Castelgandolfo (Italy).  The Novices and Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of the Community of the International Novitiate “Mary Help of Christians” of Castelgandolfo – Roman Province of St John Bosco (IRO) – undertake the journey of reading and studying the world of youth, listening to the emerging needs of young people during Covid-19, “We care about you: moved, summoned, consulted for young people”.

“In this time of instability, precariousness, and insecurity regarding the future, we cultivate a certainty in our hearts. Young people are important to us! – recount the Novices – Even if we experience not being able to physically meet them, at the same time, we feel the need to accompany them in a special way in this time of pandemic”.

The initiative is coordinated by a small team that has the task of organizing meetings-testimonies, spaces for sharing, reflection, and prayer on the reality of young people.

At the first online appointment, the Community met six Temporary Professed FMA of four European nationalities, who related how the FMA live relationships with young people during the pandemic. They were asked about the desires and needs of today’s youth.

The Community felt challenged by what it heard, and made it the object of prayer and reflection. In the following week, each one let herself be ‘troubled’ by videos, interviews, and articles on the theme of the loneliness experienced by young people. Sharing in a group made it possible to place in common experiences and points of view, to continue together on the journey, entrusting young people and their experiences to the Lord during prayer together.

The next appointments include meetings with other witnesses involved in the world of youth in various capacities, with reference to the current health and social situation, touching on issues such as migration, the family, the future, the psychological and spiritual dimensions, the point of view of young people.

“We wish to update Don Bosco’s happy expression: “For you I study, For you I work, for you I am willing to give my life. ” Young people are dear to us and call us to live with them the present that brings with it the effort of dealing with the unprecedented. We then put ourselves on the line with them and for them, in order to be true witnesses of the Lord, who in the desert opens paths to give life to new shoots (Cf. Is 43: 18-19)”. (The Novices of Castelgandolfo)


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