VMY Paialvo, Portugal – April 2012
Group of the month: Vincentian Marian Youth in Paialvo (Portugal)
The Vincentian Marian Youth Association has functioned in Portugal since 1984
and is organized into four regions (North, Central, Sourth and Madeira).
There are presently 35 local group in Portugal.
The Vincentian Marian group in Paialvo belongs to the southern region of the VMY in Portugal. It began at the end of March, 1997, a time when the parish in Paialvo was in the midst of a popular mission that was being directed by the Missionaries of the Congregation and the Daughters of Charity. For a period of two weeks there were community celebrations and one of these celebrations took place with a group of young people from the parish. Before the mission, a group of young people came together to discuss various themes but there was no ideal that united these individuals. During the mission Sister Conceição Laranjeiro, DC presented the VMY to the young people.
The next step for these young men and women was to participate in the Fatima Youth Encounter in which all young Catholic men and women gathered together at the Marian Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima. During this gathering the young people from Paialvo expressed their desire to become members of the VMY. During the Fatima encounter they had shared and been received by other member of the VMY who served as Vincentian and Marian models for these young people from Paialvo. In March 1998 the group in Paialvo defined themselves as members of the VMY … this year they are celebrating their 15th anniversary as a group.
At the present time, the group in Paialvo has 37 members and at each meeting about 25 of them participate. Every six months the group receives new members and as a result the group is composed of individuals who are at different levels in the catechumenal process of the VMY.
The foundation of this group is established on their weekly meetings which are held every Friday evening. This is a time that is dedicated to the formation of the members, to deepening their understanding of the faith and their understanding of their Vincentian-Marian spirituality. Formation also takes place during regional and national meetings and during monthly meetings with other young people from various groups throughout the diocese.
Another important pillar for this group is service in the parish: praying the rosary in the midst of the parish community and once a month animating the parish celebration of the Eucharist. When praying the rosary the members feel very close to the Virgin Mary … the members usually pray the rosary together around the 13th of each month, a day which in Portugal is associated with the Virgin since it was on May 13th, 1917 that the Virgin appeared to the three shepherd children.
As young Vincentians the members of this group are involved in charitable and service activities: visiting the elderly who live alone, sponsoring recreational activities for children who are poor. Some members of the group also serve as support persons for children and the handicapped. We also highlight here other activities of the VMY in Paialvo which have as their objective drawing these young men and women closer to God and the church: pilgrimage to the shrine in Fatima, participation in the parish advent celebrations (singing special hymns), participation in the gatherings of the Vincentian Family, summer camps, special celebrations and amateur nights for fundraising purposes.
All the activities of the VMY in Paialvo are published in their bulletin O Pioneiro … the objective is to publicize their ministry with the hope of attracting other young people to the Church and the VMY. Another activity that is utilized by the group to attract other young people is the offer of guitar lessons … an activity that has produced much fruit and has also demonstrated how God can use music to touch the hearts of young people.
The Vincentian charims is very much alive among the members of the VMY and the members of the group in Paialvo. This is seen in the enthusiasm of these young people as they serve their neighbor, their sisters and brothers. They have put aside an individualistic and selfish spirit that is so frequently imposed on them by the larger society. Participation in group activities that are organized by the young men and women creates a discipline and a willingness to do something for those most in need … thus helping these young people leave their comfort zone. The members view their formation as an important element in their development and they are not afraid to share their faith with others. As a result of their participation in the VMY Association the change in these young people is very noticeable and this change has influenced their relationship with their families and friends and also influenced their studies.
Website VMY National: http://www.jmvpt.org/
Photo Albums of the VMY in Paialvo: https://www.facebook.com/media/albums/?id=100002874077262
Bulletin of the VMY in Paialvo, “O Pioneiro”
“O Pioneiro” n.º 38 – http://issuu.com/jmvpaialvopt/docs/jornal39
“O Pioneiro” n.º 39 – http://issuu.com/jmvpaialvopt/docs/jornal38
“O Pioneiro” n.º 40 – http://issuu.com/jmvpaialvopt/docs/jornal_40
Vídeos of the VMY in Paialvo
Activities of the VMY in Paialvo 2008/2009 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=PWXoxLqzo9U
Stations of the cross: 2011- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYuJ0aGPHTY&feature=relmfu
Musical festival: 2011 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YllDuoQiXVw&feature=channel&list=UL
Activities of VMY in Paialvo 2010/2011- http://vimeo.com/29777004
“New forms of evangelization” – http://vimeo.com/29566314
Stations of the cross: 2011- http://vimeo.com/28435899
The Local group of Paialvo does not have a blog or a web page but does not have blogs that have been created for specific activites:
Celebrations during the ‘70s and ‘80s – http://jantaranos7080.blogspot.pt/
Theater and Medieval supper – http://teatrojantarmedievaljmv.blogspot.pt/
15th anniversary of the VMY in Paialvo – http://15anosjmv.blogspot.pt/