On Saturday, April 24, 2021, the General Commission for Redemptorist Youth and Vocation Ministry (RYVM) hosted a virtual gathering for the members of the Conference Commissions for RYVM from across the world to be united in a vision for the Redemptorist identity and approach for to work with young people throughout the world. Having gathered Redemptorists and Lay Partners in Mission from every Conference, it was a chance to celebrate and share about the work of RYVM in every corner of the globe, especially the various and dynamic ways that our mission has been adapted to the current limitations in this pandemic for us and for the people we serve in our local ministries.
With the recently published General Guidelines for Redemptorist Youth and Vocation Ministry (Rome, 2020), the participants reflected on this work as a vision document for the Congregation to understand how we bring our rich tradition in youth ministry and our Redemptorist Charism in dialogue with the signs of the times for young people in our world today. The General Commission hopes that by introducing the new General Guidelines for RYVM, we may be renewed in our zeal and effort to continue to place young people among our apostolic and missionary priorities.
In recognizing the unique cultural and ecclesial realities throughout the Congregation, the General Guidelines offer a framework and mindset that can be applied at the local level. Each Conference is encouraged to adapt these Guidelines through the creation of a document that bridges the General Guidelines to the unique realities and approaches used on the Conference and Local Level. In ministry with young people, it is important to remember that there is not a “one-size-fits-all” approach that can be taken. These Guidelines help us to celebrate the past, invite reflection upon the present in light of who we are as Redemptorists and Lay Partners, and to envision a future that reflects a broad and comprehensive approach to ministry with young people, whether they are in our churches, or are present in the world where we find ourselves in mission.
In addition to the publication of the General Guidelines, the General Secretariat for Formation has made available with their “Tools for Formators” a six-part series on Redemptorist Youth and Vocation Ministry for Redemptorist Seminarians to learn and understand the vision of RYVM and to reflect on the local pastoral needs of young people today. This Tool can be used to assist not only Redemptorist Seminarians but all Redemptorists and Partners in Mission to reflect on the Guidelines for RYVM and the Apostolic Exhortation, Christus Vivit (Pope Francis, 2018), which shaped a great deal of reflection for the members of the General Commission in the creation of the new Guidelines.
As the gathering of Conference Commissions for RYVM concluded, each Conference took the opportunity in their virtual Conference groups to discuss, reflect, and to plan the next steps towards utilizing the insights from the Guidelines on a Conference and local level, especially as we continue to renew our efforts of the proclamation of the Good News both in the present moments of the pandemic, and when new possibilities for evangelization and the pastoral care of young people emerge as we arise from the stronghold of the pandemic.
Fr. Santo Arrigo, C.Ss.R.
General Commission for RYVM
Province of Canada