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29 January

Saint Julian
1826, Father Champagnat went to convalesce with Father Dervieux, parish priest of Saint Peter’s at Saint-Chamond

Marist Calendar - January

Interview with Br Ramon Rúbies Bernat, of the Province of l’Hermitage



Particular characteristics of the youth of Europe

17/08/2013: Spain

Here we present the interview we did with Br Ramon Rúbies Bernat, of the Province of l’Hermitage. He lives in a community of Barcelona and works on the Province’s Pastoral Team – pastoral animation of the Marist works in Catalonia. He represents Europe on the International Commission of Marist youth Ministry. He has been on this commission since 2007, the year when the drafting of the document « Evangelisers in the midst of youth » commenced.

1. What are the characteristic traits of youth in Europe ?

In general, the young are people searching, wanting to grow and find meaning in their life. Today’s youth, especially in Spain – the place I know best -, do not envisage the future with much hope, given the economic and social situation of generalised crisis. In this sense, the young reflect, by their spontaniety and  way of life, the values of the society. One of its defining traits is to be a « liquid society » where solid points of reference are lacking, where personal life is characterised by the absence of utopia, of projects… But on the other hand, when one shares the life of youth, one notices that they are very sensitive to the needs of others; they are persons who need reference points which can accompany them on their journey of growth and discovery of faith and life.

src=http://old.champagnat.org/images/Ramon_Rubies.jpg2. How is the MYM organised in the Administrative Units of your region ?

That depends a lot on the Provinces and also on the countries. In certain countries there is a MYM which has been organised and structured for many years, with youth groups and movements developed according to a process (8 to 25 years). In other countries, the MYM is just beginning. There exists also an  interprovincial co-ordination, assured by the Spanish Marist Conference and the European Marist Conference, with interprovincial youth meetings and other experiences of youth ministry and vocations ministry.

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

The document has been received very well. We believe that it is a basic document recognised by all the  animators of ministry and which is at present on the way to becoming known by other young people. We emphasize in particular the MYM meeting in September 2012, held at the Hermitage with representatives from all the Provinces of Europe. This was a very interesting experience of Marist communion around the evangelisation of the youth of Europe and which gave a very positive boost to the study and implantation of the document in the Provinces. On the basis of this meeting, each Province has concretised different ways of disseminating and implementing the document.

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

Here are some of the challenges raised during the MYM meeting at l’Hermitage :

·         Invitation to animate and reinforce the youth ministry.

·         Observation of animportant advance of the MYM, not simply because of the document but also by action ; the MYM strengthens the global Marist identity, the identity of the lay Marist, and contributes to the birth of a stronger regional project.

·         The meeting provided lines for guiding the work with the animators, the formation of vocations ministry and youth ministry teams, to prepare and develop the document in the Provinces.

·         The meeting encourages us to continue to reinforce the pastoral work on the part of brothers and laity, hand in hand. This should be an important section of our Strategic Plans.

·         During the meeting there was also a presentation of the differentprovincial situations, the advances made in some sectors and the works and efforts beginning in others.

·         To strengthen the exchange between the youth of the different Provinces of Europe.

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