The Department of Christianity, St. Philomena’s College, along with its students and staff, had the privilege of participating in the ‘Jaago’ National Conference. Hosted by the Jesus Youth National Council of India, this event brought together over 17500 people including families, individuals of all age groups, from children and youth to couples, seniors, priests, religious sisters, bishops, and cardinals from across India. The conference took place at Dharmaram, Bangalore.
The theme of the Jaago National Conference, “Wake Up. Reach Out,” was designed to rekindle the missionary spirit within the youth across India. Cardinal Filipe NeriFerrao, the Archbishop of Goa and Damao and President of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI), launched the logo for “Jaago 2023” during the 34th Plenary Assembly of the CCBI. This theme emphasized the call for youth to awaken to a new life as missionaries in Christ and to share His love with the world.
Multiple Streams of Activities: The Jaago Conference provided a diverse range of activities, including seminars, lively musical nights, challenging workshops, and exhibitions. Participants had the opportunity to engage in various events tailored to their interests and spiritual needs.
Testimonies and Sharing: A significant aspect of the conference was the sharing of testimonies, allowing attendees to discuss their faith experiences, challenges, and spiritual journeys. This created a platform for open dialogue and communal support.
Eucharistic Celebration: The faithful participated in Eucharistic celebrations, reinforcing the central importance of the Holy Eucharist in the Catholic faith. These moments of worship and reflection were central to the conference’s spiritual objectives.
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament: Adoration sessions allowed participants to deepen their connection with the Blessed Sacrament, fostering a sense of contemplation and spiritual renewal.
Relic of Pope St. John Paul II: To commemorate the JaagoYatra, a relic of Pope Saint John Paul II traveled to various Archdioceses across India. Thousands of people venerated the relic in their respective parishes before embarking on their journeys to attend the conference.
The Jaago National Conference served as a unique opportunity for the students and staff of St. Philomena’s College to engage with the broader Catholic community and gain valuable experiential insights by serving food for 17500 people, cleaning and other activities during the event. Beyond the religious and spiritual aspects, this event allowed for academic and secular learning in the following ways:
Interdisciplinary Exposure: The conference’s diverse streams and workshops provided exposure to a wide range of disciplines, fostering interdisciplinary understanding and collaboration.
Cultural Enrichment: Interaction with individuals from various regions and backgrounds contributed to cultural enrichment and the appreciation of diversity among the participants.
Networking and Community Building: Attendees had the chance to network and build relationships within the academic and religious communities, creating opportunities for future collaborations and personal growth.
Spiritual and Personal Growth: The conference was a transformative experience for many participants, equipping them with practical skills and a deeper understanding of their faith.
The Jaago National Conference was an exceptional experiential learning opportunity for the staff and students of the Christianity Department, St. Philomena’s College. This event facilitated academic, secular, and spiritual growth by offering a wide range of activities and fostering a sense of community and mission. The theme of “Wake Up. Reach Out” resonated with the participants, inspiring them to carry forward the message of love and faith to the world. The JaagoYatra, with its relic of Pope Saint John Paul II, served as a symbol of this awakening and commitment to spreading God’s love.