March 22 : Indian Catholic Youth Movement, Diocese of Mangalore organised RECONNECT, an event to refresh memories, a reunion for the past DEXCO members on Sunday, 20 March 2022 at Olivet House, Jeppu. The programme began by invoking God’s blessings through prayer. Rev Fr William Gonsalves, former Director of ICYM blessed the newly installed statue of St Gonsalo Garcia, the patron of the youth. This statue has been dedicated to all the youth. A novena to St Gonsalo Garcia was led by Rev Fr Ashwin Cardoza, the present Director of ICYM.

Mr H R Alva, former ICYM Diocesan President(1981-1984), Fr William Gonsalves, former Director of ICYM(1974-1978), Fr Ashwin Lohith Cardoza, Director ICYM, Jaison Lawrence Crasta - President, Blairil Vishma D’Cunha, General Secretary were the dignitaries on the dais. Jaison Lawrence Crasta, welcomed the guests on the dais and the gathering. The chief guest Mr H R Alva addressed the youth who were present in the gathering through his inspiring words, and also shared his memories as a youth in ICYM. Thereafter,  Fr William Gonsalves addressed the gathering. He also motivated the youth through words of encouragement. In addition to that, he shared his experience working in the youth ministry as a former director of ICYM.

Fr Ashwin in his keynote address exalted the efforts put in by the past DEXCO members in building ICYM and also thanked them for their participation in the event despite their hectic schedule. He appreciated the present Diocesan executive committee for their committed service. Blairil Vishma Dcunha proposed the vote of thanks. The programme was compered by Pradeep Rosario.

Soon after the stage programme, activities were conducted for all who attended the event, from ice-breakers to questions for reflection, and from sharing of past experiences to brainstorming for the future of ICYM. Hearing past leaders share their experiences, their joy-filled moments in ICYM surely motivated the present team. The current DEXCO members introduced themselves and were asked to share their views on the problems faced by the youth in modern times. It was a privilege for the youth to interact and RE-CONNECT with the dynamic youth leaders of the past. The Diocesan executive committee, the central council members and in all 40 members were present for the event. It brought in a sense of nostalgia for the past leaders and a sense of hope to the present.

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Rev Fr Ashwin Lohith Cardoza
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