Rome (Italy). On 3 June 2023, an online meeting took place on the theme “Young people, you are the now of God” (Christus vivit) organized by the Youth Ministry Sector of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and addressed to the Provincial Coordinators, to YM teams, and the young people of the CIAO Interprovincial Conference.

Listening to young people is one of the commitments undertaken by Youth Ministry for the six-year period 2022-2027: “Within the horizon of a renewed youth ministry, let’s give impetus to vocational animation starting from listening to young people, using strength and resources in accompaniment and in discernment, involving the entire educating community.” To this end, the YM Sector asked the teams to choose two young representatives of each Province to participate in the online meeting.

The moment of prayer gave the right tone to the theme of the day. The participants invoked the Spirit to open horizons to understanding the realities of youth and to give wisdom and strength in accompanying young people.

Sr. Runita Borja, Councilor for Youth Ministry of the FMA Institute, in her opening talk presented a synthesis of the path of the FMA Youth Ministry on the basis of the Six-Year Programming, a Synodal Pastoral, so that everyone may have life in fullness. She then thanked the young people for who they are, for the positive energy they generate in their environments, and encouraged them to be the true leaven of society, to bring about positive changes.

The art of listening to young people is essential in the mission of the FMA. Listening to them and getting in tune with them is essential to make Youth Ministry close, accessible, and suitable for young people, to be able to accompany them on their life journey. Listening facilitates effective communication, fosters understanding, and builds stronger relationships.

Young people have a decisive role in any reality in which they live. They are the ones who exert the change, knowingly or unknowingly, contributing a new and current vision of life and daily activities. Ultimately, being young means facing challenges and creating or recreating a scenario for future development. It means turning problems into opportunities and solutions and being the driving force of society for a better future.

Here’s what they answered to the question “In your context, what does it mean to be young in today’s world?”:

Being young means welcoming what makes us unique, without feeling the need to conform to society. (Yzabella Sofia, Philippines)

Being young in today’s world means being an agent of change. (Fiona, Philippines)

It means having the courage to fight for justice, to work for peace and development. (Casmero, Timor)

Young people are able and want to have more space in society. They ask adults to be role models. (Meen, Thailand)

I believe that true “youth” lies in the power to fearlessly embrace failures and successes, to boldly move into the future. (Shin, South Korea)

Young people represent hope; they are multitasking. They allow other young people to become the protagonists of their own lives and of many areas of society. (Hye-mi, Korea)

Being young in today’s world means being open-minded and enterprising, generous and eager to obtain adequate opportunities, grow and explore one’s potential and talents for the development of society. (Kim, Cambodia)

Young people today want to measure up to what they do and are ready to accept the many challenges to achieve their goals. (Peter, Myanmar)

Being young today, in our world, means keeping up with social media, being professional in what we do, and being an active part of the issues that surround us. (Nhat, Vietnam).

After this enriching moment of listening, Sr. Runita projected a video with the video messages of the young people of the 2018 Youth Synod. She underlined the perfect symphony of their points of view with that of the young participants in the online meeting, which concluded with a ‘Hail Mary’ prayed in each one’s mother tongue, but with the same familiarity and filial devotion to Mary, Mother of all.


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