M.A lived in
a poor area of Santo Domingo city, received a state education, and survived
through odd jobs. An invitation from a friend to watch a film about Jesus led
to a first contact with one of the groups for young people in their parish.
That is where M.A’s experience of the process of “Formación para Jóvenes de las Antillas” (FIJA - Formation for Young
People in the Antilles) began. It led M.A to consider a religious vocation and
later to enter the noviciate.
The same was
true of M.E, a young professional who worked as an engineer for a state-owned
company. At the suggestion of his sister, he decided to get baptised at the age
of 25. During his preparation for baptism, he was invited to join the “Campamentos Magis” (Magis camps)
organised by the youth ministry of the Province of the Antilles. He said: “That
camp experience was key because that is where I began a vocational process that
ended with me deciding to join the Society.”
experiences, along with those of our other current novices, have led us to
consider an up-to-date approach to vocations which allows young people to work
out, from their own understanding, the meaning of what we offer through our way
of life. Or, to take this idea somewhat further, for young people to somehow
discern the way of Christ through our way of life. A sense of cohesion between
the ideal offered by our community’s lifestyle and the reality appeals strongly
to young people. It challenges them and is highly likely to awaken their
interest in making a radical life choice.
So, what kind of approaches to vocation might
ensure a gateway to conversion for young people today?