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What leadership of service do you offer to those around you?

 

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School of Leaders

20/10/2012: Cuba

Under the slogan: “who does not live to serve does not serve to live”, the School of Leaders I was held in the meeting house of San José de Paraíso in the Perla del Sur, in Cuba, from 14 to 19 August.

The object of the meeting was to offer youth space for a close encounter with themselves, with Jesus Christ, with others and to provide formation in an experiential way for the mission the Lord had in mind for each of the young  participants.

 38 young people from the dioceses of Matanzas, Santa Clara, Ciego de Ávila and Cienfuegos took part in the school.

Often enough we hear from some adults that young people “on the personal level, some are good, but there is no group commitment, there are no leaders to prompt groups to take on responsibilities". “…that the majority of youth do not have the preparation necessary, that they have no formation resources to count on, nor tools for taking control and creating…” “…that little initiative exists among the young and this is for many reasons…” “…that they are looking for a leading role as chiefs …” “…that no serious or authentic commitment is observed…” “…that the Church…is not a privileged space for many…” “…that a paternalistic structure is reproduced…” “…that they have emotional wants and an anthropological damage that is manifested in variable attitudes…” “…that there is no initiative (“Enlace J” Review of the Cuban Youth Ministry p. 4). And I ask myself, would it be feasible that instead of complaining and looking at the dark side we put on our shoes and try to walk alongside them as Jesus did with his slow and ignorant disciples? Is it possible that as experienced and prudent animators and advisers of youth ministry we listen to the cries and basic needs of the youth we have in our square metre? Would it be possible to spend time with them one night in G street of La Habana or on the biggest “catwalk” in Cuba, the  Cienfuegos sea wall, or another place they identify as their own space? If it is possible to share with them a game of pelota, dominoes, a day of beach and healthy recreation, possible to accompany them so that they take up leadership within the Church and Cuban society.

Spaces such as music and the choir in church are important. The acolytes and readers at the Eucharist are important. The catechists, animators of adolescents and youth are important. The young missionaries and visits to homes for the elderly and infirm are important. Experiential formation and prayer are important. But it is also very important to let youth be and do, so that they become protagonists of their own lives, dreams and ideals.

How good for the youth of our communities to conquer cultural spaces, sporting, communication, creation of social networks, and to gain a critical awareness of events. How good for us to present to them the person of Jesus Christ and his Project of the Kingdom of God. How good it would be also to help them discern the project God has for their lives in the here and now of history.

I do not know if the young indignados of Spain, Egypt or those of the so called Arab Spring had a School of Leaders; what I know is that they are being protagonists of history in the square meter where they happen to live. I do not know if the Chilean students or those of the movement # I am  132 of Mexico experienced a School of Leaders; what I know is that they are exercising their leadership in the time and space of the country where they happen to live. And you, will you be the protagonist of your life and history? What leadership of service do you offer those around you?

__________________
Bro. Héctor - Cienfuegos

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