The Church needs to accompany young people, listen to them and help them develop the project that God wants for their lives. “Listen to them, listen to their concerns and offer them, from the Gospel, a solution in the person of Jesus Christ”
The General Secretariat of Vocations and Youth of the Order of Augustinian Recollects has met in recent days with the presidents of the provincial secretariats. The leaders of the four provinces and the general secretariat have drawn up the new road map which includes the indications of the synod fathers of the past Youth Synod held in October 2018. The relationship between the Church and young people must change , and that is why the Augustinian Recollects have proposed a change of philosophy.
What is it that the youth ministry should change? The Church must accompany the young people. In this line, the Augustinian Recollect Juan Pablo Magnanelli contributes one of the keys in this accompaniment: “Young people have a great need to be heard, to know their concerns, the fears they feel, and to recognize how God is calling them”.
To accompany, according to Ángel Jair Córdoba, Augustinian Recollect, is to be with them in the “concrete circumstances of the young man who walks”. A reading of this accompaniment is the one made by the Augustinian Recollect Germán A. Antón: the Church has to make young people “protagonists and leaders at the moment they have to live”.
Listen and offer a solution from God. The president of the General Secretariat of Vocations and Youth, Juan Pablo Martinez, believes that young people should be shown again the validity of the figure of Jesus: “For all of us Christians, religious, priests and bishops the great challenge at the end of the synod of bishops, is to walk together with the young people, listen to them, listen to their concerns and offer them, from the Gospel, a solution in the person of Jesus Christ “. “The initiative is always of God, it is God who calls and the young man must respond from his generosity,” he says, following what Juan Pablo indicates, the Augustinian Recollect Gustavo Babiero.
Showing faith to young people is complicated, especially at a time when there is great rejection. However, Angel Jair and Amado Bolilia, Augustinian Recollect of the Philippines, offers two relevant ideas. The first, “there is to encourage them to make a life project”. The second, “show them that faith is beautiful.” The best example for a young man, according to Germán, is to show them how the Augustinian Recollects live their vocations with joy.
There may be a crisis of vocations. But, says Juan Pablo Magnanelli, “God keeps calling.” “Many young movements show us that youth thirst for God,” says Gustavo Babiero.