26 February 2018
26 Feb 2018

Young Dehonians of Spain on the Lenten path

by  Maria Ceraolo

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The vocation team of the Spanish Province is always very careful in looking for ideas that intrigue and involve young people in significant events. To this end, a Lenten formation program called “Operation Resurrection” was conceived, which makes use of interesting material that is designed to accompany and stimulate young people to live Lent with a spirit of giving and closeness to Christ. Fr Ángel Alindado, vocation coordinator, through an interview he recently gave, and which we quote below, talks about it in more detail.

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This year the Operation Resurrection slogan was used, as if Lent were a seminar. Why was this means chosen with Operation Triumph?

When we were preparing the materials that would accompany the youth, we imagined Lent as a Seminar of the Word of God, where God, as a true teacher, teaches us how to interpret our life, what steps to take or what music to choose to play as background to our daily life. The truth is that the Operation Triumph program, which brought together young people who were new to the program with adults who lived it in their youth, seemed a very interesting and suggestive metaphor for living this Lent in full and bringing its message to a wider audience.

We also deepened this year’s motto, “Do not fear the impossible”: the Resurrection, an authentic “impossible” in the eyes of many, a goal unattainable for others, is a consequence of the abandonment of Jesus, of his away, of his constancy in mercy and justice, of his perseverance. Lent of Jesus and our Lent can therefore be a real school.

In summary: the Master, Jesus; the students, each of us; the melody, the Word of God; the tools to deepen it, the Way of the Cross (Via Crucis), the Reconciliation, the Lenten practices.

The materials used by the vocation team during different liturgical periods are always a surprise for their originality. How were those of Lent and Easter of this year received, especially by young people?

We are still in the first steps of this Lent and just beginning to evaluate acceptance. It is true that we like to play, at least once a year, with the surprise factor and we always meet young people who are attracted by the language we use. At the same time, catechists, people from other congregations and dioceses, Catholic schools, affirm that our materials are not just an initial “spark”, but contain a strong biblical content, prayer and reflection. We can say that they are “background” materials, in which everyone can find a message of God for their daily life and for their journey, in this case, Lent.

With this year’s Resurrection Operation, what invitation is made to the whole Dehonian Family?

Our invitation is a direct invitation to look at the Resurrection and the Cross. The image that we use, which imitates the logo of Operation Triumph, hides some messages, like that of the T which is a cross… and the O that represents the tombstone of the tomb. Our journey has its culmination here; but we must not forget that the Resurrection is united to the gift without measure, to the Cross of Jesus, to a passionate love. Perhaps this is the main message: we must not be afraid to give ourselves entirely, despite the certainty of the crosses, which will arrive, as they arrived for the Master.

A clarification: the materials are the result of a shared mission, of a “family”. For several years now, even before we spoke of a shared mission, the Youth Pastoral Team used slogans and adaptations for liturgical seasons. I believe that from here comes the “success”: materials born in a young community where young lay people and religious share their passion to bring the message to the world today.

This year a QR code was used to listen to a song related to the gospel melody. Who suggested this idea? How was it conceived?

It is not the first time that we have used a QR code in materials, though it is the first time that we used it so significantly. This time we hope that someone, especially the young, in addition to the message that can reach them through the network or posters (where there is always a clear message and a small reflection), can access a “melody” that accompanies the week or Sunday Gospel. It seemed like a quick way to do it and to facilitate a little moment of prayer through Catholic music.

Finally, what would you say to the whole Dehonian Family as they live this Lenten season.

Live it with at least a small part of the passion that put God himself on his way to the Cross and Resurrection. Only in this way, with a little passion, will life will “play” differently.

View Lent materials on the Young Dehonians website.

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