Emmanuel Community European Advisory Council in The Hague, The Netherlands

Around 50 brothers and sisters of the Zone-Europe met from January 24-26 in The Hague, in the Willibrordushuis, a house of the Brothers of Saint John. They took time together to work on different subjects concerning the whole Community. It is always a moment of exchange of experiences and fraternal conversations.

They tell us more about this weekend:

What is the particularity of these weekends:

A challenge for our zone is the question of languages – there are 17 different languages that are used in our zone! Our chance is that most of us have learned English as second language – so we pray and work in “Emmanuel English”!

In spite of these challenges,  we know that Jesus called fishermen to fish men, Jesus uses their talents, and our talents, to develop creativity together.

Speaking about creativity, can you tell us more about what was done during the weekend?

On Saturday morning ,we spent the whole day on the subject of youth, starting by the document Christus vivit. In different work groups, we tried to present the situation of youth in our provinces and we worked on different questions.

Of course, there was also a nice fraternal time on Saturday evening!

On Sunday we worked and shared on the question of formation in the Community.

Here are some of the sharings of our brothers and sisters:

We are Mirka and Arek Cetner, we are the Coordinators of the Polish Community.

We want to share about the “youth challenge”:

One of the main challenges right now for the Emmanuel Community in our country is the Youth Pastoral. For many years, we are organizing a Youth Forum in Poland. It is a place where young people are truly happy. Usually after the Forum, a group of 30-40 young adults, are ready to continue somehow with the Community, but within the year, most of them leave our youth group.

When we started the preparation of this years’  Forum, we have realized that it is necessary to think in parallel not only about the program for the Forum but for the whole next year. What is really essential in this work is the unity of Province heads, youth leaders and the Forum coordinators. We have a common work and discernment in the preparation vision of youth pastoral.

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The meeting in Den Haag was a big support for this!

Emmanuel – means God with us.  What did we put in place to make Jesus nearer to those in need:

In Poland, we had problems with the children’s service = no brothers for service, and about 80 children at that time. We knew that it must need a radical change. And suddenly an idea: we do not want just a service for children anymore but transform it into a MISSION for children.  Our children are important for parents and for the Community! During Community weekends they are even more important. So let’s do everything possible and in the best way to organize this mission, like other big and important missions. This change in our mind-set has changed everything and resulted in a very fruitful and joyful proposal for our children.

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"I chose you from the world, to go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord."

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