The webpage of the Youth Ministry of the Irish Province of Augustinians

My Experience of Attending International Augustinian Youth Festivals by John (Ballyboden)


 

I have been attending the International Augustinian Youth Festival since 1998. I have been very fortuitous in getting to see Munnserstadt 1998, Rome 2000 and Madrid 2003. Being very candid, the events have been some of the highlights of my life over the last 10 years. They are a fantastic occassion and bring a huge eclectic culture to your attention. Ive met people from all continents, all over the globe, from places like Australia and America to Canada to England, Slovakia, Italy but most importantly people from my own parish and of similar background and interest to myself.

This is the element I cannot put too fine a point on. Despite the wonderful occassion that the festival is, it is the very unique opportunity to spend time in the company of like minded people, who see the world in somewhat the same light as you do. Being associated with religion in today's modern world, still has a stigma attached to it. Religion is still very much a taboo subject for a lot of people. Ultimately, what the youth festival offers the individual is a chance to see that in fact there are many like minded people in different parts of the world and closer to home than you might expect. It offers a fantastic chance to form friendships, gain insight and gives you a fabulous chance to understand what it really means to have faith and to express it without justification or explanation. Like anything, you can only get out of the festival what you put into it, thus you must participate and surrender yourself to the plot of the event and all the hard work that goes into it. Respect plays a very important sub theme to the whole experience.

To finish, I would reccomend any young person who gets the chance to travel to embrace the opportunity wholeheartedly. Fortune favours the brave and Ive been very fortunate to be involved over the years. I hope others get the same enjoyment and enriching experience that Ive managed to get...

Thanks and regards,

John



Article posted on 15th of February 2010

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