[Province of Rio de Janeiro – Brazil] At the end of 2013 planning for the Vincentian Marian Youth (VMY) of the Province of Rio de Janeiro included thinking of a solid experience to revitalize and strengthen the love of young people for the Virgin Mary and awaken them to a more active participation in the Church. The remembrance of the mobilization of young people and the fruits produced by the International Meeting of the Vincentian Youth which gathered various branches of the Vincentian Family in Belo Horizonte and World Youth Day (WYD) in Rio de Janeiro in 2013, led the Provincial Coordination of VMY – Rio de Janeiro to include a Vincentian Marian Session in their programming.
When the schedule was ready and released, the Session was only for the VMY of the Province of Rio de Janeiro, but social networks took the news to Minas Gerais (this state belongs to another Province) and other people asked to attend. So some questions came up: where and when will the session take place? What means do we have? What is missing? Who will help us? Little by little, these questions were answered showing to us that the Session would be possible. The coordination commission began to organize the most important things: spirituality, speakers to give lectures and lead study groups and workshops and leisure time. Parents of the students of Saint Joseph School volunteered to cook all meals during the meeting.
On September 12-14, 150 young people from Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, Espírito Santo and Mato Grosso do Sul gathered together at Saint Joseph School, in the city of Vila Velha, inspired by the theme: “Young people evangelizing young people”. Lectures, games and workshops helped to deepen the motto of VMY in all aspects and revitalize the presence of Our Lady in the lives of the young people.
Due to the long distances between the Brazilian states the trips are expensive, so many activities were held for the groups in order to raise funds: bingo, lunches, selling raffle tickets, etc. Members of others branches of the Vincentian Family, such as Society of Saint Vincent de Paul and Association of the Miraculous Medal helped.
Each participant received a kit consisting of a shirt, beautiful bag, button, writing pad and pen with the logo of the session. These kits were organized thanks to the contribution of the VMY of the Province of Rio de Janeiro and collaborators.
Close to Our Lady, young people of the VMY of Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais and Mato Grosso do Sul lived moments of great union, sharing, dialogues, reflection, prayer, plays and games during this Session. They made new friends and got a new understanding of what belonging to VMY is about. With their joy, wishes and projects they made “Vila Velha shake” and promised that in 2015 Petrópolis (the city chosen for the next session) will shake as well!
Sr. Rizomar Bonfim Figueiredo, DC