In the stage of life…

“On your marks, get set and your heart’s racing: it’s time, it’s your turn to go further… To go the distance. In a team, that’s important.” * It was with this song that the 90 young people from the chaplaincies of the colleges in Noisy-le-Grand* gathered on Saturday 14 October 2023 to begin the 2023-2024 school year.

As you know, the Olympic Games will be held in France in 2024. The Bishops of Ile de France have launched a year of “SPORT AND FAITH”. For this first meeting, young people got together to live these four words “CONFIDENCE, PERSEVERANCE, FRIENDSHIP, TEAM SPIRIT”.
After sharing a delicious snack, we took part in Mass with the parishioners. The texts and readings were chosen according to the afternoon’s theme: Exodus 3:1-10, Psalm 142, Philippians 3:12-16, the Gospel of Luke 24:13-35, and this universal prayer:

From our childhood, we trusted our parents, from our very first steps They said to us “go, go forward” and we took our first steps. All our lives, whatever our age, we trust our teachers, our doctor, depending on our age. But along the way, we sometimes meet people who are false friends.  Lord, help us to keep to the right path in trustLord, hear us, Lord, hear us

To get ahead in life, in the sport we play – football team, basketball team… – we need each other. Lord, help us to recognise each other’s different talents so that we all have a team spirit. Lord, hear us, Lord, hear us.

Whatever we do in our lives as young people or adults, to achieve our goal we have to persevere, whether it’s a penalty shoot-out, drawing a picture, making a recipe… We often have to start over several times before we reach perfection. Lord, help us to persevere without getting discouraged, including in our faith by taking part in chaplaincy, going to Mass, having a time of prayer every day, either on our own or with others. Lord, hear us, Lord, hear us.

Friends are essential in our lives, whether we are children, young people or adults. They are there to listen to us, to advise us, to accompany us, to share our laughter and our sadness. Some will be with us for a while, while others will remain faithful throughout our lives.  Lord, help us to be true friends to our friends. Lord, hear us, Lord, hear us.

God of love and goodness, hear our prayer for the millions of people who are overwhelmed by war and conflict of all kinds, that they may all find compassion, relief and hope for better days. Lord, hear us, Lord, hear us.

Today let us also pray for Pope Francis, the bishops and lay people who are currently at the Synod in Rome. May the Holy Spirit accompany them during this important time for the universal Church.  Lord, hear us, Lord, hear us.

Everyone left the afternoon joyful: here, new friendships were born, there, successes in a game, guiding each other… “In the stage of life, Being is the most important thing. In the stadium of life, to be champion, proud of the jersey; And in the stadium of life, to win together, it’s much more beautiful. Oh, oh, more beautiful “.
Transmitted by Sister Juliette HOUDEMOND, DHS. Published on 17 October 2023

Noisy-le-Grand, commune in the Ile-de-France Region, about 15 km from Paris. France
The song is by Marie Louise Valentin, and a CD of songs will be released in November entitled “Peuples de champions”.