The seventh meeting of European Youth for the Mission (Mymission) took place January 20-22 in the beautiful setting of Marechiaro in Naples. Previous gatherings have been in Lisbon, Bologna, Porto, Salamanca, Foligno and Puenta La Reina. The initiative, supported by the general administration and European provinces, is in its fourth year. There are 50 young participants.
Mission projects for the summer of 2017 were presented during the three days of sharing; a review of projects underway was also given. Photos and videos helped to give an understanding of initiatives developed in Poland, Germany, Albania, Mozambique, Angola, Ecuador and Cameroon. There was also a meeting with the nongovernmental organization “Laici Terzo Mondo” (Laity for the Third World”) present in Cameroon, Madagascar and Benin, and reports on host projects in the Naples area for people seeking asylum in Italy. Problems and contradictions were explored. Destinations proposed for next summer include Mozambique (Alto Molocue and Invinha), Cameroon and Angola (Luena and Luau) in Africa; Ecuador (Quito and Bahi de Caraquez) in Latin America; and Albania in Europe.
Comparison with the territory
The group visited the Rione Sanità, together with the Basilica of Santa Maria della Sanità and the catacombs of San Gaudioso, important to the early Christian heritage of the 5th century. There was a meeting with the Comboni missionary Alex Zanotelli. He spoke of his experiences in Nairobi, Kenya and the realities of Naples. He emphasized the critical situation of the Neapolitan reality, and the importance of bringing the mission to our territories.
Value of missionary experience
In the group there was an opportunity to clarify the meaning of missionary summer experiences. They are not “cheap vacations” but instead, a time with missionary communities that welcome young people by integrating them into their designs. The experiences are built not on “doing” but on “living.” They are not designed to teach something but to share what one has. They are not an adventure safari, but a life path that marks the history of one who lives it.
The next gathering will be held in Valencia, Spain, April 28-30, 2017. Participants decided on the destination for suitable formation. “Hasta luego!”