December 13-15, 2013 Franciscan Youth in Uganda met in Soroti diocese in the East of Uganda for UZIMA an international Eucharistic Centered Youth retreat. In all were 4,736 youth from 11 dioceses, and two countries – Uganda and Kenya.
At the First International Franciscan Youth Assembly (2007), it was agreed that the Youfra draw closer to the Eucharist and invest in ongoing formation that is enriched by spiritual retreats. The relevant conclusions of the 2007 assembly in pusuit of which the Franciscan Youth of Uganda organized this retreat are here below:
- The Eucharist for the Franciscan Youth
- Like Francis, we too are called to recognize the sacrament of God’s body in the Eucharist, and to live the Trinitarian experience on the basis of the Word and the Eucharist.
- For the Young franciscans, the intimate relationship with Jesus and His word is fundamental in order to be able to live the Eucharist.
- Minority, humility, innocence and poverty, are values that help to understand and live the Eucharist.
- As Franciscans, we must celebrate the Eucharist in true community; prayer, formation and mission have no meaning without community.
· Ongoing formation must be enriched with spiritual retreats or other activities at the Regional or National level. The contacts through internet with other YouFra realities can also help the growth of the Young franciscan or the group. The Local Assistant must promote a greater approach to the young members of the Fraternity.
This retreat happens once a year in Uganda. Before Soroti it had happened in Nabbi diocese. While originally animated by Franciscans as youth 2000, the retreat has come to be a collaborative effort between the Dominican and Franciscan family in the east African region. The retreats in Uganda in the last five years have all be organized and hosted at the prompting and active engagement of Franciscan Youth in Uganda. We thank the office of JPIC Franciscans Africa in Nairobi for coordinating the invitations and logistics of participation of the Franciscan family.