The accompaniment to young people in their process of discovery of faith and their vocational discernment has been pointed out by Pope Francis and by the ecclesial reflection linked to the Synod of October 2018 as one of the priorities of the evangelizing mission of a Church “going forth”. With the cry of “Christ lives and wants you to live,” Francis turns to the hearts of every young man to bring to him the proposal of life in fullness that the Gospel offers. It is the responsibility of the entire ecclesial community to update this proposal in the day-to-day life of our contact with young people.
Our Order of the Pious Schools understands that this task is at the heart of its mission, and the last two years has been pushed by the Piarist Synod proposal, a process in which young people themselves have made their voices heard and spoken of accompaniment, reflection, prominence and commitment. The Calasanz Movement has also been an important commitment of the Order in this time, involving many young people in almost all the Piarist demarcations.
It is in this “kairós”, special time of the Spirit, that we frame the growth process that RPJ wants to develop during 2021 a response to the Synod of the Church, and support for working with young people of the Piarist Order.
RPJ has been fulfilling a strategic role of training-reflection on pastoral care with young people in Spain for 62 years, with wide dissemination both within our Piarist provinces and before the Church in general. In recent years, we have started a joint journey with Fundación Edelvives, who collaborates with its economic support and editorial experience. It has also been years of growing up in digital presence and in calling for people and institutions to be part of this great family.
Thus, today we have a team of sixteen specialists in the redaction Council and many other regular collaborators in their different sections. This team is joined by the specific contributions that from various approaches address the youthful reality and creativity and wealth that the Church develops in working with young people, together with the challenges presented by the connection with the new generations and the need to incorporate the young people themselves in the evangelizing task. To this specialized team is added in the last years of walking the protagonist participation of fifteen young people from different movements, congregations and communities, animators of other young people, who develop our growing digital presence in social networks.
From January 2021, we begin a new stage from which today we want to give you news: RPJ works on expanding its offer of reflection, training and meeting of youth ministry agents taking advantage of the new modes of access to information and sharing offered by the digital space, with a greater prominence of the young people themselves and with more ecclesial institutions involved.
RedPJ is the name with which we rename the project, because it was born with a vocation to be a space of inter-eclesial encounter in which various institutions and movements, excited about youth ministry, can collaborate and enrich our three areas of work:
- its digital content portal, including the 6 annual magazines,
- an online training proposal for pastoral workers,
- and the network of young people and groups of young people who are committed to evangelizing the digital world.
It is a question of consolidating RPJ as a digital space at the service of pastoral care with young people, in a web portal understood as a community of learning and training platform and exchange of reflection and resources, complemented by a work in social networks that promotes digital evangelization and communicative networks between the young people themselves and between their movements and communities.
In this new rethink, several institutions of the Order are providing people and collaboration, such as the Calasanz Movement, Nazareth province, Emmaus province and the Itaka-Escolapios Network. We consider them driving institutions, and in the coming months the RedPJ team will offer the opportunity to link in this modality to other demarcations within and outside the Order. We are already having meetings with Piarist demarcations and Teams of the Order to publicize and invite you to participate in the project.
The RedPJ has already received the approval of the General Congregation, and belongs to the ICCE, an entity at the service of the Order’s mission, which also currently addresses a moment of renewal with the new incorporation of the Piarist José Víctor Orón as academic director of the institution.
We are confident that the Order, and specifically the work of the Calasanz Movement in its different demarcations, will benefit from participating in this new stage of RPJ. Likewise, the Calasanz Movement will enrich this environment by putting its experience of direct work with young people at the service of the rest of the Order and the Church.
We summarize below the proposal regarding objectives, recipients, pastoral keys and organizational structure.
We set ourselves the following objectives:
- Accompanying reflection and training on youth ministry, …
- Promoting Church network communication
- Encouraging Youth Participation in the Challenge of Digital Evangelization,
We address these recipients:
- Youth pastoralworkers, from the youngest who evangelize young people, to the most seniors who accompany groups of young people and training processes.
- Young people between the age of 16 and 30 present in our pastoral platforms(schools, parishes, movements, universities) who are likely to receive a first proclamation, a proposal of faith, an accompaniment in their human and Christian maturation. For them: brief reflections on their subjects, brief resources for their activity, videos, their contributions, social network, new languages, testimonies, etc.
We make pastoral choices that identify us within the plurality of the Church, such as:
- To enhance analysis, reflection and training among pastoral workers, with special attention to young people who evangelize young people and are trained to do so from theological, psychological, sociological, ecclesial and pastoral keys.
- With a comprehensive pastoral, community and process proposal, from the keys pointed out by the Preparatory Document and the Final Document of the Synod 2018, and the Christus Vivit Exhortation.
- Useful for innovative pastoral practice: escaping the “always done so” to incorporate creativity and response to new youth realities.
- From a networked work: generating synergy between the different teams of movements and communities, in a learning community that makes ecclesial communion real for the mission.
- With youthful prominence: developing the concept of “popular youth ministry” proposed by the Christus Vivit Exhortation, encouraging and promoting young people who evangelize young people.
- Offered as a free and powerful sharing.
And we want to promote participation in RedPJ in various modalities
- individually (being a user of the portal’s resources, participating in the training proposals, collaborating with content, or even participating in one of the teams)
- institutionally (collaborating in the sharing of content, providing experience through its pastoral agents and its young people, collaborating economically, redistributing the formative proposal and the figure of the young RPJ and RPJ group, etc…)
To energize all this, RedPJ is equipped with a team structure to work in the key of participation and co-responsibility:
- Driving team: animates the roadmap of this whole project, with Juan Carlos de la Riva as coordinator and the participation of Jon Calleja, Germán López, Antonio Fernández, Enrique Fraga and Adrián Pisabarro.
- Expanded driving equipment: the previous plus other significant people from the different driving institutions.
- Content team and Editorial Council: they encourage the generation of content in magazines and the digital portal, and it is coordinated by Antonio Fernández, of Fundación Edelvives
- Young Council: encourages work on social networks and the creation of the network of young PJ and PJ groups, and is coordinated by Enrique Fraga, young man from Marist communities.
- Tic Team: at the head of the digital portal and its technical requirements, coordinated by Adrián Pisabarro, young man from the san Viator field.
- Training team: which has started designing the online training proposal that will be presented in June 2021, and is coordinated by Jon Calleja, lay Piarist.
- Management team, in direct relation to the ICCE administration.