RELAL was represented at the Second Inter-American Conference on Pastoral Education, organised by the CIEC (Confederación Interamericana de Educación Católica). Sixteen Lasallians from Latin America participated in the meeting, which took place in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, from the 1st to the 3rd of June.
The general theme of the Conference was the pastoral accompaniment of young people in the world today. It was approached through a series of presentations.
- A Changing World
- New Generations
- What is Pastoral Accompaniment?
- Accompanying Young People in the Digital Era
- Young People, Faith and Discernment
- Modes of Accompaniment in Schools Today
- Pastoral Pedagogy for Catholic Schools
- Presentation of 4 pastoral experiences in Latin America: Spiritual Cinema, Music Schools, Youth Movements in Catholic Schools and the Jadilopista Movements.
After the Conference, we shared with our Regional community the conclusions and fruits of the workshops and presentations. These were published by the CIEC in the form of a decalogue.
1.“God is young, and ever new”. By recognising in young people the youth of God “who makes all things new” and likes new things, those who work in the pastoral ministry are called on to build relations with the young.
- “Youth does not exist, rather it is young people who exist”. It is necessary to decant the myths of youth.
3.“Talking of young people means talking of promises, and talking of joy”. Young people have the ability to “look at things with hope” and they challenge those who accompany them to communicate hope.
- We who do the accompanying “do not always help them to see the way”. Consequently, “We should ask pardon of young people, because we do not always take them seriously”.
- “We must get the young people to become protagonists”. To do this we need to listen to them as they move forward. “If we want to have a dialogue with young people, we must be flexible, so that they are the ones who will decide to stop to listen to us”.
- Hierarchies do not favour accompaniment. “When approaching a young person, an adult needs to show the tenderness which is necessary when dealing with young people.”
- It is imperative that we “show by our actions that the Kingdom of God is possible”. That means we must remember that “young people are very sensitive to testimonies, and they need men and women who will be examples for them”.
- “The work of pastoral ministry is basically a service” and we should approach accompaniment as a service to the young. Part of this service involves “raising up those who are fallen”.
- “The more power one has, the more one must be ready to serve. This is really where there needs to be competition, to see who can be of greatest service”.
- “Doing good needs to become an addiction, one for which there is no cure”. We must not forget that “One good person is enough to provide hope”.