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Marist Calendar - November

Evangelizers in the midst of youth



Regional meeting of the MYM of Asia

26/11/2012: Philippines - Photo gallery

The Secretariat of Mission, together with the International Marist Youth Ministry Commission, organized the Regional meeting of the MYM of Asia in the Philippines, at MAPAC, Manila, from 4 to 8 November, to study and understand the steps of the document « Evangelizers in the midst of youth ».

46 delegates attended, representing the three Administrative Units of Asia and the District of Melanesia. The group was made up of students, Brothers, and laity from the Marist schools as well as Brothers and a lay missionary from MAPAC. Co-ordination and animation were the work of Brothers Rommel Ocasiones, João Carlos do Prado, César Rojas, Chris Wills and Teófilo Minga.

The meeting dynamic followed the proposal of the document « The road to Emmaus », understood as a paradigm for the evangelisation of youth today. This dynamic proposed several activities, study, moments of sharing and conviviality…, which contributed to creating an  atmosphere of great animation, full of life and excellent prospects for the implantation of the MYM in Asia and Melanesia.

The various activities motivated our desire to pursue the ‘dreams’ of Marcellin Champagnat to be the evangelizers among the youth of today, through our presence « in all the dioceses of the world ». By its religious diversity, Asia poses a challenge and an invitation for the Marist mission.

This bond of unity established through the meeting is a sign of the vitality of the Institute in the  Region of Asia.

« To journey with the disciples of Emmaus to a New Land », will be the ideal of the Marist Youth Ministry, which we will put into operation through our activities in the different contexts where we work in Asia.

Neiva Hoffelder

Letter from the participants

Manila, 8th November 2012
Dear Provincials, Brothers, Lay and young people from Asia and Melanesia,


The recently completed MYM seminar organized by the Mission Commission of Rome in MAPAC-Manila, from 4th-8th November 2012, brought together a total of fifty participants from the three administrative units in Asia and from the District of Melanesia. Included in the group were students, brothers and teachers from our schools, lay and brother missionaries from AMAG and brothers from MAPAC. The bond of unity that prevailed in the meeting is a sign of the vitality of the Institute in the Asian region of the Marist world.

The various activities undertaken during this encounter energized our desire to continue the dream of Marcellin Champagnat to be evangelizers of with the youth of today. The meeting has been for us an excellent opportunity to reflect on the document "Evangelizers in the midst of youth".

Grace-filled meeting

For us, sent by the provinces, it became very clear that we are called upon to know and understand the content and processes outlined in the document. The meeting served to do just that. Each day aspects the document were presented to us and we were able to savour the richness of its content. Going back to our own provinces, we know that a great responsibility lies on our shoulders: to make the document known in our province. Not only to make it known, but also to make our ministry with youth a living reality in all our works. All Marists in the provinces, lay and brother, should assume the responsibility of making Youth Ministry a reality in our times.

A challenging document

We are called to develop strategies at the local level, to translate both the proposals and the suggestions of the document into concrete realities. How can we do it?

What can we do to get closer to young people in the situations in which they live. They have a right to expect from us, Marist evangelizers, both a genuine relationship and an effective action to assist them; to help them to discover the meaning of life and how important the Gospel of Christ is in their lives. As MYM animators, we are called to be “sowers of hope”to use the beautiful expression of John Paul II in the first World Youth Day in Latin America (Buenos Aires, 1987). We are called to be witnesses of Jesus.

How do we help them to discover the richness of fraternity and sorority in our continent that must be lived and built with a “Marist imprint”? We are apostles of youth in a Marist way.

The document points out to us a methodology inspired by the Gospel story of the disciples of Emmaus.

• How will we walk with young people? (Chapter 1)

• How will we explain to them the meaning of the Scriptures and that God loves them deeply in Christ? (Chapter 2)

• How will we share with them the bread of friendship, the bread our presence of, the bread of hope and, when possible, the bread of the Eucharist? (Chapter 3)

• How we will concretize our Marist apostolate so that we can make the experience of fraternity in youth groups? How can we make them grow in faith? (4 Chapter).

• What are our dreams to build up a better future and to move together with the youth to a new land of "good Christians and good citizens"? (Chapter 5)

• And, from an Asian perspective, how can we develop from our region and from our continent a sense of internationality that creates in us "a heart without bounds"? (Chapter 6).

With Mary go in haste…

These are very general questions that appeared daily in our presentations, in our conversations, in our activities. What we can we offer out of Asia to the Marist world? What new experiences will we be able to invent?

These days of living together, studying the book "Evangelizers in the midst of youth", took us back to the fundamental call of the last chapter: "With Mary, go in haste to a new land." We feel in this call a dimension of urgency (in haste), a need forcreativity (new land) and a sense of communion (with Mary). Urgency, creativity, communion: three important words.

• Let us not to be waiting more time: let us start right now;

• Let us not just to repeat: let us be able to dream;

• Let us not to be individualistic: let us move forward working together with all the apostles of today.

Being faithful to those marist who preceded us is not to repeat what they did, it is to take again their intuitions and to allow them to continue to give life today; updating them taking into account the needs of today's times. What are the needs of our youth today?

Our documents and Brother Emili have referred again and again to the image of the Marial face of Church. Its promotion is a responsibility the Church has entrusted to us in a special way. It is a major theme from our document on Marist Spirituality,Water from the Rock, as well: "By relating to young people in a Marial manner, we become the face of Mary to them" (WfR, 27).

Builders of a new dawn

One of the working groups in our Seminar wanted to be called "Sun Rising" group. The sun rises every day, it is always new, it is always a sign of renewed life. It is also an invitation to be not afraid of renewal and newness, not to be afraid to go in haste to a "new land" so that in our region and in our continent, something new may happen.

Many years ago our holy and dear Brother Basilio, quoting the French theologian Yves Congar spoke of a new dawn for the Church for the Institute. And he added: "I wanted to help this new dawn to rise." We all are invited to make ours, this desire of our Brother Basilio by being Evangelizers in the midst of youth.

Participants of the Meeting of Manila, 4-8 November 2012, for the presentation of the document Evangelizers in the midst of youth.

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