Dear friends, Vincentian Youth,
Time flies so fast… Time is the pivot of life, so full of activity, hopes and expectations of what is to come. For others, life can be synonymous with loneliness and emptiness, which can even trigger a feeling of hopelessness. The fact of being a global society means that reality belongs to us; in other words, we are committed to caring for one another with affection and devotion.
The SSVP International Youth Day is the perfect moment to pause for reflection on this fast-paced world and to highlight the hopes and challenges for youth in our Society.
The Vincentian youth worldwide should never be silenced. They should take part in conference meetings and councils far beyond „youth affairs‟ or „youth reports‟.
We have “Vincentian youth”, who are already national presidents, in regional and central councils throughout the whole structure. Furthermore, they are developing international strategic plans and are part of communities that are leading the change.
The International Youth Day emphasises that young people are of paramount importance for the Society. Starting back with a 20-year old university student in France, young people have always instilled an enthusiastic and proactive spirit over time to achieve an organised, multi-faceted and fearless society that is building networks and forging bonds.
Moreover, it is essential to remember that the International Youth Day is not just for young people. We are „a society‟ and as such, if you are between 8 and 80 years old, this day is for you too. We share our joys, our fears and our accomplishments and challenges, and this is what helps the Society to grow in its charism of selflessness and to care for those we serve in hope.
Often selfishness and misunderstanding hinder our true calling. The future of the Society depends so much on cultivating the spirit and the unity that our founders had, in order to ensure that the enthusiasm of both young and old members can shine forth.
We must be an open society that urges its members and volunteers to uphold the principles they believe in, without fear of being frown upon.
The International Youth Day gives us the opportunity to share with the world our own experiences related to our village, city, council or continent. It‟s also a great chance to keep in touch with anyone in all corners of the world. Sharing stories of our adventures as a global community is part of every culture. These stories are far too good not to share, and can inspire a movement.
This day gives us the chance to reflect on our mission as young Vincentians, because we are called to change the course of history whenever necessary. No work of charity is unfamiliar to the Society, and we are reminded that many of us are doing these good works in our own communities throughout the world, always with one heart and one goal: to serve our Masters and Lords, the poor, and to reach out to them, help them up and walk with them.
Children, young people, adults and elderly people… the time has come for us to share a story. We all have reasons to celebrate the International Youth Day of the SSVP, under the blessings and protection of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, our patron saint, equally young Vincentian like us!
Happy International Youth Day!
Greetings from the International Youth Committee of the SSVP Council General International
International Vice-President for Youth, Children and Teenagers
SSVP Council General International