Online meetings of the Secretariat of Vocations and Youth
Faced with the situation of the pandemic and the necessary confinement to take care of self and others, the religious responsible for coordinating the pastoral care of vocations and youth in the different delineations of the Province have agreed on a new style of work and type of activities. Weekly virtual meetings are being held from May 20.
The President of the Secretariat of Vocations and Youth, Fabián Martín, oversees convening and scheduling these meetings, which are being a real space for encounter, dialogue, and coordination. Diego Méndez and Jordan Tejerino, residing in Brazil; Mario Corrales and Alberto Valecillos from Costa Rica; Jorge Mateos and Cristino Gutierrez from the United States; Gerardo Cortés from the United Kingdom; Antonio Antón and Juan Manuel Ramírez from Spain; Jorge Quirós and Fabián Martín fromMexico. In turn, provincial prior Sergio Sánchez has joined some meetings either just to say hello, or to accompany the work.
It's already five meetings that have taken place. And the themes revolve around vocations ministry andyouth ministry. In addition to greeting themselves and sharing the situation of confinement and its implications for community life and coordination of work, religious have entered sincere dialogue about the march of vocational and youth ministry.
One of the meetings consisted of reviewing the Life and Mission Project of the Province of St. Nicholas of Tolentino regarding vocational and youth ministry. Each religious participant shared an assessment of how these working guidelines have been implemented in the area that he has to coordinate. And although the reality is different in each place, the highlights and opportunities are being talked through and projects are being started that, in the long run, are expected to bear fruit.
There has also been a desire for dialogue and coordination in the development of the materials necessary for vocational and youth ministry. In general, the stakes are increasingly leaning towards digital, without neglecting the impression of some materials that facilitate the accompaniment process for vocational discernment.
Another important point discussed has been the proposal made by the General Secretariat of Vocations and Youth for the 2020-2021 academic year: to work on improving dialogue between religious and the Vocational Team, as well as with the Pastoral Council of the Parish or the Management Council of the College, with the aim of continuing to insist on both vocational culture and to seek better accompaniment of young people. A training project for religious vocational promoters and another for the laity of the local Vocational Revitalization Teams is also being designed. There was therefore a comprehensive talk of how to integrate these work proposals into the ordinary performance of the local communities of our Province.
An initiative that is called to have a great impact on the style and realization of vocational revitalization is the next publication of a new Vocational Pastoral Plan for the whole Order. The religious members of the Secretariat of the Province read it, commenting and making proposals for improvement. This new vocational revitalization project will be the subject of dialogue in the communities, a dialogue that will be encouraged by vocation coordinators in each area. In addition, this material is expected to help relaunch the work of local vocational revitalization teams...
Finally, another issue that has occupied the centre of dialogue and reflection has been the implementation of the Itinerary of Augustinian Youth-Recoletas (JAR) in the various ministries of the Province. It is noted how the religious who are at the helm invest time and a lot of creativity in this mission, but that the results are sometimes very scarce. They identify as urgent challenges: the formation of young leaders who take on the responsibility of being at the forefront of the group, the accompaniment by the religious of the local communities and greater creativity to offer their own spirituality to young people, trying to accommodate their reality and their pace of life.
This style of work will be carried out, but in addition to attending to a necessary coordination and programming, the formation of the religious who make up the Secretariat will be underway. For each virtual meeting, it is envisaged that some religious in the group will prepare for a topic of interest regarding vocational or youth ministry and present it to others. The possibility of inviting religious outside the Secretariat or specialists in the field of human sciences to provide this training is not ruled out.