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RMG – Vocation Ministry: liberating the dreams that God has placed in the hearts of young people
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23 April 2021

(ANS - Rome) - Next Sunday, April 25, the World Day of Prayer for Vocations will be celebrated. Through the Youth Ministry Sector, the Salesians of Don Bosco adhere to this day. In the pastoral action of the Church there are two ways of dealing with the theme of Youth Ministry and Vocation Ministry: one which nominally separates the "Youth Ministry" from the "Vocation Ministry", and the other which integrates them into the same expression "Youth-Vocational Ministry". The first modality ensures  a differentiated content for the Vocation Ministry, but the risk of which would be that of not having it sufficiently coordinated with the Youth Ministry. The second modality, vice versa, would seem to ensure an integration between the two, but its risk could be the practical dissolution of the specifically vocational contents.

The vocational culture that we Salesians propose must overcome a double risk: that it is so selective as to seek only vocations of special consecration, forgetting the other forms of Christian life; or that it is so general that in practice it does not bring anything new to what is already being worked on in the context of a pastoral care of basic Christian initiation, and that it - as is - does not collaborate in the indispensable task of awakening the various forms of Christian life and, among these, the necessary consecrated vocations.

In truth, the proclamation, Christian initiation, which is sometimes a real "re-initiation", together with the development of this same Christian life during its growth, belongs to the Youth Ministry. Within this Youth Ministry the contents of what is called "vocational culture" must be strongly present, in its fundamental components: gratuitousness, search for meaning, openness to transcendence, generosity ... The spaces in which truth is played out of our life.

Vocation Ministry (which we can also call “vocational animation”) would have the task of developing the specific ingredients of vocational culture, that is: the three calls we receive - to life, to following and to bear witness; the forms of Christian life, that is, the secular life and the life of special consecration; discernment as a means to make a choice of life through prayer, information, reflection, decision, strong experiences of interiority and apostolate and spiritual accompaniment; those important aspects of our own Salesian charism. In this sense, the vocational proposal cannot be lacking, that is, the invitation to seek God's will for one's own life.

In summary, the Vocation Ministry is a "transversal axis" of the Youth Ministry that frees the dreams that God has placed in the hearts of young people; that loves young people and therefore calls them; who puts His hands on the young and blesses them with affection, like Jesus. But at the same time, it is a “specific task”, with its own means and mediations.

Fr Miguel Angel Garcia Morcuende,

General Councilor for Youth Ministry 

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