For several years there has been a yearning to re-present vocation ministry as a priority for the Institute, especially because we believe that the Lord is the lord of the harvest and continues to call; because we were invited, we responded and today we are witnesses of the joy that comes from Him. Relying on fraternal community, we want to invite other young people to experience and discover their vocation, that of “being friends and not servants” (Jn 15 , 13) of God (2018 Synod of Bishops: “Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment” No. 78).
Also, in the last two formation meetings for young Brothers of the Conference, there was a strong desire to encourage youth and vocation ministry in our entities. I am happy that the Provincials and Delegate of our Conference (CALE) listened to the voice of our Brothers and that they organized this Encounter from January 14 to 17 in Temperley around the theme of vocation ministry. Fifteen Brothers participated: provincials, the Delegate, Brothers involved in youth and vocational pastoral, and members of the general council.
From the first day it was evident that the interest of all was to promote youth and vocation ministries in our centers. Clearly there exists in our entities everything that we need to work on the subject. Each entity has its own specific contribution: for one it is the systematic approach to personal accompaniment; for another, pastoral work in conjunction with the local church; another has a well-organized pastoral project; another entity’s strength is its ability to structure reflection sessions with the laity on this subject; and finally, for another, it is the closeness to people in the context of significant material poverty. Thanks be to God!
The reflections during the following days allowed us to establish priorities for a “vocational culture”: we need the witness of all Brothers, each from his experience of God, so that vocation ministry is credible; we need welcoming communities that allow for an experience of fraternity; we need to accompany young people in their vocational process; etc. CALE proposes one more step: the creation of a Vocational Promotion Commission of the Conference (CPV), composed of one brother from each entity. This would be a committee that supports the vocation ministry program of each entity, that motivates us all, and that has concrete lines of action.
- Promote a VOCATIONAL CULTURE in our religious and educational communities.
- Promote the PERSONAL ACCOMPANIMENT of young people, in view of their free vocational decision.
- Promote that THE BROTHERS CULTIVATE THEIR VOCATION, in collaboration with those responsible for the entities.
- Promote the formation of VOCATIONAL PASTORAL AGENTS, brothers and lay people.
I thank the Brothers for making this dream of young Brothers and the General Chapter a reality. Vocation ministry involves all of us, be it in animation, participation, and / or prayer. We are all called to announce the Gospel’s invitation! It is Jesus’ invitation to live each day the experience of our encounter with Him! Let us support this initiative of CALE and of our young Brothers; and let us support the members of the Vocational Pastoral Commission of the Conference who will ask for our assistance.