While the Synod of youth is being held in Rome from 3 to 28 October, “La Croix” asked five youth to tell how they found faith. Indeed, since the Second Vatican Council, the free choice and personal membership are essential elements of the Christian faith, can no longer settle for ‘transmit.’

Veillée de louanges à l’aumônerie de la paroisse Sainte-Jeanne-d’Arc à Dijon, le 26 avril 2018.

 

Vigil of praise to the chaplaincy of the parish of Sainte-Jeanne-d’Arc in Dijon, France

‘ You may well try to get a. “content”biblical or theological in the youth head, if there is not in them a personal membership movement, it doesn’t help! ” Isabelle Morel, Deputy Director of the Higher Institute of pastoral catechetical (CPHI) at the Paris Catholic, does not tire repeating the catechists it forms, based on St. Augustine, who had grasped this idea from the IVe century. Same sound Bell at the father Vincent Breynaert, Director of the National Service for the evangelization of youth and vocations (SNEJV). “Unlike education, faith is never directly transmissible, he says.» It assumes a personal act, as an opening of the heart. »

But how is this “opening the heart” lived, and in what circumstances? It would seem to be it more often between 15 and 30 years that an individual adopts its final religious positions. Some young people live the passage to a faith chosen during the sacrament of confirmation (proposed in France at the end of the college), others through volunteering abroad, a memorable meeting or a personal ordeal. Large gatherings (WYD, Taizé, Lourdes, charismatic renewal) are without a doubt an essential role, as has understood the Catholic Church which develops 20 years a “pastoral of the downbeat,” emphasizing the collective dimension the spiritual experience.

The beginning of student life, a moment key

For FR. Pierre Imbert, responsible for the pastoral care of young people in the diocese of Besançon, the beginning of student life is a crucial moment, about this gradual entry into faith for membership. “While it changes of living environment, a young man raised in the Christian faith will wonder what place grant in his new job of time.” This young priest sees here an issue of distancing with the family environment: “In a moment of appropriation of faith, it becomes difficult for youth to talk about what they live with their parents.” Where the importance of the role of chaplains and other “elders in the faith” to accompany these young people in their spiritual life.

Father Imbert notes however that in 2018, in France, reject the faith is indeed a rebellious Act and only“it’s more convenient when you have 20 years of keeping a low profile to say you believe in Jesus”. Remain – or become – Catholic practicing out of adolescence is today, accepting to be part of a minority. A difficulty which is not yesterday as from the 1820s, the young Frédéric Ozanam (founder of the society of St.-Vincent-de-Paul) had lived a crisis of faith discovering high school lay teachings and philosophy, and so that a large part of his classmates did not believe in God. Finally, it is the meeting of a priest who had allowed him to move from a faith inherited from his family environment to a freely chosen faith.

“Unlike the Maghreb or the Middle East, who are still in a traditional plan of transmission of religions, Western modernity invites individual, since the Enlightenment, to freely join the belief system or.” non-belief that he wants to,” reminds historian Charles Mercier, master of conferences at the University of Bordeaux. With the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), the Catholic Church openly supported this principle of freedom of conscience, and the Catechism through a real crisis, not more merely to transmit knowledge but to seek to add value to the young people the experience of faith.

“Understanding youth who wonder that believing in God makes people happy.

For historian Guillaume Cuchet, who published this year how our world has ceased to be Christian (1), ‘ Church from before the Council has accommodated all kinds of levels of belief and practice; but under the influence of the post-Conciliar pastoral orientations, Catholicism began to select more followers and to demand their share a real membership. “ So, to the National Service for the evangelization of youth and vocations, Fr. Vincent Breynaert does not hesitate to speak of”sacraments hampered” to designate the baptisms and confirmations received by young people whose decision was not personal.

Accompany the expression of such “Yes,” free and assumed, reports for chaplains and officers of pastoral work in a daily challenge. Besançon, father Pierre Imbert wants above all to ensure young people living a spiritual experience can talk freely, without feeling “harpooned”: “I refuse to give them to any response times of the chaplaincy,” he smiled. In Nice, Richard Dumas, Deputy to the pastoral to the Stanislaus Institution, believes that its role is above all to testify: “All we can do as adults, is to convey to young people who wonder that believing in God makes people happy.” For him, the overcoming of the cap of these young people towards faith for membership is also difficult to grasp to anticipate: “If there were a magic bullet, we’d know!”

“They won’t grow in faith only if they are part of their training.

For Richard Dumas, the role of the accompanist is also to teach young people to decide what they live. “This is to recognize, in the story of his life, when Christ was present. Some young people, returning from a rally, read God in these meetings; others will see that beautiful friendship. “ Young people to verbalize what they lived inside is just as important in the eyes of the xavière Nathalie banks, who just left his responsibilities as Director of the SNEJV and will be a listener to the Synod of youth. Without this effort of putting into words, she said, a spiritual experience, same strong, could not lead to anything: “we must develop these young people to areas of proofreading and sharing because it also hears the experience of others that a young.” can understand hers. »

The institution Saint – Jude of Armentières (North), are for example students who accompany students in fifth in the preparation of their profession of faith, showing them in the first person. In the premises of the pastoral care of this private institution, the House of the pilgrims, each student is invited to register on its own, away from parents and teachers, and to propose your ideas for catechesis. Pastoral Assistant, Béatrice Ruyant is sure: “ they grow in faith only if they are part of their training.” In other words, we are born more ‘Catholic,’ one becomes…

PORTRAITS OF YOUNG CATHOLICS

30 years, communications officer, Paris

When it comes to his Christian faith and his church membership, Anne-Daphne evokes both the cool breeze of novelty and the assurance of a certain maturity, an anchor. Initially, there is, of course, the education received from parents invested in the Church, Christian. Don’t forget Anne-Daphne.

“JOHANN GRAILLE BÉGIN, DETOURS TO FIND ITS WAY

30 years, host of the Youth Ministry, Nancy

He memory of his childhood the simple and warm prayers with his parents before the family oratory. Since then without ever questioning the existence of God, Johann Graille-Begin, host an employee of the Youth Ministry of the diocese of Nancy, and Provincial Coordinator of the Youth Ministry has seen an unexpected, narrow path to find his own How to be a Christian. Read the portrait.

“GAETAN DEJEAN, THE JOY OF BEING CHRISTIAN

26 years, Professor of history, geography, Toulouse

Without giving in to the cartoon, one would imagine more Gaétan Dejean in a bar connected Toulouse rather than in a church during an evening of worship. And yet. Read the portrait.

“DEBORA LOPES, THE HAPPINESS OF FEELING SURROUNDED

29 years old, employed at the Casa do Menor, Nova Iguaçu (Brazil)

In the family of Deborah, everyone is evangelical. His grandfather was the same pastor. Deborah lives in Nova Iguacu, a town in the northern suburb of Rio de Janeiro, one of the poorest and most dangerous in the city outskirts, and where evangelicals are the majority… Read the portrait.

“NATHANIEL PETERS, THE NEED TO FEEL GUIDED

33, Director of the Morningside Institute, New York

Nathaniel Peters should never have become Catholic. His father had left the Church to explore Eastern religions. And his mother, from the famous family of musicians von Trapp, the inspiration for the film The sound of music of Robert Wise in 1966 with Julie Andrews, had renounced Catholicism with his parents and five of his brothers and sisters to join the Protestantism, in full awakening in the 1960s. Read the portrait.

In ten days, the Synod of youth

The Synod on “youth, faith, and vocation discernment” will be held from 3 to 28 October at the Vatican. It’s the 28e time in a little more than fifty years, bishops from around the world meet for a meeting of the Synod of bishops. This consultative body was created by Paul VI in 1965.

It’s in October 2016 as Francis announced this new Synod, he wants in continuity with the last Synod assemblies on the family (2014-2015) and the Apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia (2016). The Pope made much of the need for
the Synod to listen to “all young people,” including those who are far from the Church.

The Instrumentum lalaboris orrking paper”, published June 19, will be the basis to the Synod. He was inspired especially the online questionnaire that 130,000 young people from five continents have answered.

From 19 to 24 March, a Pre-synode was held in Rome, bringing together 300 young people from around the world. The Pope wanted to hear the message of their generation in the Church.

The list of participants includes members appointed by the Pope as well as the
experts and listeners, including many young people. Four bishops represent the France: Archbishop Laurent Percerou, Bishop of Moulins, Bishop Bertrand Lacombe, Auxiliary Bishop of Bordeaux, Archbishop Emmanuel Gobilliard, Auxiliary Bishop of Lyon, and Archbishop David Macaire,
Bishop of Fort-de-France.

Two weeks for young french Catholics

From the perspective of the Synod of the youth, to be held in Rome from 3 to 28 October,
La Croix undertakes an extensive x-ray of French Catholic Youth. Objective: show who are really young Catholics, in all their diversity, beyond stereotypes and labels too quickly affixed. Every day, from September 24 and October 5, our newspaper will give the word to young Catholics, especially through two major interviews crossed, on Monday, 24 September and 1ER October. The first week will be devoted to the place they occupy in society and the role that they intend to play (World of work, political commitment, new technologies, openness to international).
The second, look at the way they live their faith (prayer, report to the institution, moral and sexual issues, relations with other religions).

The Paul Mélinée (and Adrien lease, Elise Descamps, Mélinée Paul, Hugues-Olivier Dumez, Chalus Aglaia, Alexis Bush)