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Walking in the heights



Pastoral Forum with Young People

10/12/2008: Spain

Bearing the motto “Walking in the heights the Pastoral Forum for Young People took place in the Palacio de Congresos in Madrid from 7 to 9 November. This event came about following a suggestion by the Scapularists on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of their magazine on youth pastoral. However the expectations of its promoters were soon exceeded because they found themselves involved with almost the entire youth pastoral in Spain. The Forum had as its objectives that of acknowledging the road travelled till now in our youth pastoral, knowing and sharing the current situation and putting in place future plans for the task of the Church in the youth world. And all this networked, in communion, because we need to meet each other, know each other and begin to work together in the youth environment.

Working in communion

These aspirations were channelled through the diocesan Delegations to demonstrate that we can only build together in the framework of the local Church. The experience of the Forum was founded on this and it was welcomed in the Archdiocese of Madrid, where it connected with a sensibility similar to that which had been growing little by little among the groups and movements which work with young people and which could be summarized in the statement given as the title to a previous working document of the Forum: Communion is the heart of the mission.

Diocesan participation in the event included the attendance of 24 animators and priests from the youth, pastoral, vocational and university Delegations of Salesians, Marists, Redemptorists, Missionary Claretians, Holy Angel, MJAC, JEC and from the parishes of Jerez, Villanueva de la Serena y Monesterio. There was a significant representation from the areas in which people are working today with the young in our local Church. We also participated by contributing our experience of coordinated action carried out, for several years, among the Christian schools of Badajoz and described as Giving colour to life here in Badajoz, as well as the exhibition Going down South carried out by the JEC.

Carrying with them their own dreams, two thousand participants came from all corners of Spain to the Forum in Madrid.

From the experience of the Forum we can say that it is possible to regard with hope the action of the Church in the world of the young people, as long as it is carried out through communion. The preparation and the attendance at the Forum provided, for all those who participated from the Archdiocese, a great experience of Church and encouragement to network. From this experience we can say that it is possible to look with hope on the pastoral action in the world of youth if it is carried out through communion.

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