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Youth and the Next Work Youth Day

27/09/2012: Cuba
IMYM | 17-21 July 2013

Since 2001 Mexican born Brother Hector Avalos Gil has been in Cuba. He is the Executive Secretary of Youth Ministry for the Cuban Bishops Conference. He would like to bring many youths to the next World Youth Day which will be held in Rio de Janeiro in 2013. He was interviewed about this by the agency ZENIT. The interview is reproduced below.

Are young people from Cuba now being prepared to attend the World Youth Day in Rio 2013?

Brother Avalos: Yes, the preparations have been taking place since the Eucharistic send off in “Cuatro Vientos” Madrid, where Cuban youths, and along with them youth ministers from Latin America, received this call with much enthusiasm and joy. It will be an opportunity for them to be there with more young people from the American continent.

Will there be something new for this World Youth Day?

Brother Avalos: Yes, it will be enriched by the “Missionary Week” prior to the day as a response to the Continental Mission put in motion since Aparecida. The members of the organizing team offer a full range of activities that can be followed on: www.rio2013.com

What will the participation of the Cuban youth be like?

Brother Avalos: The participation will be very discreet but significant by representatives from all the dioceses. For these international events we count on the support of our sister churches and diverse organizations, we are grateful for their support, especially the Pontifical Council for the Laity that made it possible for us to be present at World Youth Day.

 In what way is World Youth Day contributing to the ministry of youth in the Church?

Brother Avalos:  Although WYD has its own dynamic and accent on celebration, we must be careful to not make it just “religious tourism”, but rather a way making Jesus the center in the lives of our youth.

The keys for having “Youth for Christ” are: the universality of the Church; the gift of voluntary service; Eucharistic adoration; feeling loved by God through the sacrament of forgiveness and the joy of celebrating community life.

What work are the Marist Brothers dedicated to in Cuba?

Brother Avalos: Our mission is to be part of the dynamic and life of the dioceses of Cienfuegos and Havana. In Cienfuegos we share space for the formation of catechists and youth ministry animators, laypeople, missions and more. In Havana we collaborate in the formation of seminarians, religious and laypeople.

IMYM | 17-21 July 2013

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