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1876: The brothers opened their first school in Wellington, New Zealand

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Interview with the members of the Marist Youth Ministry Commission



Br Luiz André da Silva Pereira - Province of « Brasil Centro-Norte »

15/06/2013: General House

Marist Youth Ministry can count on an International Commission responsible for indicating to the whole Institute directives capable of guiding the work of the local animators. Among the goals already achieved by this Commission is the document « Evangelisers in the midst of youth » delivered to the Marist Institute in 2011.

The Commission’s last meeting was held in May in the General House. We asked its members some questions about its work and about Marist Youth Ministry (MYM). Today we present an interview with Br Luiz André da Silva Pereira, of the Province of « Brasil Centro-Norte », member of the Commission for two years.

1.  What are the particular characteristics of the youth of Brasil ?

class=imgshadowTo speak of today’s youth and its particularities  is a real challenge, for we have to take into account the different expressions of the mosaic made up by the youth of Brasil. So I will limit myself to the youth who are in our schools, universities, social works and youth centres.

They are aged from 12 to 25 and live for the most part in the metropolitan region, coming from different social classes. Marked by the capacity to ‘dream’, they create bridges and strike up relations so as to construct a better world, more just, more in solidarity, without prejudice or corruption.

Young people who desire to have an experienced of the sacred in their daily life, struggling for the better days when the other becomes a sacred space of revelation.

Young people marked by the new technologies and the social networks, with a new conception of distances and a « geography » and new forms of relationship.

Young people who in the social domain are victims of violence, unemployment, lack of professional qualifications and access to education.

Young people who live utopia, who do not lose the shine in their eyes and who keep a smile on their face as a sign of hope.

2. How does one do MYM in theAdministrative Units of your region ?

MYM is marked by a group process divided into fiveparts : Estrela”, “Coração Acolhedor”, “Boa Mãe”, “Cruz” and “Violeta”. The process proposes an itinerary : the inviting, moment to invite, call and « attract » the adolescents in view of forming the group, that is, discovery of the community way. The next step, the structuring, consists in forming the group, creating bonds, strengthening the desire to belong to the MYM ; this is the discovery of the  group. The third stage is that of the initiation, where we are happy to be together at meetings, social times and different activities, in this way fostering discovery of the person, of community, of society ; the moment to begin the personal life project. The last stage is that of engagement, towards the group, the educational community, the Church and society.

3. How has the document « Evangelisers in the midst of youth »been received by the MYM leaders ?

The document « Evangelisers in the midst of youth »has reiforced our pastoral approach in working with youth. The biblico-theological and pastoral foundations dialogue with the « Directives of the MYM », the document at the basis of our evangelizing action with the young people of Brasil, producing a full communion with the Institute.

Thepresentation of the document took place at a meeting held in Campinas – SP, in August 2012, on the initiative of the Sub-commission for Evangelization of the Americas. 53 participants were present, 10 Provinces, 2 Districts, 13 countries, 4 languages, 18 young people, 24 Brothersfrères (including 3 scholastics), 11 lay persons, 4 members of the General Government and the directors of the Secretariats. After this meeting, each Province programmed a study of the document.

4. In your opinion, what are the most significant challenges and proposals in work with youth.

I underline severalpoints : assure a continuing formation so as to understand the different expressions of young people and so strike up a dialogue ; guarantee a political conscience which pushes towards engagement in public policies in favour of young people ; promote among youth the culture of spirituality and a mysticism capable of responding to the contemporary calls ; propose, as an Institute, a preferential option for the MYM as one of the theological spaces for encounter with God.

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