Searchers of Happiness
Cluj – Napoca, a city in the North – West of Romania, has been hosting several events of a cultural, social, political, economical and spiritual nature, especially in the past few months, since it has been nominated “The European Capital for Youth” for 2015. One such event was the 13th edition of “The National Gathering for Catholic Young People”, which was organised by the Romanian Bishops’ Conference, held between 22nd and 26th July 2015. There were approximately 2,150 young people, up to 10 bishops, over 100 priests and the same number of Religious, who all went to Cluj in search for authentic happiness.
Our Congregation was represented by Sisters Tereza Ciuchin and Cecilia Bordea. On entering the places of accommodation, every participant was handed “The Pilgrim’s Bag” containing a booklet for the five days, a rain coat, a badge and various other materials which had been purposely sent in by some Congregations, including ourselves.
Like in other years, one of the purposes of this gathering was to give Catholic young people from all over Romania the opportunity to meet and get to know others who share the same faith and beliefs, to take part in all sorts of workshops related to human and spiritual development, to witness to their belief in moral and spiritual values and to a life lived according to these values.
The theme of the event – Searchers of Happiness – had its root in the Gospel quotation “Happy are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” which was meant to awaken in the participants the longing for the true happiness revealed by Jesus Christ and the desire to be open to this divine happiness. Pope Francis has also been quoted on one of the bookmarks we found inside the pilgrim’s bag, “Have the courage to go against the tide! Have the courage to be happy!” The participants were all offered the opportunity of attending daily Mass and catechetics, of taking part in small group discussions, of attending and/or taking part in concerts, of joining in the procession with the Holy Sacrament through the streets of the city. They could also choose what workshops to attend in the afternoons or whether to join the city tours or visit museums and other historical buildings. There was a variety of topics for the workshops, such as: friendship, love, marriage, the gift of life, prayer, social networks, anti-trafficking.