Rome (Italy). On 10 and 11 November 2020, the online meeting took place of the Directors of Residences for young university students, workers, and professionals from all over the world. There are 60 works of residences owned or managed by the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.
Objectives of the meeting were: to know and enhance the educational proposal of the FMA University Residences; share the richness of the various educational proposals offered to young university students, workers, professionals in the world; reflect on the new challenges that the Covid-19 pandemic presents today in this context.
Sister Runita Borja, General Councilor for Youth Ministry, emphasized in her message how the University Residences constitute a privileged space for accompanying the younger generations. The words addressed by the young people to the FMA in the XXIII General Chapter still resound:
“We expect that as FMA you will support committed young people by giving them a ‘community’ and, to those who wish it, the possibility of sharing your community life; that you encourage us to deepen our faith and social responsibility … to open ourselves to different vocations” (Acts GC XXIII, n. 17 b) and the commitment of the FMA to “consider young people not only as recipients, but as protagonists of evangelization” (Acts GC XXIII, n. 59) and to “be with the young people listening to them, trusting, believing in them, meeting them where they are ” (Acts GC XXIII, n. 61.2).
About fifty participants were present at the meeting, who had a dialogue mainly on two fronts: the richness and positive aspects of the mission among young university students, workers, and professionals; the challenges faced in this mission, particularly in the time of a pandemic.
The importance of welcoming the current situation with flexibility was emphasized, facing the present time with confidence to ensure a ‘healthy’ environment according to the regulations, in a network with the territory and with an integral pastoral care that offers young people diversified proposals.
Residences for this age group are places of vocational accompaniment, of service experiences within the community and in the area, of growth in youth leadership, to contribute to an intergenerational, intercultural, and more human society.