Synod intervention of Sr Lucy Muthoni Nderi, FMA
Holy Father, Synod fathers, participants and young people
The second part of the “Working Document” highlights the link between the fullness of life and the realization of one’s vocation, intended as God’s dream for a person through which one attains his or her happiness in order to contribute to the happiness of others. This being the case, vocational accompaniment is a process, which not only aims at understanding one’s specific life choice, but also living the choice of life in enduring love and commitment. This calls for consideration of the spaces within which to foster and accompany vocations in the young.
In most cases, the basic sense of purpose in life develops in the family and then complemented by other environments where the young people spend their lives. As a Salesian Sister engaged with young people who find themselves on the streets and in charitable institutions in Kenya, i realize that many Kenyans are “caught in between” a social, economic and political system based on exclusion of many by a few. Slowly but surely, the lives of people in Kenya are gravitating towards a wide spread pattern of domination, indifference and lack of caring. In fact, the families are the most hit by the system and as a result, many young people are deeply wounded by the very people they look up to for care and protection. This exposes them to traps of exploitation and multiple forms of social violence.
No. 129 of the Working document draws attention to the value of accompaniment in everyday life and in ecclesial communities. So while the youth at risk appreciate the fact that the church in Kenya welcomes them in the charitable institutions, they are also asking us to accompany their vulnerable families in their daily experiences by searching within them the caring potential blocked by the inadequate system and the wounding experiences. The young people are sensitive and enthusiastic in promulgating solidarity, co-responsibility and partnership for the wholeness of every one, starting from families, neighborhoods and society as a whole. If given the due trust and support they are capable of connecting social agency with their young hearts, heads, hands and feet as co-creators of caring and fraternal local communities.
With the young, we can promote nurturing, safeguarding and protective local small Christian communities who accompany vulnerable youth and their families in their daily lives before they opt for the streets or end up in institutions. We can be a respectful and merciful presence that welcomes fragilities, facilitates and mediates mutual support and care, accepting the challenges and cultivating hope. Empowering small fraternal neighborhoods within the small faith communities can be avenues where the young people can have deep Christian and vocational experiences in their everyday life.
Sr. Lucy Muthoni Nderi, FMA
Delegate of the UISG, Auditrix