Submitted by Sisca, fcJ
At the recent World Youth Day in Panama, Pope Francis emphasized the culture of encounter as a call inviting us to be courageous and to keep alive a shared dream that has a place for everyone. This emphasis affirms our efforts in accompanying various youth groups here in Myanmar and in other places. I recently participated in the MAGIS youth event in Taunggyi and in a gathering in Pekhon of a large group of young women belonging to the Daughters of Mary’s Association. In both meetings we discussed our shared dreams in the context of Myanmar. It was a joy to walk alongside these young people, to listen to their stories and to glimpse the future with them.
Youth is a time for making significant decisions as well as the beginning of fulfilling dreams. However, today’s challenges can easily weaken the spirit of the young: uncertainty of relationships in the era of multimedia, lack of opportunities for work, increasing instances of political violence, drug abuse, and lack of care for the environment. While these challenges make it difficult to map where youth can build supportive relationships, it is imperative to share our time, energy, companionship and relevant resources to help them achieve their shared dreams.
With the recent Universal Apostolic Preferences of the Society of Jesus citing particularly the need to walk with youth, we, as collaborators of the Jesuits, are encouraged in our service to young people to equip them with resources, develop their ability to adapt and give them opportunities to learn and support their faith formation. These efforts require of us a strong commitment and fidelity to support young people in building a future filled with hope.
Sr Sisca fcJ is in the faculty at Myanmar Leadership Institute (MLI), a newly set up educational institution as an initiative of the Archbishop of Yangon, Cardinal Charles Bo, and the Myanmar Jesuits.