From 18-21 July 2013 Fr Joachim Rego, Passionist Superior General, and the members of the General Council along with some 70 younger Passionists all participated in a meeting at our Community in Ponta Grossa in Southern Brazil.
Our community here is both a Novitiate and Retreat House and easily accommodated everyone in a most hospitable manner. This meeting of Young Passionist Religious is truly international – men have arrived from every Continent – and the spirit and atmosphere of the meeting was excellent.
The themes of the meeting were (1) Our Charism and New Evangelisation (2) Our Mission to young people (3) A dialogue between the General Council and all the participants (this was an ‘open’ session and the younger religious were free to bring any topic they liked).
It is interesting to note what our younger Passionists see as some of the challenges ahead:- To reach out. To go to the places of tension and conflict. To go to young people and not to be afraid of youth cultures. To reach out to all who are oppressed – not just those who are materially poor, but to the crucified – those who are dependant, those who are marginalised etc. And to be consistent i.e. to live what we preach. In terms of the Community life the challenge is – to find the balance between action and mysticism and to be welcoming.
At the end of the meeting the entire group left by bus to go to Rio de Janeiro to take part in the Official 2013 World Youth Day events and to participate in the Passionist Family Day where young people from all over the world will meet with our religious.
[With thanks to Fr. Denis Travers, C.P., for this summary of the Young Passionists meeting in preparation for World Youth Day 2013]