CLC and youth: community encounters on the path to wisdom

Daniela Ochoa-Peralta; James O’Brien - Youth members of the World Executive Council
[From “Jesuits 2023 - The Society of Jesus in the world”]

Across the globe, from Latin America to Korea, young adults are gathering to reflect, listen and share. Through this contact with the CLC community, each person experiences wisdom and encouragement for the journey.

In Latin America, CLC is a caring space to celebrate life

It is a familiar space, free from judgement and discrimination, where God’s presence may be named. It is a home for welcoming and including everyone, walking together as friends and sharing life with one another.

When CLC young adults gather, they reflect on their joys and challenges in small local communities. Through two or three rounds of authentic sharing and deep listening, the young CLCers share how they are travelling, reflect on their prayer, and notice God’s action in their daily experience. The community experience of God’s goodness equips the young people to face life’s tough times with hope. The local CLC community has been a balm for the soul, and an aid to mental health, during the years of pandemic, with each person reacting differently to the protective measures imposed. In Colombia, some young CLC communities met more often to accompany those who were alone. In Guatemala and Paraguay, youth communities sought to help those most in need.


“On a spiritual level, [CLC] helps me to feel closer to God and to love Him in a more transparent way, to improve my family, work, and friendship relationships” (CLC member from Colombia, 24 years old).

Together young CLC members experience themselves as loved by God and so discover their true self. As one Colombian young person says, “CLC is a space of tranquillity and peace that helps you find yourself.” Indeed, the CLC experience helps a person uncover their personal vocation and so feel more direction in life. A member from Guatemala, 22, says CLC helped with finding “who I am, what I want to be and do in this world.”

Within this vision, formation within the CLC community offers a space to learn how to help others. By virtue of belonging to CLC, members learn a way of accompanying one another through life’s various seasons, stages and circumstances. More than this, however, the reflection brought about through a CLC circle serves as an impetus for transforming actions across study, work and society at large. Indeed, young people in CLC see their lives as occurring on a larger canvas of God’s kingdom alive in the world. While collecting clothes and food for floods in Asunción, Pilar and Ciudad del Este, one Paraguay CLC member “realised that our presence in the world is important.” This realisation, arrived at through love and service, is then giving shape to the person’s attitude towards mission in ordinary life.


In Korea, graduates of the CLC HOPE schools have been meeting with older CLC members to reflect on their lives

The three HOPE schools are a mission outreach of CLC in Korea grounded in a desire to serve and accompany poor young people in need of care and support. Bringing together a diverse cohort of students from a multireligious context each afternoon and evening, the first HOPE school was founded in Seoul (2012), then another in Yongin (2014), and a third in Busan (2015).

The HOPE schools aim to restore the ladder of hope for disadvantaged students in their learning and life journeys. CLC in Korea wanted to empower the young people to achieve great things with their lives. Living through tough childhoods, the graduates often feel grateful for the schools, with some becoming volunteer teachers. These graduates want to share the gift of encouragement they themselves have received.

In recent years, CLC in Korea has seen a growing need to bring graduates together and walk with them. The CLC youth formation team has carried out programs for young adults at the HOPE schools. There are three goals for this initiative: 1) that the young people feel fully loved and respected; 2) that they go forth and share the love they received with others; 3) that they would reach out to make a difference to the life of the poor and the needy in their neighbourhood.


In Yongin, the CLCers designed a meeting with young graduates and part-time workers of the HOPE School, sharing their interest in being with and supporting them. Together those who gathered discerned that they should start a weekly reading club for sharing life from their readings. The group met for nine weeks, with the CLC members equipping the young people to embrace a wisdom language for reflecting on their lives.

Creating a world community

Youth are an essential part of the Christian Life Community. We welcome young people from Colombia to Korea, as a world community, in their search for fullness of life. We seek to listen to young people with openness, to find a language of wisdom together, and so walk along the path. In the sharing of a community involvement, in the experience of spirituality and conversation, young adults discover their own part to play in the mission of renewing God’s world. Each person has a sacred fire in his or her heart, and CLC offers kindling.

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Posted by Communications Office - Editor in Curia Generalizia
Communications Office
The Communications Office of the General Curia publishes news of international scope on the central government of the Society of Jesus and on the commitments of the Jesuits and their partners. It also handles media relations.

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