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An unusual café promotes vocations in Valencia

 

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Interview with Georgina Trías

06/07/2006: Spain

The World Meeting of Families that will welcome Pope Benedict XVI on the 9th July also wants to present to young people the beauty of seeking and following Jesus Christ.
This objective of Café Vocation.com is explained in an interview given to Zenith by its director, Georgina Trías, with degrees in religious sciences, Hispanic philology, and counsellor in education and in vocational orientation for several Internet portals. She is married and the mother of two children.

It seems a little astonishing to combine the idea of a café with vocations. Where did the idea of Café Vocation.com come from?
Georgina Trías:
A café is a place where one can meet with friends to converse about everything and that is why the vocation and the café form an excellent combination. This idea appeared in the United States to prepare for the WYD in Toronto. Some laypeople wanted to offer participants a milieu where they could, on one hand, relax, fraternise, listen to live music and read their e-mails without charge, and on the other hand to approach the sacrament of reconciliation or spend sometime in eucharistic adoration to deepen the experience of these days. The idea, quite a new one, was very well received and that is why they applied it to Cologne last summer.

What impressions has the Cologne Café left?
Georgina Trías:
More than 16,000 young people listened to the testimonies of bishops, priests, religious and committed laypeople. The café was animated by young couples and volunteers who were really interested in making known the beauty of the Christian vocation. More than fifteen priests heard confessions on site when the café was open, in various languages in order to welcome the pilgrims from different nations.

Did this café arouse vocations?
Georgina Trías:
The website www.vocation.com received notes of appreciation during its time of operation and the weeks that followed. In visiting it, several wondered if Christ had called them to follow him. As well, bishops and religious left material about their seminaries and their houses of formation in the café, so that anyone interested could make contact with them.

Why open a Café during this World Meeting of the Family?
Georgina Trías:
The Pope reminds us unceasingly that the family plays a primordial role in the transmission of the faith to young people, and we are convinced, as he teaches us, that the Christian family is the place where priestly and religious vocations are born. So, we could not neglect to open a café at least 800 metres from the place where the encounters with the Holy Father will take place and we will be open from the 4th to the 8th July at nº2 Baleares Ave, in a hotel of Valencia. More than eighty volunteers will work there, especially some young people.

How has this initiative been welcomed by the bishops?
Georgina Trías:
Le Café Vocation.com seeks to be a service in the Church to promote all vocations and I believe that the bishops appreciate it. In other editions of the Café, some bishops came to give witness and recount their story of their vocation. This would all be worth it if only one young person decided to go to the seminary of his diocese or become a missionary or contemplative religious. Le Café Vocation.com will also be part of the official programme of the WYD in Sydney in 2008.

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