Rome (Italy). On 25 February 2024, the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians students of the 2nd year of the Spirituality Course of Mother Ersilia Canta House, together with some Daughters of Mary Help of Christians 2nd year students of different Degree, Master’s Degree and Diploma Courses of the Pontifical Faculty of Education Sciences “Auxilium”, of the Preprovince Mary Mother of the Church (RMC), and of Mary Help of Christians Community of the Generalate (RCG), with the new missionaries, participated in a formation meeting animated by the Institute’s Youth Ministry Sector. The day was dedicated to the theme “For Life and Hope: Animation of the Institute’s Apostolic Action”.

The Councilor for Youth Ministry, Sister Runita Borja, together with her international team, coordinated and animated the event, focused on the apostolic-educative action of the Institute, always keeping alive fidelity to the Charism and to the needs of today’s youth.

During the meeting, the main sources used to understand Youth Ministry were presented, including the documents of the Institute, Mother’s Circulars, the Acts of the General Chapters, and the YM Series in 5 languages. These materials offer in-depth reflections on themes relevant to the mission, with particular attention to the journey of the Church and of the contemporary world.

As a reference point for working with young people, the Educating Communities, and the laity, the document was presented to the participants, ‘That they may have life and have it to the full’ – Guidelines for the educational mission of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (LOME). Interpreted in an integral perspective, it highlights the importance of Gospel values in the FMA’s educational mission.

The centrality of the encounter with Jesus of Nazareth was underlined as the objective of the FMA Youth Ministry, which aims at the progressive maturation of the faith in young people. Indeed, the authentic relationship with Jesus promotes the integral growth of the person and the commitment to active citizenship.

The educative mission is instead considered a charismatic gift entrusted to the Educating Community, inspired by the first Christian community and the figure of Mary. Thus, a synodal YM is promoted, focused on the current reality and based on a gaze of faith.

The mode of animation of Youth Ministry Sector has been illustrated through four fundamental pillars: accompaniment, formation/information, advocacy, and networking. The importance of coordination was underlined, in order to foster the necessary communion based on planning, circularity, co-responsibility, and subsidiarity.

During the day, interactive activities, moments of prayer, reflections, and group work were proposed, which actively involved all the participants. Through questions and key words, there was reflection on how to improve the work within the environments of Youth Ministry. Participants were also able to visit the various working spaces of the Sector and have access to the different materials and sources relating to animation work.

To the sisters of the 2nd year of Spirituality, now about to return to their own Provinces of origin, this experience resounds as a call to give the best of themselves with a challenge: what presence do we want to be “for”‘ and “with” the young people of today?

The FMA students wish to live the commitment to enter into the dynamic of “listening to young people”, to offer them specific spaces for dialogue, and involve them without exception, privileging in particular those who are most disadvantaged and needy.

The challenge/dream they bring to their Provinces is to create community processes that include the young people and their dream is to experience a Youth Ministry in an increasingly synodal style, that is capable of giving shape to ‘walking together’.

The sisters who participated in the meeting were grateful for the formative opportunity of this meeting that contributed to a deeper understanding of the educational mission of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, in a perspective of integral education.

Photos : Flickr FMA


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