The Claretian Mission 2018

Jun 12, 2018 | Mission Alive, The Claretian Mission, Youth & Vocations Ministry


2018 Cover By John Lyncole Trinidad

This year’s edition of The Claretian Mission is dedicated mostly to the pastoral care of young people and vocations in the Congregation. The experiences that we share here reflect only in part the richness and diversity of the ministry that the Claretian missionaries, together with the laity of our communities and the members of the Claretian Family, carry out in various parts of the world. A service that fills us with joy and challenges us to be better every day.

This edition gathers in first person the pastoral and vocational testimony of the young people themselves in this task. They are not mere recipients of our evangelizing action but true protagonists of the mission. Many of them, identified with our charism, assume a fundamental role in the pastoral services of our communities and Organisms, and even beyond their borders, in volunteering and missions.

The fire of the Claretian charism lights their hearts in different ways: through encounters with the poor and excluded, in popular missions or volunteer experiences, in the meetings of their youthful communities, in prayer and personal or community meditation of the Word of God, in days of retreat and recollection, in activities of solidarity, or in an attitude of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament, in living together, in participating in the Claretian Family meetings and the World Youth Days, in the accompaniment and personal dialogue, in summer camps, pilgrimages, catechesis, formation meetings, among many other pastoral activities.


The discernment of the XXV General Chapter of the Congregation

The XXV General Chapter asks us to go to meet the new generations, walk with them and make it possible to listen to the Lord’s call (MS68). It is the goal we have set out to achieve during the six years 2015-2021. The framework and understanding of this proposal is the call to the pastoral-missionary-and-ecological conversion that the Spirit impels in the Church (MS65).

The horizon opened by the apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium of Pope Francis allows us to recover the most genuine of our Claretian vocation as disciples-missionaries in the style of the Twelve. With the whole Church we feel called to be a Congregation going-forth. A horizon that we can only achieve if we allow God to continue his work in us until we reach maturity, according to the fullness of Christ (Eph 4:13).

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Go out to meet the youth …

10 2It is important to recognize that “going-forth” is not easy for us; and “going-forth” to meet the “youngsters” costs us much more. It is more natural to keep the distances of our own community areas; or cultivate an environment that makes us excellent “commentators” and “technical directors” of the pastoral task (of others) without losing our status as spectators or analysts of the conjuncture.

The Chapter Declaration warns with harshness and realism that in the pastoral service to young people and the ministry we carry out in favor of vocations in the Congregation and the Church, two fundamental aspects of our mission are clear: on the one hand, fidelity to the charism received, and on the other the inventiveness, creativity and audacity that update it (see MS30).

Leaving our comfort zone causes us some uneasiness and we often find good reasons to justify what we do, even if it does not work out. But we do not want to fool ourselves nor let the coals of the Good News that have been entrusted to us to light the whole world in the fire of divine love cool down. Without going-forth there are no possibilities for the mission; because the mission is to go, even if it is difficult for us. The missionary going-forth is the first step of pastoral conversion.


Finding young people in a new situation …

Changing the atmosphere in our pastoral service, thinking and discerning new horizons and possibilities – although it is not easy for us, it is possible. The new areopagus and situations make us feel more vulnerable and insecure. They affect our methodological-pastoral work but also trigger in us authentic processes of transformation that move us. They influence our spiritual and affective life, our way of being Claretians and of understanding ourselves as a missionary community, changing our mental patterns and attitudes, and even our way of understanding God and relating to Him, or our view of others and our form to be Church.

The encounter that we propose finds its fullest sense in the following of Jesus that we profess and makes us to emerge deeply human attitudes: The recognition of the other as such, the acceptance of others, the manifestation of our love and affection, the desire to do good and to seek happiness, respect for the freedom of others, the possibility of dreaming and working for the common good …

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12Meeting with young people in their most diverse situations, and particularly in their peripheries of exclusion, is our first missionary word. It means, first, that their lives make sense to us and that they matter to us. That it does not matter to us if they are or not in the Church. Which is not the same if we or we are not with them. It is also necessary to explain the reasons when circumstances require it. We do not go out to meet them because we want to fill the nostalgia that their absence causes us in our churches or formative communities in some contexts or by mere proselytizing or vainglory in others. We are interested in themselves, for who they are and for what they live for, their strengths and potential.

Walk with them …

Make the youth’s itineraries ours, to travel with them their ways, means for us to walk with lightweight luggage as Jesus did with his disciples and be willing to learn firsthand the highest missionary mystique. That leads us to take ownership of Jesus’ and his disciples’ itinerary in Galilee, the road to Emmaus of the Risen Lord, the kenosis that makes us capable of embracing what is foreign, making it something of ours, the dynamic that incarnates us in the world of young people

The dynamics of one’s life and pastoral praxis are thus transformed into the truth parameter of our best motivations and intentions. A ministry of similar characteristics is not improvised and, nevertheless, any planning that tries to control all the variables, free of risks and not open to the vicissitudes along the way, is inadequate. The most significant pastoral action should favor opportunities for encounters that transform and transform us. Translates the grammar of the Gospel into the joy with which we live our vocation.

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Make it possible for them to listen to God’s calls …

14The biblical icon that can well illuminate the missionary itinerary that we propose is the account of Acts of the Apostles 8, 26-40: The meeting between Philip and the minister of Queen Candace of Ethiopia.

The passage takes place on the road that leads from Jerusalem to Gaza. Everything is movement in the story. Philip allows himself guided by the Spirit, stands up and leaves. He ventures to a desert road. He approaches a carriage and hears what a stranger is reading. A confusion serves as an excuse for dialogue. Takes the opportunity available to talk about what abounds in his heart. Share the journey of a stranger and announce the Good News. Then God does his work in the freedom of the minister who welcomes Jesus into his life. Finally, they separate and each one follows his own path.

This year’s edition of “The Claretian Mission” are full of testimonies like this one that we have just described above. They are stories of encounters and ways of following Jesus. A sample of the mission with young people in the peripheries, in the cities and rural areas of the countries in which we find ourselves. We thank all those who made it possible for these testimonies to reach you. And we also thank those who with their lives devoted to the evangelization of young people and the pastoral care of vocations make it possible for our Congregation to take root and grow in the service of the mission of the Church in the world.


Bro. Carlos Verga, CMF

Youth and Vocations Ministry General Prefect

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