Pastoral Care of Youth
We sisters of charity care in a special way for the young; they are dear to us and are always with us in our days of apostolic activity.
We cater to their needs and share in the concern that the Church has for them, in collaboration with the Christian communities in which we live and work.
In answer to the request made by the Church to us, and to all other Institutes, to play our own role in this field, we take an active part in the pastoral care of the youth with that gospel spirit that Bartolomea showed us in her own everyday experience: in particular, by looking on the young as Jesus would do, and expressing His concern and love for them through deeds of charity.
Directions relating to formation handed down from our traditions and drawn from current documents of the Institute impel us to opt for these basic lines:
– in planning and evaluating our pastoral care of the youth, to take into account directions given in pastoral planning of the national bishops’ Conference and of individual dioceses, and co-operate actively with it, according to our charism;
– to carry out this service as a community that is kindly disposed to the young and values its own fraternal and apostolic life with that same spirit;
– in our activity, to measure up to children and the needy after the manner of Jesus, so that our experience with them may lead us on to educate the youth using methods and ‘language’ suited to all because, as Bartolomea says, “charity must reach out to all”;
– following the example of Bartolomea, to provide support and adequate formation to those who show a special bent for helping others, and are willing to undertake concrete deeds of charity;
– to take to heart the accompanying of young people, especially girls, in vocational discernment, to counteract today’s obscure identity of women and offering an alternative model in the form of religious life proper to our Institute
Our educational endeavour is determined by the specific goal we want to achieve: that the young may be favourably-disposed to an encounter with Jesus, salvation of their lives, and remain steadfastly loyal to him till they themselves become active instruments of his charity”.
Within this charismatic context, our task in the field of youth pastoral care seeks to gradually pursue the following objectives:
– to help the young develop a realistic view of both the brighter and darker side of life, with a capacity to gaze with awe and wonder at things around them: things that beckon them as signs of a still-greater mystery;
– to help them develop the capacity to relate to others, and thus to see themselves as persons-in-relation to others, who live in the dynamics of receiving with gratitude and self-giving with full readiness;
– to encourage them to devote all their energies to the One they have acknowledged as supremely true, beautiful and good and to follow him in depth, according to the rules of love, that is, of self-giving.
Along this path we lay the basis for reaching the goal and for following criteria of method and educational itineraries that are in harmony with the real life-situation of the youth: itineraries that should be periodically reviewed and evaluated.
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