2005-01-18 ARGENTINA

Youth Ministry as a key to vocations

Fifty-two adolescents, eighteen young adults and seven brothers gathered to celebrate the joy of being brothers and sisters united in Mary and Marcellin. We reflected on the challenge of proclaiming our sisterhood and brotherhood, and in this, having very realistic options: the poorest of children and young people, the people of the neighbourhood, community work?
We feel that the dreams that we dream are the dreams of many. They are also the dreams that many of our older generation dream; perhaps our parents or our grandparents, some of our teachers; they are the dreams of Marcellin and of Jesus? It is not enough only to dream? we must set our hearts, heads and hands to our dreams so that we can make them become a reality in whatever small, concrete ways are possible.

We look to Marcellin to discover how he chose in his time to proclaim his brotherhood. Then Marcellin?s cry of brotherhood is captured in four concrete and close ways:
* Marcellin chose ?to proclaim brotherhood? by having brothers, by forming communities and by being part of a community himself.
* He decided also to opt for an educational service for poor children and young people, because there were many poor and many orphans in the French countryside at this time, and it was impossible to declare to the world that ?we are brothers? without taking care of them.
* On the other hand, he took care that his daily, concrete gestures were gestures of love, fondness and solidarity. A large educational and evangelising work in the midst of the people has no meaning unless it is accompanied by simple but eloquent gestures, such as giving someone a mattress, welcoming an orphan, sharing bread for breakfast?
* But from where does this inspiration come for such a longing for brotherhood? Marcellin always knew that the only genuine way to cultivate and to care for an authentic brotherhood was to confide and abandon yourself to the tender heart and comforting arms of Mary. Only she can inspire and strengthen this longing for brotherhood in moments of confusion and contradiction.

We take with us to our places of origin the challenge to ?drink from his sources?. Our cry at this time can be his very cry: ?We need to be brothers!? Our dream is linked with his. And our gestures, united to so many others of this rich and complete human family, can add a little or a large ?grain of sand? (and of wheat!) to build with hope something for which our heart is longing.

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