2006-09-12 BRAZIL

A possible dream

At Mendes, from the 25th to the 30th August, twenty-two representatives, brothers and laypeople, came together from the Provinces of America (except Canada who could not attend) for the Continental meeting of Marist youth ministry. This important meeting continued the work of previous meetings. It had been convoked by the Mission Team that depends on the General Council?s Mission Commission; Brothers Emili Turú, Juan Miguel Anaya and Ernesto Sánchez represented the General Administration.
At the end of the meeting the participants wrote an open letter which we have reproduced here:

Mendes, 29th August 2006
?We are close to young people in their actual life-situations.? C 83

Dear brothers and lay animators of Marist youth ministry in America,
The desire to respond to the calls of the young people of our times enflames our hearts and nourishes the dream of building a civilisation of love. Moved by this spirit that accompanies us throughout all our reflections and analyses of youth ministry in America, we met together to share the reality of the young people of our Provinces and to see if we could create a structure of animation and organisation of the Marist youth ministry in America.
We started our meeting with a long time of sharing on youth ministry in our Provinces: its success, errors and shortcomings perceived in our journey.
We benefited from the presence of Father Hilario Dick, so attentive to the world of the young and so passionate about it. He enlightened our meeting by reflecting on the reality, the challenges, the new projects and the youth movements in Latin America. The role of the Marists in the formation of young people in America particularly attracted our interest.
In working together, we discovered our common needs and we have regrouped them in five challenges that encourage us to enliven our youth ministry. We realise the importance of assuring the animation and the accompaniment of pastoral activities in our Provinces according to personnel and resources, and in harmony with vocations ministry. We see the need to insert ourselves more and more in the ecclesial and social milieux. Finally, we have proposed the formation of a sub-commission of the Mission Commission in America in order to encourage the organisation and the co-ordination of our ministry action.
We have appreciated the experience of this fraternal meeting, the disposition of hearts for sharing the cultural diversity in different languages, the experience of faith during moments of prayer, the joy of a common charism and the sincere desire to contribute to the formation of young people. All of these elements contribute in making this dream possible.
We are grateful for the chance of having been able to participate in such a rich and important moment for the Marists in America.
May Mary and Champagnat continue to bless our mission of evangelisation of young people!

With one heart and one mission,
The brothers and laypeople who participated in the meeting


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