amman the meeting with the icon Wa’el Sleiman, director of the Diocesan Caritas took place. He explained the problems that Jordan and the Middle East are going through at the present time and the work of Caritas. It was an engaging and enriching journey from all points of view.

For several years, Percorsi di Vita has been promoting an exercise of a sapiential review of the year so that one can grow in awareness and can more authentically and rightly lead his live during the new year. This is available online on YouTube.

Percorsi di Vita coordinators offer free enriching and formative experiences throughout the year, especially during “bridges,” Christmas, Easter and summer vacations. Anyone who would like to contribute to developing and organizing experiences they find useful for youth and young adults can write to

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