One of the initiatives of the Jubilee Year for the Centenary of the foundation of the Sister Disciples of the Divine Master, culminating on February 10, 2024, has been a project for Youth entitled “In the footsteps of Jesus”.
Our sisters in initial formation, with the participation of the young people in formation of the Pauline Family and the young people of the youth ministry, lived an itinerary in three stages: local, continental and worldwide. The initiatives experienced at the local level were followed by continental online meetings, planned over the course of September-November 2023. It was an event of joy and celebration! For the first time in the history of our Congregation, young women from every continent met to get to know each other, to share the journey of faith, the joy of the Christian and Pauline vocation and their dreams for the future.
In Australia, a group of young people from the Tongan Catholic community in Sydney participated in the program led by sr. Lalamea e sr. Christine.
Dialogue and mutual listening, punctuated by the theme “In the footsteps of Jesus. Listening, welcoming and proclaiming the word of Jesus who tells us: ‘Always forward'”, prepared the participants to live the Continental Meeting that took place on October 7th. Here is the summary of this wonderful experience:
The World Youth Event “In the Footsteps of Jesus” held online, on November 26th, the eve of the feast of Blessed James Alberione, which coincided with the Solemnity of Christ the King and the 38th Diocesan World Youth Day, connected youth groups and communities of the Sister Disciples of the Divine Master from different countries around the world, in all the continents.
Two sisters Sr. M. Cristina Catapano (Italian) and Sr. M. Liza González Calderon (Colombian), led the Event from Rome. It brought out the joy of our vocation, in unity and diversity. The young people in initial formation in our Congregation and other young people of the Pauline Family, from different parts of the world, inflamed hearts by sharing the answer on what it means for them to follow Christ.
It was a celebration of the beauty of the Christian and Pauline vocation, also thanks to the testimonies of the journey of faith and vocational stories of the novice Alžbeta Stračinová from Slovakia, of Débora Britto, Pauline Cooperator Friend of the Divine Master from Brazil, of Archip-Joseph Mukoko, Pauline seminarian from the Congo, and Siosiua Salt, a young man from the Islands of Tonga and resident in Australia.
All young participants were able to express their feelings and reactions through an App that collected the messages sent in a word cloud. It was indeed a joy to be able to combine languages and expressions into a single image of words!
Everyone was able to enjoy the beauty of the meetings held at the level of each continent by watching a video clip that showed the fruits of the experience of continental meetings.
The Event was rendered more lively and warm by the CAP00148 youth group of Rome who animated with the Centenary hymn and other religious and youth songs.
Let us start again from this meeting lived in the welcoming embrace of all the continents, supporting the dream of young people who wish to walk the path of faith and follow Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life. Together we walk in the footsteps of Jesus in the continuous dynamic of listening, welcoming and proclaiming the Word of Jesus who tells us: “Always forward”!
On our journey, we are guided by the words of Pope Francis:
As young people, you are indeed the joyful hope of the Church and of a humanity always on the move. I would like to take you by the hand and walk with you on the path of hope. I would like to speak with you about our joys and hopes, but also of our sorrows and concerns, and those of all our brothers and sisters in the human family (cf. Gaudium et Spes, 1). (…) Dear young people, do not be afraid to share with others the hope and joy of the risen Christ! Nurture the spark that has been kindled in you, but at the same time share it. You will come to realize that it grows by being given away! We cannot keep our Christian hope to ourselves, like a warm feeling, because it is meant for everyone. Stay close in particular to your friends who may be smiling on the outside but are weeping within, for lack of hope. Do not let yourselves be infected by indifference and individualism. Remain open, like canals in which the hope of Jesus can flow and spread in all the areas where you live. (Pope Francis, Message for the XXXVIII World Youth Day, 26 November 2023)
As the world, torn apart by wars, armed conflicts and natural disasters, yearns for human fraternity, this initiative aims to build bridges and promote hope, brotherhood and mutual support in the commitment to peace and the proclamation of the Gospel.