EEYM Budapest 2017/2018
3rd Eurepean Emmanuel Youth Meeting
29 December 2017 - 01 January 2018
What and why?
Emmanuel Community is present in 20 European countries where over 2500 members speak at least 15 different languages. It is difficult to count all the cultural backgrounds and impossible to get to know every personal story.
Nevertheless, we all have one thing in common: when encountering Emmanuel - God among us - we didn’t just discover the unstoppable joy but also our place in the Church.
Among those many of us are young and we also share our aspirations. After having the very 1st European meeting in Brussels, then second one in Vienna and third in capital of Hungary - Budapest.
It was indescribable joy of common time with brothers and sisters, friends and new encounters. Joy of Jesus being born among us, was expressed not only by prepared program but also sharing groups, city mission, great music and liturgy service. In silence during adoration, we thank God for pasted year and prayed for those close to our hearts and the whole world. With astonishing praise we entered to the New Year which echo in our hearts for next few days if not months.
This unforgettable experience of God's presence and love we took to our homes, schools, work places to be missionaries of everyday life.
Kate and Ryan Day from UK were the main speakers who led us through many topic connected to Theology of the Body and our identity. Together we tried to search for answer to the question: "Who are you looking for?". More about them and their message you may read here: "Being human, acting human" or check their FB page.
Fr. Marc Timmermans, Dutch priest for 27 years and a member of the Emmanuel community for 35 years, showed us importance of walking together and accompany others in our faith journey. He also shared tips&trick about work life balance and relation to profession duties during workshop time.
The EEYM was definitely time of receiving gifts, fraternity time and experience of searching for answers together. Vocational workshops as well as those for girls and boys were very popular. Even the age difference of participants was compromised by dedicated sharing groups. In the heart of Budapest, we could contribute to city mission and together with local Hungarians we joined mass in magnificent basilica.
In the mean time sharing groups were working on photos and videos introducing their saint patron of the group. Have a look at the results below! Some of them are really the masterpieces of media creation!
Testimonies of youth participants
During the EEYM2017 in Budapest, I received the grace to evangelize. My task during the mission was actually to help in the teahouse of the Innercity church.
There where a lot young people helping there, so I decided to ask the people on the street to come. I went to a shopping street close to the church, together with a brother and a sister in faith who I both didn't know before. All the things we had were: honey cookies, candles, a sign with 'hug me' and our song books. It was a bit unusual for me to hug strange people on the street, speak to unknown people on the street and sing praise-songs over there.
Although, there were many people passing by and not a few people stopped to watch, hug or speak to us. Some people asked: "Why are you doing this?". It was a good question to start a conversation with them. I experienced that God Himself shows what to do and speaks through the persons you meet during a mission. Two young Hungarian women where passing by and asked: "We are searching for a TEAHOUSE, do you know something?". I said "Yes I know something, is it all right when the teahouse is in a church?". The young women walked with me to the church and I told them about the eucharistic adoration. I showed the young women the way to the teahouse, but the women where more interested to stay with Jesus in the holy Sacrament. That was so beautiful to see!
Have you ever felt that you are at home even if you were hundred and hundred kilometers away from your home amongst unknown people? That you are safe and could be yourself under any circumstances? I have. And I know that lots of the around 300 people, who took part at the EEYM in Budapest some weeks ago, felt the same way. The main theme of this meeting was a (maybe not that easy) question: Who are you looking for?
At the beginning of the meeting we put everything in God’s hands, because we knew that we wouldn’t be able to solve all problems and have all things under control. As the days passed by we saw more and more times that God was taking care of us and working with us. For example during the breakfasts and coffee breaks there was always somebody to help and give coffee to the others with a smile.
We began every day with praise which gave us energy for the whole day. The words of the well known (or less known) songs gave us strength and woke feelings in the hearts. And the melodies stayed with us during the following hours.
After that the mornings continued with talks. We heard Kerry and Ryan two times. They were speaking about what creatures are we people and what does it mean to be man and woman based on the teaching of Saint John Paul the II. about the Theology of the Body. The third talk was held by priest Marc Timmermans who talked about the importance of the community and human relationships.
The afternoon and evening programs were different every day. During the sightseeing on Friday we showed some parts of Budapest and the monuments to our foreign friends. They were all very thankful and enjoyed the tours. They forgave us also our bad English. With such rich experiences we arrived to the Mercy Evening where the bishop János Székely celebrated the mass. After that he talked a bit about his own mission experiences to prepare us for next day’s mission. Than the evening continued with adoration. During the program we also had the possibility to go to confession or ask for prayer. But for most of us it was enough just to sit in silence or go and pray before the Holy Eucharist.
This way we prepared ourselves for Saturday’s mission which took place both in the Basilica of Saint Stephen and the Inner City Parish Church. At both venues we had really positive experiences because we invited the people to enter and they came in even if just for a couple of minutes. Personally I was touched very much by the concrete and personal prayers. The other thing that was very touching for me was that one Egyptian guy from our group was kneeling with open arms during the adoration in the basilica, like he wanted to hug Jesus.
We finished the mission with a mass and after we had dinner in the city with our sharing groups. That was a great opportunity to talk and get to know each other better. We also could make a photo or short video about our group patron saint.
On Sunday we had workshops in two timelines, so everyone could attend the ones which interested him or her. The themes were various; just to mention some of them: Fidesco, ESM, Theology of the Body, social media, pornography in today’s world, ethic at the workplace and the International Eucharistic Congress.
Then began the New Year’s Eve program which in opinion of lots were the best part of the EEYM. First we had a festive dinner which was followed by one hour of silent adoration. For me it was a new experience to end the year and begin a the new one with Jesus (I didn’t even realise when we entered the new year), but it was great to think through the past year and it’s happenings and put the next year in God’s hands. At the end of the adoration some made the next step towards the entering the Community and when we prayed for them while we were holding each others shoulders we could experience the togetherness like nowhere else. And when finally they took the Eucharist up to the chapel everyone turned after them and followed with their eyes. After that was about half hour of praise and than began the party till dawn. One part of it was the teaching of Hungarian folk dances which were a great success.
Here I want to mention a little scene which some of us will remember for a long time. The doorman of the university turned off his TV at the beginning of the adoration and came to us to the aula. Later he told his friends and family over the phone how beautiful were this young people singing and how great was the whole night.
On the first of January we had a holy mass and after that we said goodbye to each other and everyone started the long way home. But we will meet in Ljubljana next time! :)
In total everybody had a great time at the meeting. It was good to see the unity in the one Spririt and feel the love and peace which flod from everyone.I I was never before in such a conforming community where the low knowing of English was not a problem because all of us were ready to help.
I’m thanking the Lord for this meeting and the lots of mercy and fruits I experienced here. I hope I can take part in many further events like this one.
fot. F. Labadens