The Diocese of Cartagena (Spain) is preparing more than 150 young Catholics to take to the streets to share the Gospel with their contemporaries.
Organized by the Diocesan Youth Ministry Office, the initiative is quite unusual for a region that is not used to the public expression of faith, and some media outlets have tagged the young evangelizers as “the Catholic brigades” or “Mormon-like groups.”
Bishop Juan Antonio Reig Pla came up with the idea as part of a campaign entitled “Mission Youth,” which aims to motivate young Catholics to embrace the task of every baptized person to proclaim the Gospel.
Contrary to some media reports that claimed the young people would be promoting “sexual abstinence and the rejection of condom use,” Diocesan youth director Manuel Roberto Burgos said, “Sexual morality is not the central aim of the initiative.”
“Those who volunteer for the program will be trained in seven meetings to equip them with arguments if they are challenged by other young people, but above all so that they can evangelize in places of leisure, schools and institutes,” he explained.
Thus, the young evangelists will go to public places where other young people gather to offer their Christian witness and to engage in dialogue aimed at addressing the fundamental questions about life and God.
The initiative will be officially launched on February 10 with a meeting of the volunteers outside the diocesan Cathedral and a commissioning ceremony. It will end on May 13 with a celebration and an evaluation of the fruits of the mission.
“We know there are some who will make fun of the young volunteers, but the young people are aware of this,” Burgos said.