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50 youth from 10 dioceses in Myanmar join three-day camp

Participants of Magis youth program in Myanmar, April 9 -11, 2022. (Photo supplied)

To promote the "Magis"* spirit, which is to live for and to do ‘the greater universal good’ for God’s greater glory, 50 youth from 10 Catholic Dioceses in Myanmar joined a three-day camp.

The program took place at a Jesuit community in Taunggyi, Myanmar, from April 9 to 11, 2022. 

One unique thing about the program was that it was the first physical gathering in more than two years after meeting regularly online only because of the pandemic. 
The meeting, through the grace of God, was an initial step to rejuvenating the youth who had been experiencing disappointment and hopelessness caused by the pandemic and the military dictatorship. 

Youth participants in group discussion

Jesuit Father Wilbert Mireh encouraged the youth at the program saying, “The great trials and challenges we are facing in Myanmar should not make us despair. On the contrary, they should be signs of the time calling us to be more generous, to live better, and to do the greater universal good in our response to the call of Jesus.” 

Naw Thaw Rit Ni from Mawlamyaing Diocese shared about her learning from the program.

“I learned that Magis is the burning and living desire to do the greater universal good. We can do the common good in the best way only when can do these things,” she said.

It is a calling to become a role-model leader by having not only good social skills but also strong faith. By following the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola (founder of the Society of Jesus).

According to her, one cannot be indifferent either to health or death and do only what is conducive to our salvation.

“Reflecting ourselves daily, we need to know what we have done, what we ought to do, and who we are,” she said. 

A young girl is doing laundry at Infant Jesus’ Home for Orphans and Disabled as part of the program. (Photo supplied)

Joseph Lawt Naw, one of the participants from the Myitkyina Diocese, said, “The learning experiences from the past three days strengthened us not only spiritually but also intellectually and mentally.”

Besides the valuable points of learning such as the ‘importance of serving others and the need to accept differences’ from the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, he learned that he needs to know himself better, to become a light of hope for others, and to serve with persevering faith. 

Participants are doing the dishes.

After two days of input, discussion, and prayer, the youth went on the third day to Infant Jesus’ Home for Orphans and Disabled to do practical services including doing laundry, bathing, haircutting, cooking, and cleaning the dishes, and playing games with children. 

Some of the magis youth continued the practical service at the same place for five days during the Holy Week for the greater glory of God.

*Magis is a Jesuit spirituality or philosophy which emphasizes being and doing for the ‘greater universal good’. The Latin-origin word means “more, better, and greater.” It is closely related to the Jesuit motto ‘Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam’ (AMDG) which means ‘For the Greater Glory of God’. 

 

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