Luis Manuel Suárez: “We help young people to grow in faith so that from there they can discern their vocation”

This coming weekend the Vocational Youth Ministry Days organized by the conference under the motto: “PJV with everyone and for everyone. Throwing myself into what lies ahead”. They will be held at the Colegio Nuestra Señora del Recuerdo in Madrid and this year will be the 50th edition. ECCLESIA has been able to speak with the Claretian Luis Manuel Suarezcoordinator of the Vocational Youth Ministry of Confer, to learn more about this meeting.

Suarez has indicated that “It is a meeting that in the CONFER has always been quite participated, with pastoral managers, delegates from congregations and lay people around this pastoral with young people on vocations. We are very excited to be able to do it again after two years without power due to the pandemic.”

Help young people grow in faith

“The area was born closely linked to the promotion of consecrated vocations around the end of the 1960s and over time it has evolved and currently promotes work with young people in an evangelizing key and that from there they can discern their vocation and among those vocations, we offer the consecrated vocation. For a few years we have been in the line of the synod, of accompanying young people, helping them grow in faith and from there they can discern their vocation and there we also offer our consecrated life”.

On how he sees the youth of today, the Claretian states that “On the one hand, they have characteristics that we have all always had when we were young: restlessness, search or openness. On the other hand, I see that they have had to live in a more complex world. Certainly young people have always needed references and referents and perhaps today more than ever. They need us to be close references for them and provide life references”.

Regarding his experiences with young people, he affirms that “luckily I have been able to share moments with young people and with those responsible for pastoral care. In the Claretians I was in a school, in a parish and in a mission and I have always had to be close to them”.

Coexistence and prayer with the young

It highlights that “In the end, joyful experiences are lived, such as special events such as WYD or YEP 2022 that we have had. They are strong meetings where there are moments of conviviality and prayer. It is also nice to share moments from day to day. I combine my task as CONFER with coming two days a week to a school that we have in Zamora and the daily interaction with young people is also interesting, with many challenges also because not all young people are the same or have the same openness. Certainly the ministry with young people is being something that occupies a lot of my life”.

More about the Vocational Youth Ministry Days

The meeting will begin on Friday the 4th at 4:30 p.m. with institutional greetings and will continue with framework presentations called: YVM, Church, world…50 years later: what has changed and what remains? from the hand of Rafael Ruiz Andres, Professor of Sociology at the UCM and Gonzalo Fernández Sanz, CMF. At 7:00 p.m. there will be a Gala to commemorate the 50th anniversary that will feature live performances and different guests who will tell us about their experience at these meetings.

On Saturday the 5th the presentations will continue. One of them entitled “Under the sign of the Synod” and another “PJV with “those who are”: what spirituality, what formation, what community and what commitment. The afternoon will be dedicated to the testimonies of “those who were”, there will be a PJV colloquium with “those who have never been” and will close with a thanksgiving prayer vigil.

On Sunday morning, a Eucharist will be celebrated, presided over by Luis Angel de las HerasCMF and after it we will have a meeting to talk about the challenges of the PJV here and now with Olalla Rodriguez Gonzaleznational responsible for Youth of the RCCE and member of the synodal team of the CEE, and Francisco Ramirez MoraResponsible for the youth sector of Catholic Action among others.

Luis Manuel Suárez: “We help young people to grow in faith so that from there they can discern their vocation”