Jesus continues to call young people
to live a meaningful life
That is why we accompany them, that is why we walk with them, looking for the way together.
Young people, yes, you! Here you can find a way of being a Christian, an identity, a group of young people from all over the world in which to share your desires, your concerns, your searches… your life.
What does it mean? To seek Life and to desire to have Jesus at the center, to resemble Him in all that we do, speak, feel, share, live… means relationship, with young people from all over the world, with M. Candida and her charism…. Candida and her charism?
Moved by the Spirit
We can think of our history as beginning with the call to which the Spirit moves us. We can think of it as beginning as one more step we take after the process of reflection, discernment and participation that began in October 2020. We can think that our history was germinating in the two meetings of reflection and discernment with this “great group” and in the International Youth Meeting of the 150th anniversary. We can think that the Superior General has appointed this team. We can think it because it is so, it is the history of our birth. And God counts on the mediations of life that we try to take into account in our discernments, taking into account the circumstances of times, places and people.
Along with this history we also recognize, in this “inner side” that knows less about dates and quantities, that certainly our origin, birth and impulse is Jesus “who continues to call young people to live life with meaning” and the very charism of Mother Candida, who, being young, understands her mission from evangelization of children and young people to the desire to “Go to the end of the world in search of souls for God”.
This first start is the beginning of this story. Our efforts and dreams are animated by St. Candida Maria de Jesus, a young woman who thought, believed, dreamed and left us a legacy in a charism that is alive and incarnated today, to accompany young people so that they may encounter Jesus Christ and find meaning in Him for their lives.
If Jesus continues to call young people, it is up to me to seek, to know, to accompany, to propose, to make a process together, to invest my time… He tells me that if Jesus calls, how can he call if we don’t go? If he calls them to live with meaning, it is because they are not living it that way. It is up to me to train myself, to dedicate time to academic and spiritual-personal preparation. This call implies first of all that I live my life with meaning, otherwise: what am I going to announce?
I would like to point out the phrase: living life with meaning. Especially the word “meaning”, because I feel it is a quest not only for youth, but for all people. Today there are many people who feel lost, without a horizon and who take or have tried to take their own lives for lack of meaning.
I see that our presence with young people, in everything we do, strives to be and to be with them so that they discover, through their encounter with God, in personal prayer, the encounter with each other and with others, that life is worth living, that they are not alone on the journey. So that they can discover being and being in the world with meaning. This requires being with young people, listening to their life narratives with empathy, listening to their anxieties, fears, frustrations and joys as well.
The beauty is that it is a mission undertaken by the entire Mother Candida family: sisters, laity. And it is not doing things for young people, but with young people.
In my experience with young people, I am sure of this phrase: Jesus is very active and keeps calling.
We need to understand this generation of young people, their desires, their needs, how they care about the world, how they make sense of events, and how we can analyze all this with them and discover the “values of faith” in the world and discover a meaningful way of living.
I truly believe that Jesus continues to call young people to find meaning in their lives and to develop their vocation. And I also believe, in particular, that Jesus continues to call young women to be Daughters of Jesus, and he counts on us as mediators to carry out his work. And we have to do our best to fulfill his will.
We all need to believe in it, help each other, make it a priority, and therefore dedicate people, time, resources, specific training, awareness, presence….
To go where the young people are, to make room for ourselves in those places, to open others, freed from old schemes, to make the young people protagonists, to be, to be, to be, to be, to accompany, to accompany, to accompany….
Jesus calls young people to the fullness of life and we are part of it. We have to provide means where they can be led to the fullness of life and meaning.
He calls us to accompany them and part of that is to listen. He calls us to lead young people to the fullness of life. It’s not just having activities but something that would shape their hearts and minds. The consequence is that it requires commitment because it is a long process and not a one-time response.
We start from this conviction: God continues to call young people to a full life, lived with meaning from Jesus and with Jesus. Therefore, if we believe this, we have the responsibility to provide spaces, meetings, experiences where the young person can be silent, stop, meet with God, and ask himself what the Lord wants me to do. On a personal level it means living my vocation as a FI with joy and depth. At the community level it is a challenge and a responsibility.
For me it is a reality: “Jesus continues to call young people to live a meaningful life”. On “Jesus continues to call young people”, this fact gives me confidence, patience and passion for vocational youth ministry. That is why young people are a priority in our apostolic action. On the other hand, the whole phrase, “Jesus keeps calling to live life with meaning” is my guide for working with young people. I mean to help young people to grow in the knowledge and following of Jesus, discovering their own vocation and becoming more and more a happy child of God. So we are simply a bridge between Jesus and young people, a humble and patient companion.