“Bread, Wine, and Water: Hope of Divine Love” was the slogan of the XI Gathering of Franciscan Youth held November 1-3, 2018, at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Copiapó, Chile.

Approximately 120 young people from Curicó, Santiago, and Copiapó gathered to share Franciscan charism and spirituality and to encounter Jesus Christ. Friars Christian BORGHESI, Emilian DUMEA, Fabio MAZZINI, and Ramón ZAS GARCÍA as well as leaders from the three parishes accompanied the young people.
The theme of bread was developed during the first day, as something that nourished after the process of bread-making. The theme of wine was developed on the second day through a visit to Fajardo Vineyard, where the process of wine-making was demonstrated.  Day three examined the theme of water as a vital element of human life as well as the environment.
During these days the young people joined in times of prayer, Eucharistic adoration, fraternal recreation, and the celebration of the Eucharist at St. Francis Parish; went on mission to Chamonate, Toledo, and Hacienda San Pedro; made a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria; and visited the baia Inglesa and the grotto of Padre Negro in Caldera.
To understand, to share, and above all to witness to the hope of Divine Love is what these young people want to communicate in their daily lives. Strengthened by this experience of faith and fraternity, each of them returned home bearing a local cactus plant as a remembrance.

Friar Jack GINTING
Photo Credit: Francisco Gabriel CONTRERAS e Mirna Rojas FUENTES