2014 International Salesian Youth Games

Fr Chávez to young athletes: “Dream big. I’ll be waiting for you in Turin in 2015”.

The 2014 International Salesian Youth Games opened on 30 April and ended on 5th May in Bratislava. An atmosphere of friendship and sharing prevailed among the 1020 young participants from eleven different countries in Europe. The spectacle of the Solemn Opening Ceremony contributed greatly to this friendly spirit. The attendance included the Vice-President of the Slovak parliament, representatives of various embassies and the mayor of the city.

The meeting tent, a small church set up in the area hosting the games, sparked an interest far beyond expectations. “We really did not expect seven or eight celebrations per day for various groups. We are delighted with the spiritual approach of the athletes and their assistants,” said Fr Dušan Vilhan, spiritual director of the games. The spiritual element was nourished by short prayers in the morning and a period of Eucharistic adoration in the evening.

The Valdocco area, a common space dedicated to leisure, games and spontaneous sharing among athletes, also enjoyed great success.   “I was really pleased that the young people came together as friends, just like in a real oratory,” said Fr Karol Maník, Provincial of the Salesians in Slovakia.

In that same area called Valdocco, Fr Pascual Chávez, Ninth Successor of Don Bosco and Rector Major Emeritus, presided at the Eucharist on Sunday 4 May. “The way back from Jerusalem to Emmaus is a road of hope blooming, dreams that become reality, the exciting discovery that life has meaning and value before God and before man (…) and that Jesus is alive in our midst. But we must give witness by living a new life full of joy and enthusiasm,” said Fr Chavez to the athletes and many members of the Salesian Family and the general faithful. During the prayer of the faithful young people joined Pope Francis in praying for peace, especially in Ukraine.

The 25th Salesian International Games comprised 340 games in different disciplines  involving 90 teams,  and formed part of the celebrations for the 90th anniversary of the arrival of the Salesians in Slovakia.

The Fourteenth International Salesian Youth Games are also well reported on the digital continent and in the social networks: there is a dedicated website, in English, and profiles on FacebookTwitterYouTube and Flickr.

The next Salesian International Games will be held in Turin, Italy, in 2015, coinciding with the celebrationof the bicentenary of the birth of Don Bosco. “Dear young people, I beg you, have great dreams foryour life. Do not forget that Don Bosco was a big dreamer. I’ll be waitingfor you in Turin next year!” said FrChavez as he bade farewell to the young athletes.

Source: Info ANS

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