What does this new mode consist of?
At the beginning of a new six-year term, taking into account the current pastoral challenges and in the light of the path of the Church and of the GC28, we want to share personally with all the Provincial Delegates for Youth Ministry a space for discussion, exchange and reflections that we believe are fundamental for planning the 2020-2026 term. As we know, it is not possible at the moment to foresee regional meetings according to traditional ways and dynamics. To overcome the distances, we will do along the course: an initial online meeting of 4 mornings with all the Delegates of each Region; a personal face to face meeting online, with me and the regional contact person, to evaluate challenges and prospects; for the new Delegates an online meeting will be proposed for a journey of closeness and accompaniment that helps to understand the role and dynamics of the mission and action of the Delegate, in agreement with the "Manual of the Provincial Delegate for Youth Ministry".
Was this choice only due to the situation generated by COVID-19?
On the one hand, the change of methodology this year was due to COVID-19. But also as Dicastery, we aim to pursue three fundamental goals, always with the idea of building bridges with the provincial realities: listening, accompanying and supporting the Delegates for the YM; understand the reality of young people on a socio-cultural and religious level, to identify suitable proposals with the Delegates; assist the Delegates themselves, so that they promote a fundamental project, with priorities, objectives, operating methods.
Will this new mode be integrated with other options?
For the animation of the life of the Congregation at the level of the geographical areas, other spaces of animation extremely linked to personal meetings are foreseen. We pay close attention to the visits, so that they are a moment of attentive listening and an opportunity to open horizons to communion with the whole Congregation. It is a matter of reinforcing coordination and collaboration in the Regions and their articulation with the Dicastery. Training meetings, frequent contacts, tool development and grants are other means.
Will it be a model that can also be replicated locally or in other areas?
I think so. In fact, in the Youth Ministry, our Congregation has always invested heavily. Many confreres dedicate the best energies in this mission, neither simple nor easily achievable. Therefore, a challenge today more than ever felt is the accompaniment of the Delegates for the YM on a personal level, thanks to which each one can feel supported on the journey and helped to carry out the pastoral commitment in the care of the people entrusted to him.
In dialogue with the Delegates I am experiencing that, even before being engaged in a service that has levels of skills to be activated, initiatives and synergies to be put in place, they offer a great testimony, which is a provocation for everyone, even for the life of the young people.