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Evangelizers in the midst of youth



European Meeting of Marist Youth Ministry

16/10/2012: France - Photo gallery

The European Meeting of Marist Youth Ministry was held at N.D. de L’Hermitage from 23 to 28 September. Brothers, laity and young people from the five provinces of Europe shared and had an experience of communion around the document “Evangelizers in the midst of youth”.  The meeting was for those taking part a privileged time for coming to know the document, for sharing to develop strategies for its application on the provincial and regional levels, and an experience of fraternity and Marist family in the house of Champagnat which helped us   visualize the international character of the Marist Institute in Europe.

During the meeting, the journey of Jesus with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus served as a paradigm of approximation to the document and for sharing the situations of youth, strengths, challenges and dreams of the Youth Ministry in each of the Provinces, at the same time as making it possible to look together at the horizons and perspectives of Marist youth evangelization in Europe.

Br João Carlos Do Prado, Director of the Secretariat of Mission, accompanied the meeting and Br Joseph Mc Kee, Vicar General was also present for a time. Br Emili Turú addressed a video message to the participants which enriched the process and made us feel in communion with the rest of the Institute, especially with the meetings on Marist Youth Ministry and the document “Evangelizers in the midst of youth” which have been held in the regions, with the conviction that we are journeying together with Mary towards a new land of our ministry.

Being at ND de L’Hermitage gave us the opportunity of having an experience of fraternity in the Marist places and the warm welcome from the Hermitage community helped us in this.

The meeting’s conclusions and the work of the round tables has been recorded on a blog: http://pjmeuropa.wordpress.com/. At the end, the participants stressed the shared life and the feeling that the Marist charism is valid and actual for the youth of today in Europe and drew up a manifesto that we now share with you:

Reunited at ND de L’Hermitage, our common home, the place where was forged the dream of  Marcellin Champagnat for children and young people, the participants in the European Meeting of Marist Youth Ministry have shared an experience of communion around our evangelizing mission among youth. As the fruit of this rich shared experience, we declare that:

We believe in youth. They are for us the place where we meet the God of life. We wish to be attentive to their needs and be challenged by them.

We believe in the God of Jesus, a God passionate for the human being and loving us unconditionally.

We feel called to evangelize, that is to say:

* Help children and young people find meaning in their lives
* Accompany their growth as persons
* Point to the person of Jesus as the reference for life and happiness

To respond to this call to the evangelization of youth, we consider essential:

To love them as they are, giving preference to the most needy, like Champagnat.

A significant presence of laity and brothers, authentic accompaniers for reference, contemplative, capable of listening with an open heart, and aware of the need to cultivate their own interior way.

That the youth themselves be the protagonists of the MYM. That they can be evangelizers for other young people.

To let ourselves be evangelized by them.

With our youth ministry we wish:

  • To generate living space so that young people can grow in identity, feel themselves  accompanied like the disciples of Emmaus, so that they can live fraternity and community mediating life in a group.
  • To promote experiences so that youth can grow in interiority and foster their spiritual development.
  • To help them make choices of commitment to their reality and become transformers of society. 

We believe in formation and accompaniment as key elements in the growth process of each young person.

We believe in an organized and structured MYM. Complete with the presence and proximity to the youth.

At this meeting with them we announce the Good News of the gospel of Jesus and we promote the growth in community of the Church.

We feel the call to internationality and we see it necessary to promote networking and joint projects among the provinces of Europe.  

We find in Mary the model and the reference point to follow in accompanying the young people in the MYM.

We dream, like Champagnat, of the new land of the MYM, a significant MYM, incarnated in reality, creative, critical, and in solidarity with society which favours the building of the Kingdom, and is capable of showing the Marian face of the Church. 

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