- Published: 12 April 2017 12 April 2017
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The WOW XPERIENCE is in its 13th year running. The pattern of a half day experience for Form 3, 4 or 5 students from Private and Public schools has been more or less the same for all these years.
At the start of each scholastic year, an invitation goes out to all schools to announce the opening of the bookings for the Wow Xperience. The response is always good.
We start accepting schools in November of each year until the end of the scholastic year, normally in May.
This year has been a record number of schools attending hosting over 50 of them each bringing an average of 50 students totaling 2500 students. The age group of students is important as it is the same for those who start visiting Paceville night socializing and entertainment.
The half day starts at 9:15 am:
Fr. Hilary gives a warm welcome to all while explaining the meaning of the outside symbols like the Wow sign, the Tree of Life and Peace and the plaque in memory of the twinning to the Claire Monastery and the Youth FA. These signs show that the Millennium Chapel does not cater for the soul alone but also for the body, looking always at the whole person.
The Memory Tree is the symbol of life. Each year a very important prayer meeting is held for relatives of young people who have died in tragic circumstances.
Then follows a short visit to the Chapel for a few seconds of complete silence and a thanksgiving prayer for the gift of life. The prayer is given to each student to take home with him.
It is common to have students of different religions, including Muslims.
Student then move to WOW, to the colorful Multi-purpose hall, full of memories of the sporting life of Fr. Hilary as a sportswriter and football coach. The Hall presents big posters of people like Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa, Dorothy Day and others who have given their lives in the service of others. Reference to them is often made during Fr. Hilary’s talks. Here a short documentary film on the aims and works of the Chapel/Wow is shown on the multi functional white board. A very simple demonstration of the beauty of life when built on the values of love, respect, God, family , friends and schooling is ably presented by Fr. Hilary who interacts with the students present to keep the meeting alive.
The value of sports, music, hobbies, reading and art are underlined while particular attention is given on the use of the internet and the social media. Short clips to underline a point are often used.
After this the students take a break in the games room fully equipped with a mini billiard table, table tennis and table soccer. Some prefer to sit and talk to each other in the courtyard.
The last part of the program normally start with a half hour film with a message- like La Vita e’ Bella of Roberto Benigni and The Red Balloon a Palm d’Or award from Cannes that extols the values of friendship .
After the film ex young drug addicts and prisoners speak in a very informal way to the students of the personal life experience. This is a very powerful moment that deeply impresses the young students and put many personal questions to the speakers.
The half day ends with the signing of the Flower by all present. The signing of the flower with the logo of the Wow Xperience is put up in the hall itself with all the others as a pledge by each student to try and remember the good things he heard and a promise to do them in order to live a peaceful and enjoyable life. The Wow Xperience ends at 12:30 pm.
- Published: 12 April 2017 12 April 2017
- Hits: 525 525
In the heart of the tourist and entertainment centre of Malta’s nightlife there stands an oasis of peace :- THE MILLENNIUM CHAPEL and WOW , (Wishing Others Well), These are two pit stops in the hustle and bustle of Paceville – considered the mecca of young people and foreign tourists who visit the Island of Malta.
The Millennium Chapel is a place where all are welcome in the greatest respect of the human person and the beauty of each other. This has been the response of the Maltese Augustinian Province at the start of the new millennium to a fast changing world.
It is a modern architectural gem of a sacred space created by Richard England to provide a sanctuary where everyone who visits feels that they are not alone, for in spite of the fact that people in the outside world are together, they are still fragmented and dying of loneliness. This prayer space provides a destination beyond space and outside times; a place where one is invited to seek shelter from the strident chaos of to day’s discordant world and enter into a silent meditative oasis.
Open day and night, with the Blessed Sacrament permanently exposed it provides solace to many a lost soul. But the unique pastoral approach of this project is the fact that it caters not only for the soul but also for the body. The Millennium Chapel/Wow has a twinning agreement with two significant institutions : The St. Clare Cloister Nuns Monastery and The Youth Football Association. The former to join in prayer as no less than three nuns found their vocations by frequenting the Chapel before they entered the Cloister Monastery and the latter, to promote the value of the body and the material world created by God through the sports values.
Fr.Hilary, the Augustinian founder of the Chapel happens to be also the Founder of the Youth Football Association that brings together in the practice of sports thousands of children and young Maltese players . The education of young people through sports values is the prime aim of the YFA.
The Chapel also offers free counseling sessions by professionals to various people afflicted in addictions of drugs, gambling, alcohol, sex and other problems of relationships, solitude and depression. A big number of needy families and single mothers collect food bags regularly from Wow (Wishing Others well)
The project is run by a Foundation of mostly lay people chaired by Dr. John C Grech who meet regularly to coordinate and monitor the work of over one hundred volunteers called “Welcomers” who are in charge of creating a peaceful and welcoming atmosphere.