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Several movements linked to the Youth Pastoral of Portuguese’s Jesuits bring together thousands of young people of all ages, again. The initiatives promise not only fun but also contribute to the integral development of all.

At the end of another school year full of commitments and tasks, summer is always the best time to decompress and "recharge the batteries". Still, there are those who prefer to have this time to rest in a different way: to serve and to learn, growing both humanly and spiritually.

Organized by different age groups (from 8 to 18 years old) and based on identical pedagogical principles, Camtil, Campinácios and Gambozinos aim to provide a time of contact with nature; a break with the routine through service, reflection and spiritual activities.

This year 24 camps take place between the end of July and the end of August and have as their theme "Fill your life with joy". More than 1300 young participants and about 430 animators are involved. The 42 participants from each camp are guided by a group of 15 to 18 animators, accompanied by a Jesuit chaplain.

In addition to the summer camps there are the colonies of other institutions also linked to the Society of Jesus: the various colonies of Centro Juvenil Padre Amadeu Pinto  (from 1 to 26 July) and the Rabo de Peixe Sabe Sonhar movement (31 July to 14 August). They also include hundreds of children and have large teams of animators, trying to help children who often live in demanding and socially problematic contexts. Therefore, their aim is to work "to make teenagers capable of overcoming the adversities they encounter throughout their lives".

Volunteer missions in Africa

On July 20th the missions of Grão started until September 20th. After 9 months of formation, the animators (university students and young professionals with Ignatian inspiration) leave for African countries with the aim of contributing to their development, in partnership with Non-Governmental Organisations established on the field, already with existing Missions. This option allows the efforts of the volunteers of Grão to be integrated into long-term projects and not be limited to one-off actions. "It is intended, therefore, that the missions of Grão are based on a logic of insertion and inculturation and that their intervention is focused on community development, training / education and promotion of individual integrity and autonomy of populations through the training of local youth," you can read at Grão’s website.

Music and spirituality

The second edition of the LabOratório will take place from September 1st to 8th at the Convento de São Domingos, in Lisbon. This activity is for those between the ages of 15 and 40 who like music, with or without musical formation, but also for the local community: the community prayers (lauds, intermediate hour, Eucharist) and the concerts will be open to all, and for free. It will be a week of personal and community prayer, with workshops of musical formation (singing, instruments, composition, choral direction), workshops of theological formation, exploring the relationship between music and spirituality and conversations and concerts with respected artists. New music will be created for the liturgy, with different musical styles. The new music will be recorded and the scores will be published in a songbook. All this in a community environment, open to people from different movements, parishes and spiritualities, as an experience of plural Church.

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