The Vocation Promoters and Youth coordinators meeting was organised by the RYVM secretariat for Bangalore Province at NSK on the 13th & 14th of October 2023. We had a fairly good representation of members from different mission zones of Bangalore Province. We were also happy to have had the collaboration and presence of RYVM members of the Vice Province of Majella. Five members represented the vice province of Majella at this meeting. Altogether there were 19 confreres who participated in the RYVM meeting, in 2023. The two-day program was animated by the RYVM secretariat members, Rev. Fr. Sanjay Kujur C.SS. R. (The Chairperson), Rev. Fr. Peter. B C.SS.R. (The RYM Secretary) Rev. Fr. Sandeep Menezes C.SS.R (The RVM Secretary), Rev. Fr. Kaspar C.SS.R. (RYVM Member), and Rev. Fr. Ginu Cleetus C.SS.R. (RYVM member).
The two days of the program began with the Holy Eucharist celebrated by Rev. Fr. Sanjay Kujur, the chairperson of RYVM on day one and by Rev. Fr. Prem Cutinha from the RYVM Majella on the second day. The Mass was offered for the intentions of the youth of our parishes and Vocations to the Redemptorist Family. The first full day was dedicated for the youth ministry and the second for the Vocation promotion. The RYVM meeting had LSPP (Learning, Sharing, Praying and Planning) as the guiding factor. As part of our learning, we studied the RYVM general guidelines, the Indian RYVM draft guidelines and very importantly the general guidelines for RYVM. We also had Mrs. Mercy James a trained counsellor to present her views on the issues that youth of today face. We had a number of sharing on the youth ministry, Vocation crisis, creative Vocation promotion strategies, the challenges, and solutions for Vocation Promotion in the province. We spent quality time praying and planning for the quadrennium. The two-day program had serious discussions on the progress of the RYVM ministry in the province.
On the first day, we reflected on the need for an organized Redemptorist plan for youth ministry. Though we as a Bangalore province have been involved in the RYVM ministry for over thirty years, we still do not have a Redemptorist Youth Group of our own. We do have youth groups in our parishes. But can we call them as our Redemptorist youth? And so, the RYVM coordinators of this quadrennium have taken a challenge to start a Redemptorist youth group in the Province.
On the second day, we reflected on the XVIII Provincial Chapter’s urgent call to us Redemptorists in India to promote more vocations to the Congregation. As we studied the existing guidelines and procedures for vocation promotion, we realised the need for more vocations while not compromising on robust processes which ensure that the young men who join us are making a mature decision in freedom to be dedicated and committed to the Mission of our Congregation. We had extensive and spirited debates about the role of vocation promoters as contrasted to the role of directors of formation. We reflected on how both work for the good of the Congregation, but in contrasting ways. Finally, in response to the call of the XVIII Provincial Chapter and our own reflections, we decided to take the Vocation promotion ministry as the top priority and to plan and work towards implementing more effective vocation promotion strategies at the community, the Mission Zone and the (V) Province level.
The two days of gathering also had a time of joyful music, singing and togetherness in the evening before the dinner. This really made our gathering a joyful coming together of the Redemptorist brothers. We concluded the two days of fruitful RYVM meeting offering our ministry in the hands of Mary our Mother seeking her protection and intercession, singing Salve Regina.
Fr. Peter. B., C.SS.R.