Nazzarenu – Youth Group

“The Guiding Light” is the name of the youth group who attend the Jesus of Nazareth (Gesu Nazzerenu) centre. The leader of the group is Father Ignatius Borg. The group meets at least once a week for spiritual meetings. These spiritual meetings are led by Marvic Galea. During these meetings the youths read about or discuss issues related to the Christian way of life (texts taken from the Bible and other religious books). This weekly meeting is also an opportunity for the group to pray together.

The group was formed about four years ago. They have had many different experiences together. One of the most wonderful experiences was when the group went to Rome together in the summer of the year 2000 on the occasion of the World Youth Day. The aim of this visit was to take part in the various religious activities, especially the mass celebrated by the Pope. However, the group also learnt the importance of helping each other and just being there for each other in times of need as well as in the good times, which is an important part of being a Christian.

During the year, besides the weekly spiritual meetings, the group goes on short spiritual retreats (on their own or with other youth groups). The group members also help to animate the mass (or to furnish/decorate the church) during the year and during the festive season. One particular occasion, where all the group members animate the mass, is on Palm Sunday, the day, which the Pope dedicates to youths.

Just before Christmas, the group celebrates mass in a cave in order to understand the significance of the true Christmas experience. The desire to capture the true spirit of Christmas has led the group to the creation of a live nativity scene for the past three years. This task is not as simple as it may seem – the youths, with the help of some of the adults in the community start working on the nativity scene even in late summer.

This Christmas (2003) the live nativity scene has been named “Today…. Your saviour has been born”. The live nativity scene created by the group is unique in its location – it is situated in a farmhouse. The atmosphere offered by the location (farmhouse) is meant to help visitors recreate the Bethlehem experience. At the live nativity scene, one observes people, dressed in Jewish garb, as well as different animals and birds. One can also admire the pottery shop, the blacksmith, the carpenter, the marketplace, the spring (where the women used to wash clothes), the shepherds alongside antique tools according to the different trades (which were kindly lent by different members of the community). The main attraction, however, is the actual nativity scene, depicting the birth of the saviour.

The group would like to thank all those people, who helped to make the live nativity scene a success. They would also like to thank all the people, who came to visit the live nativity scene.

For more information about this group click here.