2019-10-14 SPAIN

Young people… now!

On September 27th, 28th and 29th, the Ist Ibérica Youth Assembly took place in Lardero (La Rioja). Organised by the Youth and Vocation Ministry Team of the Province, and with the support of all the local organisations, it was attended by dozens of young people from MarCha Groups ( Option and Catechumenate stages), as well as other young people involved in Marist ministry, members of mission teams and brothers from the Provincial Council. A total of 130 young people took part in the Assembly. The participation of Br. Mark Omede, Assistant Director of the Secretariat for Education and Evangelization, who came from Rome to accompany this very special meeting, was very special. 

The objectives of the assembly were:

  • To create a meeting space for young people.
  • To give priority to young people in their processes of personal and group growth.
  • To become aware of the concerns of young people in today's society.
  • To reflect on the role that young people can have in the Church and in the Marist world of today.

With these aims in mind, eight workshops were organised, divided into four large blocks: interior life, care of our shared home, social conscience and church. These questions, in addition to encompassing the current concerns of young people, have offered them the opportunity to reflect on what they are doing and what they could do in this regard.  Each participant experienced his or her own assembly, as they could choose the underlying theme they wanted to work on and two of the eight workshops offered.

All the workshops were organised by the young people themselves. Whoever participated in "Women in the Church" was able to unpick ideas inherited from the patriarchy of our faith. In the "Youth in the Church" workshop they were able to reflect on how young people can help spread the Kingdom. Those who participated in the "Refugees and Migrants" workshop learned the story of several people who had to leave their country and the reasons for their flights. The people who attended the Fourth World workshop could read the testimony of people who belonged to this situation in our society, among other things.

In the "Art of Interior life" workshop the creativity and dancing skills of the participants were put to the test. Some people with their masks had the opportunity to look inside through the Interior life workshop. Those who attended the "Responsible Conservation" workshop were able to get to know all kinds of fair trade products in line with respect for nature by learning how to conserve consciously. Finally, the "Environment" workshop tested the participants' knowledge of waste recycling and reflected on how we treat Mother Nature.

"It was a time and opportunity to listen, reflect and share what each of the participants lives freely. It was a time for meeting. Young people are not the future, we are the present and the now. May these ideas that fill us with strength not only remain in the assembly, but may we all live the NOW in each day and moment of our life.


Amaya Espuelas, Ibérica Youth and Vocation Ministry Team


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