The 2019 Catholic Youth Jamboree of St John’s-Basseterre Diocese began on the island of St Kitts, July 13. Short of 200 youth and their leaders came together at the Immaculate Conception Catholic School in Basseterre under the theme, Youth building a civilisation of love.
St John’s-Basseterre, a unique diocese of many islands, hosted persons from the islands of Antigua and Barbuda, Montserrat, Virgin Gorda, Tortola, St Kitts and Nevis and Anguilla.
The youth ranged in ages from 12 to 25 and took part in a number of sessions featuring the bishop of the diocese, Bishop Robert Llanos and visiting guests from Trinidad including Fr Matthew Ragbir, Tricia Syms, Jerome Alexander, and Artherly Nicholas and family and Marlon Modeste of GRACE Ministries.
The talks featured issues on love and chastity, sexuality, pornography, praise and worship, and reverance during Mass. Many of the youth found the various sessions and the experience of the jamboree to be enlightening. The youth were also exposed to workshops on dance, art, rosary making, among several others. A march of witness, sightseeing, sports day and shopping formed part of the jamboree experience.
On the final night, there was an Award and Dinner ceremony. Bishop Llanos stated: “I would just like to thank all of you young people for coming to St Kitts and Nevis and sharing this time together as church and finding a way to make what was a difficult adjustment for some of you, finding a way in the end to make it a wonderful experience of friendship and love and entering into a spiritual journey during this week with each other.
“I just want to thank you for your patience, understanding, discipline and for opening your hearts and minds to the Lord and to each other and opening your minds to learning what was shared with you.”
He continued, “This is my first experience of Youth Jamboree. I have never been or heard of one until I came to this Diocese so it is new for me as it is new for some of you. It is a wonderful experience worth repeating. Because you are so special, we decided we will have another jamboree next year.”
The 2019 Catholic Youth Jamboree Retreat ended on July 22. The next Youth Jamboree is scheduled for 2020 and will be held in Antigua.—Chelsea Jno Baptiste, Vigin Gorda, 25
Sharvon Grant, St Kitts, 23: “ I enjoyed the message of the song , ‘Never be enough’, from The Greatest Showman. Fr Matthew Ragbir used the song to bring forward the message that no matter how many material things one may attain it will never be enough and only the love and grace of God can satisfy us.”
Kamia Bascombe, Virgin Gorda, 13: “My favourite things about the jamboree were the friends I made, the tours we were taken on that taught us more about St Kitts and the opportunity we were given to share the culture of our own islands and our talents.”
Kiara Thomas, Virgin Gorda, 22: “The jamboree taught me to appreciate the little things in life and humility as we were forced to get out of our comfort zones and live humbly at the Immaculate Conception Catholic School.”
Kynique Lyjfrock, St Kiitts, 13: “My favourite thing on the retreat was the message of Artherly and the GRACE Ministry team that taught us the true meaning of praise and worship, that it is more than just singing, drums and piano but about worshipping from within and sharing that with each other.”