As all of you might know, we will be happy to welcome around 800 young people to our home in Pliszczyn already this Monday. For those of you who can’t make it to our annual Dehonian Youth Days next week, we invite you to take part in this exciting event online. There will be a chance to listen to the conferences, take a look at some photos and read short descriptions of everyday events through our website:http://www.sdm.info.pl/ . I hope that you will take part in next week’s events this way! Best wishes from Pliszczyn, which is slowly starting to fill up with young Dehonian enthusiasts!
A brief history of the Dehonian Youth Days and the Polish Dehonian Youth
Our Dehonian Youth Days (DYD) came to existence already in 1994. They were prepared by an enthusiastic group of priests led by Father Stanislaw Mieszczaka. The preparations began in Autumn 1993 when a general topic was chosen: “Towards a Civilization of Love”. The theme of the first DYD was “Love and Reconciliation”. Proper preparations began only in winter – there was not as much advertising as there is now and everything was done on a much smaller scale.
The first DYD gathered 90 people, which was a considerable amount for the facilities available. Nevertheless, both the preparations and event itself took place in an atmosphere of unity, cooperation, mutual help and enthusiasm, despite challenges such as trying to cope with financial difficulties and the opposition of a couple of our Fathers.
The main aim of the event was to strengthen the religious formation of our youth, as well as to gather young people who were on their way of finding their vocation.
After the first couple of years the idea behind the event began crystallizing more and more, focusing mainly on introducing young people to our Dehonian spirituality. As we went on we identified the main problems. How to support young people in their bid to be in unity with the Church community, living in true love and peace every day? We wanted to support them in discovering God’s overwhelming love for us through his Sacred Heart. This is the best source of hope they need to face the challenges of today’s world.
It is clear to us today that the purpose of our Dehonian Youth Days is deeply connected with the aims of the Polish Dehonian Youth (without being restricted to its members). The movement of the Polish Dehonian Youth was only starting to develop during the first years of our DYD, only later taking the shape we know it in today.
The Polish Dehonian Youth gathers young people, priests and deacons who wish to live in the spirit of Father Leon Dehon in today’s world. It is mostly active around Dehonian parishes in Poland where Fr. Dehon’s spirituality is live. The members of the Polish Dehonian Youth are active in preparing annual DYDs, as well as in organising vigils and retreats in their parishes. During the 12 years of its existence around 250 people became deeply involved in this movement. Many of the people who already finished their formation keep in touch with the youth that is currently active in the movement. We hope that the Dehonian formation we offer will keep attracting young people to keep spreading God’s love all around the world.