Youth Group at Sanctuary of Divine Mercy


The Sanctuary of Divine Mercy in Naxxar is situated in a relatively young part of the town, with a community consisting largely of young families. The Sanctuary, itself only a few years old, falls under the direction of Rev Michael Agius.

For some time now, Fr Godwin Preca SJ, Superior of the nearby Jesuit community at Loyola House, has been lending a hand at the Sanctuary, with a regular Sunday Mass and preparation of youngsters for their Sacrament of Confirmation. The Sanctuary offers weekly Catechism to some 260 children!

A year and a half ago, Fr Godwin invited a group of seven 13-14 year olds to gather every fortnight for spiritual formation, to better their friendships and to build a sense of community. The second meeting saw the group increase in number to 22, and they have met up regularly ever since!

"The aim is to help these young people to come to discover better who they are, who Jesus is, and to become people who can relate well with others," Fr Godwin said.

"We focus a lot on our relationship with God, with our family and with each other. We would love to offer a holistic formation to the young people in this area."

Ms Christine Borg, a teacher, animates the group with Fr Godwin. "We organised a meeting for their parents to inform them of our aims, and they gave us their support," Fr Godwin explained. "The youngsters are committed and enthusiastic, they have already shown so many signs of growth. They enjoy each other's company, they learn to share, communicate well and listen to each other. If it was up to them they would like to meet more regularly! There is the possibility of forming a second group too, but we have to take it step by step."

"Small experiences of community work instil in them the importance of being people of service. We took them to visit the elderly at Christmas time, carol singing. They collect goods to support the needy. We hope that they will grow to feel a sense of responsibility towards the local community, perhaps even through small things like offering their help to animate the liturgy."

"Occasionally we go out for a hike or some outdoor activity," he said, "and they really enjoy it. A sense of commitment grows… that is so important in today's world!"


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