WAKE UP THE WORLD
Gospel Prophecy Hope
"He called those whom he desired and they came to him".
World Meeting for Young Consecrated Men and Women
15/19 September 2015
[English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish]
Vatican City, September 18, 2015
What does 'living mission as mysticism of the encounter' mean today? This was the basic question that Andrzej Wodka, Redemptorist, Rector of the Alfionsianum, answered in his keynote speech. There exists a 'daily' mysticism which consists in moving toward the others, to welcome and help them. In approaching the others we meet God and in him we become brothers and sisters. Fr Wodka explained that this mysticism requires several elements, among which there are "the courage to be in communion, and be experts of it"; and a missionary and pastoral conversion which leads toward the mutual encounter, welcoming and help. In the forthcoming Jubilee Year "it is up to us to be a continuous and simple 'living memorial' of this eternal embrace given to the children by the Father".
The Brazilian Maria Inés Ribeiro explained that the today's mission of Consecrated Life must include a social and environmental commitment. Her emphasis was not about what should be done but rather who should we be. The missionary is "a friendly, loving, prophetic and critical presence; s/he, through words and example, is capable of witnessing to God's love and mercy. There is an urgent need for a renewal in Consecrated Life (updating the charisms to the present needs) together with a prophetic commitment (to live communion in order to generate communion; to live in harmony with creation to enhance life)".
The last keynote speech of the morning was delivered by Fr Fabio Ciardi, O.M.I.. He exhorted the Young Consecrated to follow their Founders' example: indeed, they were men and women capable to "see values where others saw none; to recognize beauty where others failed to do so". All Young Consecrated men and women need to feel urged to have the same creative capacity, the boldness and the enterprise of their Founders; also, the capacity to know and understand contemporary society, and to work together with others to provide adequate responses for today's humanity's needs. Concluding, Fr Ciardi quotes St John Paul II: "Besides having a great story to narrate, we have also a great one to build".
This evening the Young Consecrated men and women will gather in St Peter’s square for a festival which will include music, witnessing and dancing by young consecrated persons from various parts of the world.
The event is open to all, free of charge.
Vatican City, September 17, 2015
Addressing the Young Consecrated men and women gathered in the Paul VI hall for their World Meeting, Pope Francis urged them to choose the true freedom which comes from the Spirit and not from worldliness, to nurture great dreams for God and to have a heart enkindled with love. He then addressed in particular those coming from Iraq and Syria, recalling the many martyrs that have witnessed their faith with their blood. A special thanks was reserved for the women consecrated for their witnessing: they are true icons of the Church-Bride and Mother.
"How good and pleasant it is when the brothers and sisters live together in unity!" Fr Paul Bere, s.j., in his keynote speech asked whether it is possible to actually live out this reality expressed in Psalm 133. The theme of the day was fraternal life. Fraternal life is a 'dynamic' gift which fundamentally entails feeling responsible for the others. The words of the Psalm express the certainty that fraternal love is possible; that it doesn't need bonds that stem from blood or nationality relationships or based on mere sympathy: fraternity is a reality that needs to be continually built. If the Church, as God's family endowed with many gifts, wants a visible sign of this mystery revealed in Jesus Christ, she needs to look at Consecrated Life, which bears indeed a luminous witness in everyday life. "Thus, consecrated persons are called to be concrete signs of the grace being offered to humanity to build fraternal relationships". He concluded: "The only way to live fraternity in Consecrated Life is perhaps simply to be what we really are: brothers and sisters".
Junkal Guevara, RJM, spoke about the Church as family and her point of reference was the Bethany home of Lazarus, Mary and Martha. The experience of a united Church in God's friendship and convened by the Risen Jesus is represented in Bethany, not so much as a geographical place but a theological one. After the Resurrection, in fact, the fraternity which was born was not founded on blood relationships, but on the Risen Jesus, who makes us all brothers and sisters. Bethany represents also the Church 'going forth' in mission: "a Church which exists for humanity and the salvation of all."
Vatican City, September 16, 2015
«Be strong, be faithful, wake up the world!» With these words Mgr José Rodríguez Carballo, OFM, Archbishop Secretary of CICLSAL, opened the World Meeting for Young Consecrated Persons during a Prayer Vigil held yesterday in St Peter's Square.
Today's theme focused upon the calling. H. Em. Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, Prefect of the Congregation, dealt with the novel vital relationship that consecrated persons need to incarnate as a response to God's call. He explained that "the Church is inviting us to embrace the spirituality of communion, the 'culture of the encounter', where the brothers and sisters with whom we follow Jesus do not remain solely 'our major penance'; indeed, they offer us the possibility of experiencing God in a concrete way, because it is our brothers and sisters who give us the opportunity to love".
Mgr Carballo, in his keynote speech, underlined the fact that "there are no such things as special vocations; there are only specific vocations". Each one is called to have a personal encounter with the Lord, respond to his call and collaborate with him. The call to Consecrated Life is a specific call to follow the Lord 'more closely'. Consecrated persons are called "to break with the past and share everything with Jesus: his lifestyle, his journeying, his mission and his fate". Vocation is not a 'profession'; it entails following a Person: Jesus. It is a personal call that waits for a response done in freedom; it's a gift that needs to be shared with others; it remains evergreen and continually renewed in the measure that it becomes the means through which many are able to encounter the Lord.
Fr Fabio Ciardi affirmed that "to be young means to be open to novelties, free from prejudices, ready for an unconditional donation, docile to the Holy Spirit's divine adventure, looking ahead for God's future and his infinite horizons". It's an invitation to have the courage to trust in God and allow him to guide us by his Spirit, like a pencil or a brush in the Artist's hands. How can this be done? Fr Ciardi explained: "By listening to and living the Word of God; by spending time to talk to him lovingly in prayer; by practicing practical love with all, especially the poor and the marginalized".
Sr Mary Malone, SFA, Rector of the Pontifical University Antonianum, pointed out that to follow a calling within and for the Church, one needs to be aware that every vocation 'needs the others'; one need also to recognize the fact that whatever one receives enhances one's gratitude and prevents one to live his/her vocation in an 'individualistic' manner. She concluded with a strong appeal for co-responsibility: "The Church is our home; the Lord is continuously inviting us to take up the responsibility of enhancing communion: what kind of Church are we building?"
World Meeting for Young Consecrated Men and Women
Vatican City, September 4, 2015
About 4.000 young consecrated men and women from all parts of the world (including Iran, the Philippines, Ivory Coast and Zimbabwe) are expected to converge in Rome from the 15th till the 19th of September to take part in the World Meeting for Young Consecrated Men and Women. The meeting is entitled 'Wake up the World - Gospel, Prophecy, Hope' and is being organized by the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life as part of the Year of Consecrated Life.
The aims of the meeting are the following: a formative experience through Biblical, Theological-Charismatic and Ecclesiological reflections upon the fundamental elements of Consecrated Life; to offer the possibility of sharing one's reality, desires and formation expectations; to celebrate and witness the beauty of one's vocation.
Each morning the participants will gather in the Paul VI Hall in Vatican City to listen to the keynote speeches on vocation, fraternal life and mission. In the afternoon, the participants divided into language groups in various locations in Rome will have the opportunity to express and share their feedback. In the evenings, they may choose from various itineraries on offer: the Pathway of Announcement: (missionary night in central Rome); the Pathway of Encounter (helping socio-ecclesial organizations, like Caritas, St Egidio Community, Talitha Kum), and the Pathway of Beauty (guided visits to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel).
The program includes three events that are open to all: a Prayer Vigil in St Peter's Square presided by the Secretary Archbishop of CIVCSVA, Mgr José Rodríguez Carballo, OFM (September 15, at 8.30 p.m.); A Eucharistic Celebration in St Peter's Papal Basilica presided by the Prefect of the Congregation, H. Em. Cardinal João Braz de Aviz (September 19, at 11.30 a.m.); and an evening of music and witnessing in St Peter's Square (September 18, at 8.30 p.m.). On Saturday September 19 there will be a great Memorial Celebration of the Saints and Martyrs of Consecrated Life: a prayerful procession will leave Sta Maria in Aracoeli, crosses the Mamertino Prison and the Fori Imperiali to reach the Coliseum.
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