Vocation promoters in Brazil have continued to accompany young people discerning their vocation during the pandemic through digital media.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the suspension of vocational accompaniment and living together throughout the world. However, vocation ministry has not stopped. The Augustinian Recollect religious of Brazil have found new formulas to be close to the young who are considering their vocation to Augustinian Recollect life. In that sense, the religious have reoriented their planning for 2020, for which the social networks have served as a support so that direct contact with the young people in the process of vocation continues to exist.
The three religious responsible for vocation promotion in the country – Andre Pereira, Gustavo Barbiero and Rhuam Ferreira – have undertaken multiple initiatives to accompany the more than 60 young people of Espirito Santo, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, Pará, Rio Grande do Sul and Pernambuco. “There are many young people who come to us with the desire to know our charism and to respond with freedom and generosity to the call that the Lord makes to each one”, they relate in the Recollect websitestv.org. Therefore, these three Augustinian Recollects work to make known a charism that today “continues to be a valid, actual and prophetic way of living the Gospel”.
Since the beginning of the isolation measures against the coronavirus, the vocation promoters of Brazil have intensified virtual contact through the platforms of messaging and e-mail, as well as social networks. Weekly they have produced small videos on vocational themes. The most relevant initiative was carried out on June 19, 20 and 21. For the first time they held an online vocational meeting. “It was an innovative experience, rich in encounters, dialogue and fraternity,” they say.
About 45 young people gathered online to listen to the formation talks and share their experiences in order to grow in faith. “It was a meeting marked by enthusiasm, friendship, prayer, reflection, questioning and sharing,” they explained. The most important moment of the virtual sharing was the Eucharistic adoration, which was transmitted live. Geographically separated, all the young people joined together as one soul to pray before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
Prayer was precisely another aspect of the vocational process that they did not neglect at any time. They have continued to pray for the young people who are considering their vocation: “Without prayer there is no meeting, no meaning, no life, no call and therefore no response”.
Their work has continued to be active during the pandemic, adapting to a new reality. They will continue to do so in order to respond to the questions of the young, to help them answer God’s call and to show the world the relevance of the Augustinian Recollect charism.