From 28th to 30th Apr 2017, The Regional Youth Commission of West Bengal & Sikkim Region organized Training of Trainers (TOT) Program for ICYM DEXCO Members at Divyavani Pastoral Centre, Darjeeling.

The program commenced with an Opening Prayer by Fr Ramen Pailan, DYD, Baruipur Diocese.

Fr Michael Singh, RYD then welcomed all the Directors, Animators and Youth from all the diocese who came for the program which was followed by the Lighting of the Lamp by the dignitaries i.e. Fr Michael Singh (RYD), Ms Anancia Fernandes (RYLA), Fr Arvind Kr Negi (DYD, Asansol), Fr Sandip Michael Biswas (DYD, Kolkata), Fr Andrio Rakesh Biswas (DYD, Krishnagar), Ms Meshal Mondal (DEXCO Kolkata) and Praveen Kujur (ex-President, Regional of Jalpaiguri)


Rev. Fr. Samuel Lepcha, Pro-Vicar, Cathedral of the Most Holy Rosary, Darjeeling warmly welcomed all the delegates who had come for the 3 day Leadership Seminar (TOT 2017).  He was happy to note that we had brought rain, which is a blessing for the people of Darjeeling as they need water. He stated that leaders become great not because of their power but because of their ability to empower others. The greatest gift of a leader to the diocese is to learn something and go back and contribute something to the diocese and he wished each one the best stay in Darjeeling and all the very best for the Training Program and also welcomed us to visit the Cathedral.

Fr Arvind Kr Negi (DYD, Asansol) then took a session on Bible & Youth. With his numerous references from the Bible he helped the youth to realize the importance of reading the Bible and also trying to remember the various biblical quotes and living the Bible. He added that they should approach the Bible with reverence, openness, great humility and depend on the Holy Spirit and be transformed and encounter Jesus in their lives.

After a short break, we had the Eucharistic celebration organized by the North Zone which was con-celebrated by all the DYDs, and youth from all the dioceses who participated in the liturgy and singing, made the service meaningful.  

After dinner, we had the ice breaking session in order to interact with each other conducted by Fr Sandip Michael Biswas which helped all youth to mingle with each other freely, although from different dioceses. Florance Gomes & Hilda Rai were the Emcees for the evening.

The  second day commenced with Morning Prayer by Fr Andrio Rakesh Biswas, DYD Krishnagar which was followed by Eucharistic celebration. Fr Ramen Pailan gave an inspiring homily. Hymns were sung in Bengali, Hindi, Santhali, Nepali and English by all the youth of our diocese which made it melodious and meaningful.

Three Resource persons conducted the sessions : Rev. Fr George Lepcha, Youth Coordinator (Leadership), Mrs Josephine Jyoti Subba, Govt. Advocate & DYLA, Darjeeling (Youth Empowerment) and Fr Alex Gurung (Social Media & Church) which motivated the youth to continue to be good Catholic leaders following Jesus as their Model, engaging in missionary services, leadership in the church, by being an integral part of the church, by being in the Pexco, Dexco, Rexco, Nexco as they are blessed with so much talents.   

Youth from all our dioceses were ever ready to animate with their action songs.  

There was a workshop conducted on the Youth Synod. The youth were divided into 4 groups and each group discussed the questions given to them and their Secretaries prepared the report which was read and submitted. The representatives of each Diocese read their Annual report giving a glimpse of the programs in the diocese and the activity plan for the year 2017. The programs included Parish visits, Animation, Diocesan Youth Convention, Youth Gathering, Bible Quiz, ICYM Birthday celebrations, Taize Prayer, Spiritual Awakening Program, Vocation Camp, Pilgrimages, Social Outreach programs, Sports Fest, Retreat & Regular meetings. The reporting was moderated by Ms Anancia Fernandes.

A short Regional Meeting was conducted by Fr Michael Singh along with the DYDs and Regional team to discuss the forthcoming events : ICYM Chaplains & Animators Training (CAT) Program in June 2017 (Bangalore), Animators & Chaplains Training  (ACT) Program by CCBI  in July 2017 (Delhi),  Youth Sunday (August 2017), Elections (November 2017) and Regional Youth Convention to be held in 2018. It was decided to have the next Regional Meeting at Krishnagar on 24th & 25th of June 2017.

There was Adoration and the priests were available for Confession. The youth led the prayers and singing which helped everyone to pray and also participate in the sacrament of reconciliation, which ended with Benediction by Fr Andrio Rakesh Biswas.

After dinner, all the diocesan youth participated in the cultural program which was enjoyed by one and all. Philip Minz (Kolkata) entertained everyone from time to time. Ms Mili Mondal (Regional Treasurer, Baruipur)  & Robert James (Regional Vice President, Asansol) were the emcees for the evening.  

Certificates of Participation were awarded to all the participants who attended “TOT 2017” by Fr Michael Singh and Ms Anancia Fernandes.  

On the 3rd day we attended the Eucharistic celebration in the Cathedral of the Most Holy Rosary which was con-celebrated by Rev. Fr. Samuel Lepcha and all our DYDs. The Cathedral was packed to capacity with children, youth and elderly parishioners. Rev. Fr Samuel gave an inspiring homily and our youth were also impressed by the discipline and active participation by the laity. Fr Michael Singh gave the Vote of Thanks and “TOT 2017” ended on a happy note.

We take this opportunity to thank our Bp. Cyprian Moniz, RYD, RYLA, DYDs, Animators, REXCO Members and Youth of  both the North & South Zones of our WB & Sikkim Region for making this TOT 2017 a success !

By : Ms Anancia Fernandes


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