VATICAN/BRAZIL, Lucas Galhardo in an interview with Schoenstatt.org •
On 19 March, the feast day of St. Joseph, Pope Francis will celebrate the fifth anniversary of his papacy. He will commemorate this day by listening to the young people at the Pre-Synod taking place from 19 to 24 March at the International Pontifical College Maria Mater Ecclesiae. Three Schoenstatters will be among the participants: Fr. Alexandre de Mello Awi, the secretary of the Dicastery for the Laity, Life and Family; Magdalena Hartmann from the Girls’ Youth in Germany as the delegate for the German Bishops’ Conference; and Lucas Galhardo from the Boys Youth in Brazil as the official representative of the Schoenstatt Movement. Lucas is 25 years old and is a mechanical engineering student, belongs to the Schoenstatt Boys’ Youth in Caieiras/São Paulo and is also the secretary of the Youth Department for the Southern Cone within the Latin American Bishops’ Conference (CELAM).
We spoke to him about his expectations and what he hopes to contribute to the Synod:
What does the Schoenstatt representative hope for at the Pre-Synod?
I hope that the Pre-Synod meeting will be a great moment for us young people to make the Synod Secretariat aware of the most urgent issues facing the youth today. And that these are not only ideas or mere speeches, but that they can be words and attitudes that come from the heart. I hope that the work schedule will be productive and organic and that it will benefit to the fullest from what each young person present has to contribute. I also hope for a great Pentecost, because it will be a very special moment to meet young people from various parts of the world and the various realities and cultures gathered together with a single purpose. This is extraordinary.
What can you contribute?
I hope to contribute through my experiences and my journey within the Movement and youth evangelisation not only the challenges and aspirations of my region, but also other groups, charisms, and realities that I have had the opportunity to know and share. Right now, I can’t say exactly how I will contribute because I believe that I must be attentive in the most organic way possible to contribute as best as I can in each sitaution.
What do you hope from Schoenstatt in this visit to the Synod?
First of all, I hope that Schoenstatt will offer up many prayers and contributions to the Capital of Grace from every shrine throughout the world. The opportunity to provide opportunities has passed, by means of the online questionnaire and the questions in the preparatory material. I believe that many Schoenstatters throughout the world have already particpated in this process. But it is still possible to participate in the Pre-Synod Meeting via Facebook.
But what I hope most is that Schoenstatt can also live this Synod. That it doesn’t simply allow the Synod to take place in Rome in October, but that it can be an instrument in this beautiful process of reaching out to all the places where Schoenstatt is present, and beyond. I believe that the great wealth that this Synod has generated and will still generate, is the local impact in groups, parishes, dioceses, etc. Countless initiatives for dialogue and reflection on the themes of the Synod continue to emerge and make us rethink important issues such as the role that today’s young people can play, in relation to the faith and how this is being done through the work of youth evangelisation, the issue of vocation as a personal ideal, etc. Very often these processes lead to a very positive path to conversion, both for the youth as well as the Church. Finally, I hope that Schoenstatt can contribute so that these initiatives of the experience of the Synod can be taken to the whole world.
The Opening of the Pre-synod will be transmitted live on the Vatican`s official YouTube Channel, starting at 9:00 AM (local time in Rome)=.
Photos: Rodrigo Barboza Galhardo
Original: Portuguese, 17 March. Translation: Sarah-Leah Pimentel, Cape Town, South Africa