This week Rome is hosting a world gathering of young consecrated persons. Close to 4 000 participants from all parts of the world, among which are Iran, the Philippines, Côte d’Ivoire and Zimbabwe, will be in the Eternal City from September 15 to the 19. In the midst of the Year for Consecrated Life, they experienced a time of formation, of deepening their understanding and of hearing numerous testimonies.
Some thousands of young people who have chosen consecrated life will be able to share their experiences, their hopes and their expectations. "Vocation, community life and mission are three of the main topics for this gathering", stated the secretary of the Pontifical Council for Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.
Archbishop Rodriguez Carballo is looking forward to helping the young consecrated persons to freely live poverty, chastity and obedience, a difficult task but a prophetic one, in our deeply secularized society. "Consecrated life is not a part of archeology", insists Archbishop Carballo, "consecrated persons are not objects to be preserved in museums. They must be lived out in today’s world."
Quoting a verse from the Gospel of Mark "He called to him those he wanted, and they came to him", the gathering has as its theme: "Awaken the World ... Gospel, Prophecy, Hope", which is already a program. The hymn “Wake up the World”, composed by the Communauté du Chemin neuf, will be the official hymn for this gathering, which is intended especially for those who are in a period of discernment which precedes the novitiate.
The program includes mornings for listening and reflecting in Paul VI Hall at the Vatican. In the afternoon times for sharing have been planned in different locations in Rome, as well as suggested routes for the evenings. A memorial celebration of the Saints and Martyrs of Consecrated Life is planned for September 19. A prayerful procession will go through the center of ancient Rome to the Coliseum, passing by the Roman Forum.
This Tuesday, the young consecrated people will take part in a prayer vigil in Saint Peter’s Square. You can follow it live with French commentary, beginning at 8:30 p.m. on video from Vatican Radio.