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6/11/2012 - Spain - The National Youth Pastoral Congress: new paths in the evangelization of youth
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(ANS - Madrid) - More than 20 Bishops, 1500 youths, pastoral workers from all dioceses of Spain and representative movements and ecclesial institutions and religious congregations have expressed general interest in ecclesial institutions for youth pastoral and a deep anxiety to search for new ways to bring the message of the Gospel and the love of God to the hearts of the young. There were about 50 representatives of the Salesian Family and, particularly, of the Salesian Youth Movement.

The reports have focused on the current situation of youth and the challenges that youth pastoral is called upon to win:

  • The Archbishop of Valencia, Mons. Carlos Osoro, focused on the first proclamation of the Gospel, distinguishing between the birth of faith (announcement) and its development (catechesis), bearing in mind their complementarity. The prelate stressed the need to carry out the first announcement to bring to young people who do not know Christ closer to the faith or that, despite having known, have moved away from Him or those, while remaining in the Church, do not have a deep life of faith.
  • The next day, Mons. José Ignacio Munilla, Bishop of San Sebastian, made an accurate analysis of emotional reality that many young people live by highlighting three "wounds" that, in his opinion, cause the loss of meaning of life, that only the good news of Jesus Christ can heal: narcissism, pansexualism and distrust. Quoting directly from Don Bosco, invited those present to have confidence in young people and to love what they love.
  • Cardinal Stanislaw Kylko, President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, focused on the educational crisis, recalling some of the most significant reflections of Benedict XVI, pointing out that without education there is no true evangelization.

Other reports were presented as the main resonance presented by the three Bishops. One of these interventions has been proposed by the Salesian Fr Rosendo Soler who, focusing on educational and evangelizing mission, asked the audience asking: "Youth pastoral needs passionate educators, which we here present are. Are you willing to be? ".

On Saturday evening, November 3rd , two initiatives were proposed: younger participants were invited to participate in an experience of announcement on the streets. With the slogan "A light in the night" the young participants crossed the streets of Valencia going into bars and inviting their peers to join in a moment of prayer in some churches prepared for the initiative. Older participants joined spiritually by participating in a prayer vigil at the Cathedral of Valencia led by Mons. Xavier Novell Gomá, Bishop of Solsona.

The Congress, which was held in Valencia from 1st to 4th November   – also had a festive side consisting of a concert organized by Cadena 100 featuring Hermana Glenda, Conchita, Melocos and Pulpo.

The texts of the three major reports and other materials are available, in Spanish, the official website of the Congress

Published 06/11/2012

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