Today on the second day of the Young Passionist Meeting Fr German Mendez CP, superior of the community in Bogotá, Columbia spoke to us about the Passionist Charism and our mission to the young. The mission of the Church is evangelisation and when we apply this specifically to the reality of young people we must aim to allow young people to have  a greater communion with God and others. For many Passionists, places of the cross are the field of our mission. It is no less so in the world of young people, but in our proclamation – in whatever form it takes – must stress both the cross and resurrection in order to bring hope.
The Passionist Charism is full of hope. People are attracted to our spirituality, but as in all ministry, but especially with youth, our witness is the best expression of the Charism. Texts and teaching are important, but it is witness that speaks to young people. The General Chapter has given us some fundamental directions in regard to our mission to young people and has placed us in the centre of an option for youth – and we wish to share our spirituality with them. But now the challenge is to form plans and take concrete steps to give shape to this desire and the direction the General Chapter has given us. This also has implications for our formation systems, we face a new world and we need to find new ways to engage with the world and especially with the world of youth.

We Passionists proclaim the word of the cross in a world transformed culturally, technologically and increasingly secularised and young people live in a society that is always changing and they are subject so much to relativism and fragmentation. Thus in our mission to young people one constant challenge is that we must search for them as they will not always be standing next to us.  We must be welcoming and show the charity of Jesus to young people, and our ministry to them also includes a vocational aspect as well as fostering their encounter with Jesus.

Our Charism is inviting, and we can take confidence in the fact that experience teaches us that what enthuses young people is our way of life – they are attracted to our community and its spirit. We need to develop a life style that is open to and welcoming of young people. Further, we know that young people like to be confronted with great challenges and in that our spirituality is demanding and calls for sacrifice, this is what young people are looking for also.