SEPI's basic principles of "Pastoral Juvenil"
- Hispanic “Pastoral Juvenil” is organized to accompany young people in their growth as human beings and in the development of their Christian commitment.
- Every “Pastoral Juvenil” activity will have a conversion dimension (participation in Christ’s paschal mystery) which will challenge young people to live the fullness of the life Christ brought us (John 10,10)
- This conversion will come about through a progressive process which will present ever bigger challenges to young people to promote in them a deep sacramental and prayer experience. This experience should lead them to a not only emotionally but socially and ecclesial committed way of living.
ORGANIZATION AND STRUCTURE
“Pastoral Juvenil” will have three integrated dimensions: Formation, Recreation and Service.
- Formation should faithfully follow the teachings of the Catholic Church as they appear on Vatican II Council documents, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, papal encyclicals, and documents of the US Conference of Bishops in particular the National Pastoral Plan for Hispanic Ministry (*). Regarding recreation, it should help foster closer human relations and our cultural identity. The service dimension should promote young people’s participation in public life regarding the needs of their communities. It should also help them make a vocational discernment (GS 73, 74 & 75).
- “Pastoral Juvenil” should be organized, according to local realities, in two or three different levels: pre-adolescents, adolescents and young adults. The final number of levels and the age range of each one is something to be determined by the different dioceses according to their social reality.
- In every parish or community, every level may have one or more groups, according to local needs, for example: a choir group, a mission group, a catechists group, etc.
- Hispanic “Pastoral Juvenil” should be integrated in the Parish and/or Diocese structures, while maintaining its own identity.
- Every Diocese will create a Diocesan Council of Pastoral Juvenil, which will gather at least once a month to program the processes of Pastoral Juvenil, implement and evaluate them.
- This Diocesan Council of Pastoral Juvenil will be formed with the Adult Advisors of every group, the group coordinators and if the council so decides by any other person the council might consider necessary.
- In dioceses with more than 10 Pastoral Juvenil groups, a Pastoral Juvenil Executive Committee will be set up. This will be formed by members elected from the Diocesan Council of Pastoral Juvenil. In these cases, the Pastoral Juvenil Executive Committee will gather every month and the Diocesan Council of Pastoral Juvenil every three months.
ADVISORS AND COORDINATORS
To achieve a robust “pastoral Juvenil” adult advisors and group coordinators should keep a permanent and indispensable communication with the pastors and the parents of the members of the youth groups.
Adult Advisors are the backbone of Pastoral Juvenil. Their function is:
- See that Hispanic Youth Ministry (Pastoral Juvenil Hispana) is established and organized at a parish level according to these principles.
- Identify possible group coordinators and organize the work team.
- Develop leadership among the members of the group to achieve continuity in the work.
- Serve as liaison between the group and the different parish ministries, the pastor, and the community at large.
- Coordinate meetings the parents of the members of the groups, keeping and indispensable communication to have a robust pastoral juvenil.
- Help the young people in their vocational discernment.
- Identify possible professional resources which could help in the formation and leadership development processes.
Adult Advisors and Coordinator should work in harmony helping in the smooth functioning of the groups and they will try to interpret the needs of the young people and respond to them.
The function of the Group Coordinators is:
- To implement, working with the Adult Advisor, the programs previously accorded.
- Use his/her gifts for the benefit of the group fostering motivation and formation.
- Coordinate the group and all its activities.
Adult Advisors and Group Coordinators should be Catholic practicing persons who lead a life according with those principles and whose moral behavior is in tune with the teachings of the Catholic Church. The continuing work of the Adult Advisors and their commitment with the young people will assure the life and growth of a robust Pastoral Juvenil in each diocese this continuity is made possible through. Adult Advisors should be willing to receive the necessary formation in order to accompany the youth and serve them not only during weekends but also whenever is necessary.
Every year all dioceses will celebrate a “Día de la Amistad” (Youth Day) to attract new young people to take part in the life of the groups.
- The “Día de la Amistad” just like any other activity done by the groups should be carried out in a joyful way but always within the rich principles of our faith and avoiding any vulgarity or bad taste.
- Every diocese should have a formation program adapted to its needs and may ask SEPI for assistance in carrying it out.
- More developed dioceses may help with mobile teams neighboring dioceses which might need this help in implementing their programs such as “Día de la Amistad”, “Experiencia Cristo”, planning and evaluation workshops, etc.
- SEPI will meet periodically with adult advisors to review their programs and to renovate them according to the different dioceses changing reality.
- Every two years and working with a collaborative ministry spirit SEPI will organize a Regional Youth Encounter to help in the formation and coordination of adult advisors and coordinators in the Southeast Region.
Whenever this is possible the different dioceses will take part in the formation programs SEPI offers such as La Pascua Juvenil (Easter Book Workshops) , El Curso de Pastoral Juvenil Hispana (Hispanic Youth Ministry Course) , El Taller para Asesores Adultos (Adult Advisors Workshop) , and La Escuela de Asesores Adultos (School for Adult Advisors).
- At the beginning of every school year, the Diocesan Council of Pastoral Juvenil or the Pastoral Juvenil Executive Committee will promote that every youth group in the diocese set up a meeting to set that year’s objectives and projects and to evaluate the ones from the previous year.
- Local “Pastoral Juvenil” should promote, support and integrate itself with youth organizations working at the diocesan, regional or national level such as the National Catholic Network de Pastoral Juvenil Hispana (aka La Red), NFCYM, and similar organizations which offer services to lower instances.
*Nota: Entre estos documentos consideramos también los siguientes:
Renovando la Visión
Hijos e Hijas de la Luz
From Age to Age
Evangelization of Youth
Documentos de PJ del CELAM