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« Hearts connected», a common horizon for members of the MYM of Brasil



1st National Marist Youth Ministry Congress

05/02/2010: Brazil - Photo gallery

The 1st National Congress of Marist Youth Ministry (PJM), held in Curitiba from 25 to 29 January, at the Marist school of « Santa Maria », has left the participants with one certainty: the motto of the gathering, « Hearts connected », reflects all the realities of the world of Marist youth and their proper way of performing a role in the forefront. After the numerous successes achieved during the Marist Youth Ministry’s five years of activity, « Hearts connected» constitutes an horizon dreamed of among the youth who make up the PJM.

During the Congress – the initiative of the National Evangelisation Commission of the Marist Union of Brasil (Umbrasil) – representatives of the PJM from all over the country shared their doubts, experiences and ideas, giving evidence of a great capacity for reflection and for mobilising in favour of evangelisation and social causes. This capacity reflects the spirituality – also called the « Mystique of the PJM » - which unites the members of the Marist Youth Ministry, who live in different regions of Brasil and confront the many challenges in their communities. Such plurality was already emphasized in the opening ceremony on 25/01, as much in the dance and music productions as in the reading of the letters reflecting the situation of the Marist Youth Ministry in the three Brasilian Provinces (Brasil Centro-Norte, Brasil Centro-Sul, Rio Grande do Sul) and of the District of Amazonie, with regard to the daily life of young people.

Thanks to the dialogue raised among the participants meeting in five workshops – Ecology, Ecclesial Community, Vocation, Solidarity, and Political and Social Roles – proposals for action formulated by the young people themselves were able to come up for debate. There was also a survey of the history of the PJM, its progress and perspectives, and two interactive connections, via web, between those taking part in the Congress and guests from outside. One of these was with the youth representing the social institutions of the World Social Forum, held at Porto Alegre, and the other with the Superior General of the Marist Institute, Br. Emili Turú. According to Tiago Alves, one of the participants, Br. Emili placed in relief the spirituality of the heart: « he showed us that we all have the desire to be in contact with someone, whether it be family, friends, or work companions, in forming part of a great network » he said.

Other periods of dialogue with the participants were encouraged by two thematic workshops. The first, conducted by Br. Wagner Cruz, touched on topics relating to the political question, to social relavitism, to work in the Church and to vocation to the religious life. The second, co-ordinated by Br. Adriano Brollo, contributed testimonies on the experience of some members of the hip-hop movement and the Young Students Ministry, both on the national level. Cultural activities such as dance and music productions performed by representatives of the PJM from many parts of Brasil, the spectacle with the band of Curitiba Chico Mano, the walking tour of Curitiba and the dynamic of music, poetry and reflection promoted by the Group « Voluntários da Patria », all helped facilitate the integration, living together and involvement of the youth in action for social transformation.

By way of a synthesis of the works, the participants in the Congress drew up an open letter to inform the Marist Institute about the goals pursued in the future course of the PJM in Brasil, as well as their expectations of the support of Marist educators so that the goals can be achieved. The spirit of togetherness, dialogue, reflection, and of promotion of the role of youth which has animated the 1st National Congress of Marist Youth Ministry may be summarised as much by this letter as by the testimony of young Gabriel Bernardo da Silva: « I have encountered peculiar accents, and different cultures, but a single heart and a single will to make this world a better place. »

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