During the Shalom International Youth Congress, the talk in the afternoon received special guests to speak about very important topics in today’s young people lives. Vitor Aragão, Life Community missionary and responsible for the Youth Advisory of Shalom Community, and Teresa Maria from the Mission of Toulon, France, were leading the moment.
To talk about the Youth Synod that the Church is going to live in 2018, Father João Wilkes, life community missionary and responsible of the Youth section of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, has been invited to speak about the importance of this moment as Church. Confirming how this synodal path was important, Vitor Aragão asked how young people could give a contribution to the event.
The father explained in a very simple way, that the word “synod” means “to walk together”, and the Church which is walking with Christ gathers all the Bishops from all around the world to discern what are the most important to cover for each time.
For the synod of 2018, the topic which has been chosen is the youth, a very large subject. This is why the Church specified: “Young People, the Faith and Vocational discernment” as a more specific topic to be addressed. The father invited all young people to respond to the survey to participate in that synod. Vitor Aragão reminded what Pope Francis said: the questionnaire is not limited to catholic young people, because the Church wants to hear all the youth.
According to Fr. João, this is because the Church understands that God always asks great things to the youngest: “Just look at the example of the young Mary, mother of Jesus”, he added.
It told us that we should not underestimate young people, because they can give the best solutions to what the society is living. Quoting Pope Francis, fr. João added that youth is not just the future, but a great gift in and for the Church.
Other topic of this talk, the relationship of the youth with poverty. Yuri, a young man working for Human Promotion in Shalom Community, in the city of Fortaleza, Brazil, told us that poor people are a constant reality in the society at all times: “God gives us the mission to keep a gaze of attention and charity on poor people”.
Yuri thinks that all every member of Shalom Work should live an experience of a contact with poor people. We should not talk about poverty with a will of “assisting”, but with the desire to touch the lives of the poorest and to bring Jesus to them.