Austria, Luxembourg, Portugal

Missions: Austria, aid for youth educationWith a minimum donation corresponding to the cost of a chocolate praline or a dried-fruit and nuts candy bar – both fair trade products – for the entire month of October it will be possible to sustain international projects for support to young people in Austria. The initiative is the result of cooperation between Missio, Katholische Jugend (KI, Austrian Catholic Youth association) and Fair Trade, and organization that brings together a set of fair trade manufacturers. The "JugendAktion" (Youth Action) intends to involve young people in parishes, communities and schools. It will open on October 1st with the World Missions Day. The proceeds will serve for youth projects in Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Ruanda, Myanmar and the "Fair Kj" project for the development of environmental work of the Austrian Catholic Youth. The "Child Jesus Myanmar Mission Team" supports young teachers in human and social formation. In Haiti, still devastated by the 2010 earthquake, the vocational training project focuses on the development of skills in the area of mechanics, catering services, textiles and building. In Kinshasa, Congo, a team of doctors, priests and other operators cooperate with the university to help young pregnant mothers in difficulty, with planned assistance to 480 young mothers. Finally, in Ruanda, in the region of Rutana, will be built schools for refugees and for local children. Luxembourg, Masses and prayers for the Synod "Communities, parishes, institute of consecrated life along with associations and movements have been invited in the previous days and during the Synod to pray for the Synod in their Eucharistic liturgies and in all other celebrations", writes the Service for Pastoral Care of the archdiocese of Luxembourg, a few days before the opening of the Third Special Assembly of the Bishops’ Synod (October 5-19). For this purpose the Service has compiled and put online a booklet in several languages in which, in addition to the "Prayer to the Holy Family" of Pope Francis have been inserted a set of intentions for the so-called "universal prayer" that is part of the Mass service. Moreover, faithful can also "insert their intentions during their personal prayer, and especially during their prayer in the family", explains the note of the Service for Pastoral Care, recalling the invitation of the Pontiff to pray for the Synod in all the celebrations of Sunday, September 28. "The faithful are recommended to say the prayer of the rosary for the Synod works", concludes the Note. Portugal: with the families for new paths The Days of Pastoral Care of the Young and Mission 2014 ended Sunday September 21 which saw over 300 participants attend a joint reflection on the theme: "The Family, a project", in harmony with the next Special Assembly of the Bishops’ Synod. For the National Director of Missionary Works (OMP), "The only possible answer to the crisis of the family comes from the family of God, a God that invites His Son, and holds us in the embrace of the Holy Spirit, welcoming us all." From this perspective, Church mission should be confidently addressed to the positive aspects of the debate, with the purpose of making humanity a single family: "In these Days we have also learnt that the same family members can carry out their personal mission within the family unit", added Fr António Lopes. The director of the National Department for Youth Pastoral Care (DNPJ), Fr Edoardo Novo, said that the debate among the young is centered on a model of civilization to be erected starting in our present times: "Young people feel the urgent need to reflect on their own family, and on themselves as the protagonists of the building of the future." The priests highlighted the yearning of young people to address problems related to love relationship in Christianity, marriage preparation, life as a couple, children, without escaping reality: "In the ongoing crisis situation, the lack of employment and of future prospects, the answers that Church and society will provide to these complex questions play a crucial role", concluded Fr Novo.

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