Let us come together to revitalize our vocation ministry wherever we are present in the name of Jesus Christ.

  • Let us be creative in order to awaken young people to God’s plan of love for them.
  • Let us know how to accompany them and propose to them experiences where they can meet Jesus, and allow Him look at them with love.
  • Let us dare enter into the culture of young people in order to better understand their deepest aspirations.
  • Let us collaborate with priests, our Associates, diocesan teams and other Congregations in order to reach out to youth who are thirsting for the Absolute.

Hover Box Element

INTERNATIONAL MEETING ON YOUTH AND VOCATION MINISTRY

Objectives:

To revitalize the youth ministry.

To create intercultural links so that ‘Communion be a reality’.

 

 July 8 – 14, 2021

14h00 – 17h00 Roman Time

 

July 14
Future Perspective
Synthesis
Message of Mother Maria des Anjos, pm
Closing Prayer

The final day of the International Online Meeting for Youth and Vocation Ministry started with our birthday greetings to Mother Maria dos Anjos Alves. Each language group had a chance to sing their Happy Birthday song and express their greetings. The Council members offered flowers in the name of all the participants. And although this was a virtual meeting, we succeeded in taking a group picture!

The session then began with a prayer prepared by the Sisters of the Philippines. In the middle of the prayer, the main host was disconnected due to electrical failure. After some time, we were able to resume with the same enthusiasm and anticipation.

The reflection/discussion questions that had been prepared by each Province, Region and Mission were then shared in a plenary session. There were two points to share:

  1. How can we implement/enculturate synodality in our spiritual heritage?

We identified some areas of our spiritual heritage in which synodality can be implemented/enculturated:

  • The “Let us come together” of Marie Rivier
  • Family Spirit
  • Adoration, prayer and zeal
  • PM simplicity
  • Welcoming spirit
  • Solidarity

This is simply the beginning of a work on how to share/live our spiritual heritage with young people, in the perspective of synodality. We are invited to continue exploring this theme …

 

  1. Give suggestions on how we can make our Youth Ministry more dynamic and energizing. The suggestions were meant to be for the General Administration as well as for the Provinces, Regions and Missions.

– That various online platforms be used such as WhatsApp, Zoom virtual gatherings, etc

– PM Youth Convention/Congress

– International link for prayer, sharing and meeting with youth

– Get involved in the Parish and offer opportunities for prayer and fraternal presence to the youth

– Use of new technologies would also be a great help for vocation awareness and encounter with young people.

And many others….

Mother Maria dos Anjos was grateful for this sharing of ideas and invited the sisters to listen to the Holy Spirit. She assured the participants that the General Administration will study these suggestions with care.

A synthesis of the 6 day International Meeting on Youth and Vocation Ministry was then given by Sr. Louise, our General Secretary and this was followed by the Concluding Message of Mother Maria dos Anjos. Sr. Eugenia from the Mission of Brazil, thanked all our “bridges”, the interpreters who made understanding and communication possible for all. They were certainly a part of the success of this encounter! Kudos to you!

Then the celebration of our closing prayer began. It was inspired by the Christus Vivit #44: the Pope Francis’ reflection on the Annunciation. May all of us imitate the example of Mary who, with determined faith and courage, accepted God’s call and mission to be a bearer of the GOOD NEWS… not as an option but as the mission of the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary!

It was then time to wave our goodbyes. Truly, the Holy Spirit is at work in us and we are ablaze with the zeal to make Jesus Christ known and loved by journeying with youth as Jesus did. Let us allow ourselves to be taught by Jesus how to walk with young people and allowing them to lead and teach us.

July 13
Orientations for the World Youth Day 2023, Lisbon
Sr. Lara, Institute of the Religious of the Immaculate of Mary
Virtual Pilgrimage by Province of Portugal

 

 

We are happy to have the presence of Sister Lara, from the Institute of the Religious of Mary Immaculate, to talk to us about the World Youth Day 2023.
Sister Lara is part of the local organizing committee of WYD, and her mission is to be a bridge between the committee and the institutes of consecrated life.
We would like to thank her for her willingness to join us on our journey, thus building bridges where we can all be a part of this great event that is WYD in Lisbon.

 

The first hour of our session was devoted to Sr. Lara, rmj who is a member of the organizing committee for the World Youth Day 2023 in Lisbon, Portugal. She gave us an overview of the WYD. Sr. Lara spoke not only about the logistical preparation but also and above all about the immediate and distant spiritual preparation needed to live these World Youth Days  well.

If we want more information, we can always visit the website, https://www.lisboa2023.org/en/ .

Sr. Lara showed us the logo of WYD and shared with us its meaning. We also listened to the official song of the WYD 2023 which contains the dynamism and the energy of young people.

The logo and its interpretation

The logo, created using the colors of Portugal, is composed of a Cross crossed by a path.  We can also see a representation of the Virgin Mary and the Holy Spirit in the form of a small yellow curve in descending form.

The path that crosses the Cross has a continuous direction, meaning that what has been lived does not end with the WYD but must continue in our daily life. Mary helps us to walk towards Christ and the Holy Spirit shows us the direction to follow.

The WYD theme song:

We watched and listened to the official theme song of the WYD sung by a group of dynamic young people,. The video shows young people caring for a young man who is in a wheelchair, welcoming him to their group and sharing their joy with him. This is very symbolic and shows that the missionary commitment of the Church must be inclusive.

Good luck to the organizers of this world meeting.  And good luck to the sisters in Portugal. The possibility of going as a PM group stimulated much interest and anticipation! Surely everyone felt invited to the WYD 2023. 

Virtual pilgrimage to Fatima

During the second hour, we went to Fatima, thanks to the creativity of our sisters of the Province of Portugal who prepared a virtual pilgrimage. We are grateful to the Sisters for allowing us to visit the Sanctuary in Fatima, to meet and pray to Mary and Marie Rivier.  Young people love experiences like pilgrimages and so do we.  The last words echo in our hearts: We have a Mother! 

July 12
Orientations of Youth Ministry according to the Synod for the Youth in 2018
Sr. Nathalie Becquart

 

 

Nathalie Becquart is a French Religious. She joined the Xavière congregation in 1995, after a year of voluntary service in Lebanon and two years of professional experience as a marketing and communication consultant. She pronounced her first vows to the Xavière in 1998 and her final vows in 2005.

A graduate of the Ecole des Hautes Études Commerciales HEC and with a double canonical bachelor’s degree in philosophy and theology complemented by a background in sociology, she is pursuing a Canonical License in Theology at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry (specializing in ecclesiology with a research on synodality)

In 2012, she was the first woman appointed to the position of Director of the National Service for the Evangelization of Youth and Vocations within the French Bishops’ Conference after having served as Deputy Director of this service from 2008 to 2012 in charge of Student Ministry.

In May 2019, she was appointed Consultant for the General Secretariat of the Synod. And since February 6, 2021, Pope Francis appointed her as Undersecretary of the Synod of Bishops, a first for a woman.

Today, we know that we are in good hands to have S Nathalie with us to help us reflect and guide our youth ministry in the spirit of the 2018 Synod for the Youth.

 

Sr. Nathalie encouraged us to be synodal in our approach to working with the young.  She encouraged us to “be together” and to team working with the youth we are journeying with, in our ministries. Youth Ministry is not an isolated work but of the community. It is the community that calls vocation. It is the community that builds the people of God.

To be clear in this point she presented an image, in Christus Vivit, of a boat as the Church in which the elder helped to keep on course by judging the position of the stars while the youth with much strength keep rowing. This is an image in which the older generation and younger generation are together in the same canoe in searching for a better world, with a renewed momentum of the Holy Spirit. (CV201)  

So that our Youth Ministry becomes the builder of the People of God we need to move out from ‘I’ to ‘WE. We need to create a space of closeness, of proximity in a relationship of fraternity. A relationship of friendship where sharing, reciprocity, collaboration, and listening are its dynamics.

Sr. Nathalie engagingly tells us the story of Jesus, lost in the Temple. Jesus was lost but his being lost gave him a chance to walk with other people in the caravan –listening to the stories of the elders and sharing the joys and sadness in the caravan. In Greek, the word caravan is translated as ‘synodia’ or walking together. This Gospel narrative gives us the model and dynamics of a synodal youth ministry: Walking with young people, listening to their stories, and sharing their joys and pains.

In Vatican II, the synodal foundation is the Mystery of the Trinity. She challenged us on how to make our PM Youth Ministry, a reflection of the Blessed Trinity whose relationship is characterized by selfless love, mutual sharing, and authentic communion.

After the group sharing in breakout room and plenary, S Nathalie focused on explaining the structure of Christus Vivit, the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation. It gives the orientation and dynamics of a synodal youth ministry.

Christus Vivit cited the Scriptures to know and understand young people and their realities. We need to use this ‘lens’ to understand the many varied realities of the young people today different from other sciences. How to walk with young people in the context which shapes them, through their varied experiences?

The heart of Kerygma is, God is love; that God loves the young. How to make Jesus’ presence present in our boat? We need to get out of our comfort zones and meet them.

 

Sr. Nathalie spent some time on the keywords of Christus Vivit.  They are the following: 

  • Friendship with young people. It is this spiritual friendship with Jesus which can lead the way to vocational discernment.
  • Vocational discernment takes into account the value and beauty of
  •   Inter-generational relationship. The older generation served as a guide, a listener and co-discerner of the younger generation. The young generation needs the wisdom of the old; giving light to the Gospel and warming their hearts as they journey.
  • Vocation is a keyword. Our vocation is a call from God.  As Christian, our vocation is to live our common baptism. Pope Francis emphasized that all life is a vocation; that any vocation is a mission, a mission of service.
  • Discernment. Young people need to be accompanied to be able to make a good choice. To know how to discern is a call and answer to synodality. It is a path to become a discerning Church.

Sr. Nathalie encouraged us to read the Chapter on Youth Ministry. This Chapter provides us new orientations for the Youth Ministry today. It calls for a new leadership style that is a freeing-freedom;  A collaborative and co-responsibility style of leadership.

We ended our session with a time of questions and answers. Once again the session concluded with a lively exchange of goodbyes in our different languages—waves and happy faces.  We belong to a beautiful international family.

July 10
The Realities of the Youth today
Sisters in the Panel:
Philippines - Sr. April; Mozambique - Sr. Iva; Canada - Sr. Danielle; France - Sr. Thèrése

Welcoming the Invited Young People

Video : Vocational Testimonies of the sisters

The session began with a prayer followed by a retrospection given by S. Hortencia on yesterday’s theme “Walking with the Youth towards Jesus Christ”.

Youth is the most difficult stage of life (J. Puyat). In order to better understand the youth, a panel sharing on the Reality of the Young People Today from 4 continents represented by the Philippines (Asia), Mozambique (Africa), Canada (The Americas) and France (Europe) tackled the following points:

  1. The characteristics of young people
  2. Their Spiritual aspirations
  3. The role of Technology in their life
  4. Their sense of Commitment

A small group sharing in the breakout rooms had followed and a plenary in the main room.

At the third hour, we were enjoined by the invited young women who desire to join PM Religious life.

Together we watched the testimonies of the Sisters from all over the world. These are testimonies of faith, fidelity, struggles, and finding peace and joy in the love of God.

The day ended on a high note! Everybody was happy to be together one more time and to have listened and shared on the day’s theme.

Note: The video testimonies can be viewed in the video sub pages of the RESOURCES page in the main menu of our website.

July 9
Walking with the Youth towards Jesus Christ
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle
Prefect of the Congregation of the Evangelization of Peoples

Cardinal Tagle Luis Antonio Gokim is a Filipino Cardinal, currently serves as the Prefect of the Congregation of the Evangelization of People. He is also the President of the Caritas International since 2015. Prior to his full-time service in the Vatican Curia, Cardinal Tagle was the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Manila, Philippines. He has been involved with various academic and pastoral ministries. He was passionate about teaching and bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ especially to the Youth.

He has a special concern for young people. He was involved in the preparation for the Synod for the Youth during the Synod of Bishops in 2018. Today, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle had helped us reflect more profoundly on today’s theme, ‘Walking with the youth towards Jesus Christ.’

He gave the following elements in ‘Walking’. Below are the synthesis.

Walking with the Holy Spirit

We can walk with others towards Christ only through the Holy Spirit. It is also the Holy Spirit who forms Christ in us. We may be too passionate about our Youth Ministry, however, we cannot replace the role of the Holy Spirit who is the prime mover in youth ministry. We cannot have an authentic Youth Ministry without the Holy Spirit, thus we acknowledge our need to be open to the Holy Spirit.

Walking with Jesus as a young person

We can learn from Jesus himself HOW to walk with young people toward the Kingdom, toward our heavenly Father. The mystery of Incarnation is the beginning of Jesus walking with humanity. God himself walked with His people in a human form: Jesus Christ. He became like us, a baby boy, as such, a refugee. As a child, he was led to God through His parents Mary and Joseph. Jesus walked with his parents.

Jesus walked with other young men and women during his life and ministry. He was a young man when he fulfilled his mission. He died as a young man, and when he entered in his Resurrection, he remained young eternally.

Cardinal Tagle further reflected on the empowerment of young people for evangelization: youth evangelizing another youth. We need to invite more young people to walk with other young. Is your Youth Ministry allowing young people to walk with another young? He reflected on Jesus walking with the disciples to Emmaus.

Walking with the youth is not walking towards Jesus Christ but Walking with Jesus Christ towards the Kingdom.

 

Walking with the youth in the Digital Age

The sense of identity of the youth in the Digital age is self-determined which is apart from the traditional way of finding one’s identity. It can be determined by their experience of the virtual world particularly social media. This poses many pros and cons.

They search for a family, a sense of belonging. This element can lead us to reflect the following: To what kind of family environment our Parishes are offering to the young? What is the family atmosphere of our Catholic schools? Do they meet and know Jesus Christ when they are with us?

Young People want authenticity and not perfection. They want to see, listen, and touch the persons who know the Christ. These persons might not be perfect, persons who struggle with their faith but shows the presence of Jesus to others.

Because they ‘live’ in the virtual world of social media, the young people are experts in identifying real Christian and virtual Christian. They want to see, listen and touch witnesses.

Hope

Hope is viewed in the future, a movement towards the future. Faith in Jesus is important, to acquire a vision of future hope and not to get stuck in the pains of the present moments. Young people have witnessed to hope despite the tragedies which they have experienced in life. They are capable of hoping for the future: The hope that is with Someone, who is the Lord! Youth ministry should be able to present to young people that good life is not without a problem and that difficulties are part of real life, part of the journey of hope.

Cardinal Tagle spent some time with the sisters to answer their questions. Sr. Claudette expressed our gratitude for his presence and the inspiring thoughts he gave us. It was followed by a small group sharing in the breakout rooms. The day had ended after the plenary sharing.  We signed off, either to take the night rest or to continue the day.

July 8
VOCATION MINISTRY
SHARING ON WHAT WE HAVE LIVED IN OUR PROVINCES, REGIONS AND MISSIONS

The session began with the opening prayer and the introduction of the day by Ginette. Mother Maria dos Anjos’ gave the words of welcome inviting us to a personal encounter with the person of Jesus and proposed to us the openness and the common search of God’s ways for us in our mission of evangelization,

Together in listening to the Spirit, let us always seek what Jesus wants for us, what he wants us to propose in our missions of evangelization. Be open to his Spirit, to his suggestions for change, beginning with your heart, with your life! Without an openness to the new, to God’s surprises, little by little, faith will die out and the apostolic impetus will not work… Let’s look for what is best for our life together, let’s give a new impetus to our apostolic mission!

Day 1: Sharing of what is being lived in the Youth and Vocation Ministry. The sisters gave a positive impression of how the Congregation in the PM world is diversely and actively involved in Youth and Vocation Ministry. Creativity is never lacking and the efforts of each P/R/M are worthy of mention with great appreciation. May our prayer be: May the Lord of the harvest bless our ministry, our Church, our Congregation and the world with holy vocations!

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