Rome (Italy). In April – 13 and 20 and May – 11 and 18 2024, two online formation sessions were held for each language group – English, Spanish, Italian – for new Provincial Youth Ministry Coordinators. Sister Runita Borja, General Councilor for Youth Ministry of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, with the Sector Collaborators, animated all the sessions.

The formation was attended by eleven FMA representing different Provinces with a variety of religious, cultural, political, and social contexts. The decision to hold the sessions by language is in continuity with the choice of the Youth Ministry Sector to promote dialogue, understanding, and mutual help.

The theme “To animate a synodal youth ministry for life and hope” is in harmony with the choice of coordination for communion and the synodal journey of the Church. The YM Sector considers of great importance the accompaniment of the Provincial Coordinators, as they are the focal point of liaison with the Provinces.

Always in the spirit of coordination for communion, these key figures, who ensure the formation of Educating Communities, are respected and valued, since it is in local communities that the integral education of the young generations and their insertion in society and in the Church is carried out, and with them the educative mission of the Institute is accomplished.

In preparation for the sessions, the participants read Chapter 7 of the Apostolic Exhortation Christus vivit. (The Pastoral Care of Young People), identifying points of convergence with the FMA Youth Ministry. In the second session, the Sisters also presented the animation of the YM in the Province.

From the various presentations, it emerges clearly the diversity of the structures used by the Provinces in the animation of YM. The structure, in fact, must be at the service of the mission and the life of young people and adults involved in the educative mission. What is important is that this structure promotes the collaboration of FMA, lay people, and young people and the interaction between the different Sectors of animation.

Sister Runita presented in summary the fundamental elements for those who begin this service of animation. After a brief introduction, she referred to the main sources for understanding FMA Youth Ministry. She then presented Coordination for Communion at the provincial level and Coordination for Youth Ministry at the provincial and local levels. Concluding, she left some concrete suggestions to live the style of the Coordination for Communion.

The participants thanked the Sector for its attention and accompaniment, and for the possibility of comparison with other realities. The words of Mother Chiara Cazzuola in Circular 1014, are an encouragement for the new Provincial Coordinators of YM:

“We are an Institute that is all of Mary, therefore ‘courage’, Mother Mazzarello would say: daring and prayer. Let us go forward with enthusiasm on the path that the Spirit will suggest to us with a free heart and open to welcome His solicitations with an attentive gaze to recognize with compassion and tenderness, the needs and urgencies of a world constantly undergoing change, alongside young people, the most exposed and delicate part of society, but always preferred”.


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