MESSAGE TO THE FAMILY OF THE SERVANTS OF MARY
“In their descendants there remains a rich inheritance…”
My sisters and brothers,
We give thanks to God for the joy and the opportunity to celebrate together the V International Congress of the Family of the Servants of Mary where sisters and brothers from five continents, with a common charism although different expressions, have gathered together. We also thank our Mother Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe, for receiving us and teaching us how to be true disciples of the Lord.
With joy we wish to share with you the gifts that we have received, the challenges that we have confronted and lines of action that we propose to transmit our charism. We are confident that all of us will accept the challenge so that even today the values we have inherited from our Seven Holy Fathers may bear abundant fruit: friendship, service, simplicity, tenderness and fraternity.
During these days of the Congress, we have shared experiences, work, fun times, moments of study, reflection and prayer, fatigue, and a variety of emotions. In a special way, we have shared our concerns regarding the reality of youth in the different areas of life: parishes, families, and the world. We must ask ourselves: How do we approach young people? Are we transmitting gospel values to them? Are we bearers of peace and hope? Are we authentic? Do we give young people opportunities so that they too can responsibly build the Kingdom of God and a more human society? Do we help our young people to commit themselves in the different environments in which they live: Church, society, family?
The youth are the future of the entire world, of the Church, of our religious Family, of the different expressions.
We began by analyzing the reality of youth and our attitude towards this reality, and we see that we have a long way to go as we learn to free ourselves of the stereotypes that prevent us from understanding the reality of youth so that we can accept them with their desires, enthusiasms, likes and particular ways of being.
We have heard from the youth themselves of their desire to be loved, esteemed, included, valued, heard, of feeling responsible for pastoral activities, of being in solidarity, of participating in decision-making and being trusted by us as much as they want to trust us. The youth also ask of us enthusiasm and credibility, value and trust, faith and hope, dialogue and respect, conviction and commitment.
We have expressed our desire to be a part of their life, committing ourselves to be life teachers for them, allowing them to grow with companionship and support, to attain the life-long commitment through the gift of the charism of the Servants of Mary, in anyone of its expressions.
We have learned that through personal witness we can achieve much more than through theoretical teaching; with the help of the Word of God, prayer and faith we can approach each other with love, humility and compassion, following the example of Mary, keeping in our heart that which is difficult for us to understand or to accept.
By the Incarnation, Jesus Christ teaches us to approach the youth with mercy and compassion, using a language common to them, accepting them with an open heart. Each young person has their own identity, their own history, their own path to follow.
Sisters and brothers, we have a strong challenge as Church, but even more so as Servants of Mary: we must be authentic, simple and humane women and men in our dealings with them; we must show forth Christ and Mary in our daily living, that our testimony may impact the youth who are so desirous of action. That which is essential in life is found in simple things, without many structures.
Family of the Servants of Mary, let us go forth without fear and without prejudice to meet the youth, let us open the doors of our heart, of our home, of our families and convents to these young people who are anxious for God, faith and fraternity, who search for another history and for new paths of liberty and solidarity. Let us be promoters of peace and hope. The youth need us and we need the youth.