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Lucas Ricardo Marçal Ramos, 23, a member of the Family of Hope, is the only Brazilian present in the new organization.
On Sunday, 24, Solemnity of Christ the King, the Laity, Family and Life Department established the International Youth Advisory Body, composed of 20 young people from different regions of the world and various international movements, associations and communities. The initiative is the result of a specific request from the Final Document of the Youth Synod held at 2018, which called for the creation of a body to strengthen the activity of the Youth Office of the Department.
The chosen youth participated at different times in the synod process, such as the International Youth Forum organized by the Department to promote the implementation of the apostolic exhortation Christus Vivit. From now on, the group will play an important advisory and purposeful role in collaborating with the Department on issues related to Youth Ministry and other issues. The first meeting is scheduled to take place in April, 2020, in Rome.
Young Representation of the Family of Hope
Among those selected to be part of the new body is a young member of the Family of Hope, Lucas Ricardo Marçal Ramos, 23. Son of the Diocese of Guaxupé (MG), he met Fazenda da Esperança at 2015 when he volunteered for the project Spreading Hope. The mission that at first would be for only four months in Argentina, has extended to the present day. Lucas remained in Pope Francis' land for a year and a half, until in 2016 he was assigned back to Brazil to accompany the same project that took him to foreign lands; and also to attend the Faculty of Philosophy, a course completed this year.
Receiving the letter from Rome, sent by the Prefect of the Department for the Laity, Family and Life, Cardinal Kevin Farrel, inviting him to participate in the Office, Lucas confesses that he was surprised and unresponsive, “The first thing I did was to communicate my responsible, for I am sure that through this appointment there are thousands of young people and an entire community that counts on me in this service of the Church. Then I went to our chapel and asked Jesus, always young, to help me follow His steps, ”he says.
This is an unprecedented initiative in the Catholic Church, fruit of the Synod of Youth and the International Youth Forum, in which Luke attended Rome in June this year. He assures “that it is a personal desire of Pope Francis to put into practice the apostolic exhortation Christus Vivit.” And personally “he has much hope for the creation of this new Office for young people around the world. It will be a way to listen and give the opportunity for youthful expressions to express their voice! ”He says.
While leading the project Spreading Hope, Lucas was involved in various youth-related activities, such as organizing a group of 70 youth for World Youth Day (WYD) in Panama. Where it can also represent Brazil, carrying the pilgrim cross on the Via Sacra.
Commenting on the responsibilities to the Department, Lucas explains that the activities of young people will be focused on consultation and presentation of proposals. “We will not interfere with the work of the Episcopal Conferences. The main goal is to contribute through our youth to the life of the Church, ”he says. For him, ”the cry of young Jesus on the cross continues to echo in the lives of so many abandoned young people in our society. That is why as a member of the 'Family of Hope' I accepted this challenge. We want to ask Mary to accompany us on this path, as she in her youth accepted God's great project in the life of mankind: to announce that 'Christ lives and wants us alive' ”.
And what is it like to represent young people and the Family of Hope in this new mission? He tells himself: "I would like to refer as a reference to this work entrusted to me, a sentence from St. Augustine"Hope has two daughters, indignation and courage; indignation teaches us not to accept things as they are; courage to change them." This is the profile of a young member of the Farm of Hope. It must be from someone who believes! I believe in the lives of our young people. Daily I see the struggle of each of them to recover from their addictions and rediscover the meaning of their own history. This will be one of my main contributions in this new work: in view of the indignation of our youth, especially of Brazil and all of Latin America, I want to have with them the courage to believe in the present moment that it is possible to build the Civilization of Love! Finally, it is worth saying that I am very happy to be part of the Hope Farm. I feel I have found the place, the people and the opportunities to live my vocation. The time has come to witness this also to other young people and perhaps to the whole world. On behalf of our community, I thank the Church for believing in our Charism, "he concludes!
Check out the list of young people nominated to join the new body over the next three years.
Béatrice Camara (Guinea)
Moses Ojok (Uganda)
Dominique Yon (Sudáfrica)
Brenda Noriega (United States)
Joseph Edward San Jose (Canada)
Sofía Beatriz Cruz Estrada (El Salvador)
Natalia García Jiménez (Puerto Rico)
Ariel Alejandro Rojas Hernández (Chile)
Agatha Lydia Natania (Indonesia)
Jesvita Princy Quadras (India)
Makoto Yamada (Japan)
Tilen? Ebulj (Slovenia)
Chiara Van Voorst (the Netherlands)
Émile Abou Chaar (Lebanon)
Ashleigh Green (Australia)
Carina Baumgartner (Salesian Youth Movement, Austria)
Lucas Ricardo Marçal Ramos (Hope Farm, Brazil)
Lucas Petit Navarro (Community of Taizé, France)
Tommaso Sereni (International Forum Acción Católica, Italy)
Tomás Virtuoso (Equepos Notre-Dame Jóvenes, Portugal)
By Jessica Maia and Leticia Dias with information from www.laityfamilylife.va