Wednesday, December 18, 2019
St. Eugene and the Youth
What was it about young people that drew St. Eugene de Mazenod to them? Youth have a very special place in the church and society. We have the power to make change, to inspire - but will we? Christ calls us to share our faith with others. Join Fr. David Munoz, OMI as he details how St. Eugene De Mazenod played an integral role in the early stages of youth ministry and learn how you too can continue to carry on this legacy in your own life.
After his ordination to the priesthood he wanted to dedicate him his ministry to those who were the poorest in society and among those were the young people. Young men and women during his time were not allowed to learn about their faith or their religion so how fortunate are we that in this day and age we still can benefit from learning about our faith and practice our faith freely. But that wasn't the case for him. He wanted to make sure the young people at the time did not experience the same thing that he had - a separation from God or feeling like their hearts were far away from God.
He wanted them to know their dignity to know that they were loved by Jesus Christ and above all to know that Jesus had redeemed them and continued to walk with them. He founded what was called the youth congregation of Aix - a group of young men who were gathered just for fun but also to make sure that they were praying and that they were learning about their faith. And out of this group they became leaders in society and in the church.
The one thing that Eugene de Mazenod can teach us today for our young people is that we have a place in the church and a place in society; that we can change, no matter what the situations or circumstances, we can change what is going on because of our youthful energy and because of what God has asked of us. It is never an opportunity for us to say I am too young Lord I cannot serve you. It is precisely our energy that Jesus Christ needs so that the message of salvation can reach other people.
As you enjoy the time in your youth organization, youth groups, whatever it is that you do at your church with other young people enjoy that time and know that Christ is calling you to share your faith with all people and not only those who go to your church or your parishes and also with those you find at school and in other places around the world never give up learning about your faith and with the intercession of Saint Eugene de Mazenod and know that you are walking and with Jesus Christ with the full dignity as a child of God.