Archive for the ‘Colloquium’ Category

Colloquium 2014

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The Colloquium 2014 “Young Christians and Sexuality in the 21st Century’s Europe” – “The Choice of our lifestyle” co-funded by the European Youth Foundation, took place from the 5th to the 12th October in the Educational Centre for Blind in Laski, near Warsaw. The activity was attended by 17 participants from France, Spain, Portugal, Senegal, Poland, Greece, Armenia, Ukraine, Luxembourg and Romania who shared their experiences from their cultural background.

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The Colloquium focused on many aspects of sexuality such as the psychological approach, homosexuality, the Church’s perspective, pedophilia, gender issues, sexual abuse within the Church and other religions’ perspective on Sexuality. The activity was run with the methodology of SEE- JUDGE- ACT and during the SEE and JUDGE it was composed of discussions, inputs, role-plays and games.

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For the ACT part the participants had to come up with a common idea for an action at the city. This action was a flash mob about the respect of the child, the fidelity within the relationship and the respect of human being. On Friday 10th of October the participants carried out the action at the city squares and spread their messages at the citizens. The last part of the Colloquium was dedicated to the debriefing and the Evaluation.

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Apart from the basic part of the activity, the spiritual aspect of JECI-MIEC was expressed with the Opening and Closing Masses and the daily prayers but also the fun and cultural part was there during the evening when the intercultural evening and many games in order to get to know each other took place.

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We thank everyone that made this activity possible and specially the local organisers, the experts  and the European Youth Foundation!

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You can find a video of the activity created by Paul Sopon here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8_Xl4-7JHE

Call for participants,JECI-MIEC Colloquium 2014: “Young Christians and Sexuality in the 21st Century’s Europe” – “The Choice of our lifestyle”

Dear friends from the National Organizations,

Greetings from JECI-MIEC!

We are very happy to invite you to our JECI-MIEC Colloquium “Young Christians and Sexuality in the 21st Century’s Europe” – “The Choice of our lifestyle”, which will be taking place in Warsaw, Poland from 5th – 12th October 2014 (including arrival and departure day). Thanks to the hosting organization KIK Drum Bun Poland, it was possible to re-schedule and re-organize this Colloquium originally planned to take place in Ukraine hosted by AUCS Obnova.

The Colloquium is targeted to both: Secondary and University Students.

This Colloquium is co-financed by the European Youth Foundation (EYF) regularly alternating with other typical activities of the European Coordination JECI-MIEC.

What is our Colloquium about?

Understanding of sexuality in 21st century’s Europe is diverse – as the debates and controversies are. Although Europe’s history and culture has been profoundly shaped by Christian values, European secular societies are nowadays facing the “challenge”, that to the tradition of living in a two-sexes-lifestyle there are many more options, which might even will have their role to play as it regards the demographic development of future Europe. Especially as secular positions towards sexuality meet faith-based (and particularly Christian) convictions and beliefs, debates and discussions tend to become inevitable: Some topics such as sexual orientation, marriage and divorce concern particular lifestyles, while others such as contraception and abortion even have controversial ethical implications. Most recently topics such as pedophilia and sexual abuse within Church have been subjected to strong criticism globally. What does this have to do with young people in Europe?

The European Coordination JECI-MIEC is a platform of secondary and university students in Europe who share their common identity as Catholic believers. Taking into account contemporary developments, it is clear that apart from morals and values concerning sexuality also Christianity in itself has further developed. Different world-views and debates on what is, can or should be allowed in one’s sexual life do not only come up between Church and secular society, but exist also within the community of Christian and especially Catholic believers in Europe and beyond. To give an example: “What is in the eyes of a Catholic student better? A committed homosexual partnership or a ‘proper’ marriage where there is disrespect and violence?” As recognizable from this question, decisions on (especially one’s own) sexuality need to be taken individually, consciously, respectful and responsibly – even if there for sure exist collective catalogues of values from several secular and religious instances.

Our colloquium therefore aims at raising awareness about the diversity existing among secular societies and Christians in Europe as it regards the topic sexuality and the reality of young people (SEE), to enable the participants of this colloquium to take their decisions on theirsexuality more consciously and without prejudices or discrimination (JUDGE) and to make society aware of the results of these reflections (ACT).

Out of the variety of topics and issues existing, JECI-MIEC decided upon the following fields of interests to be addressed during thecolloquium:

1) sexual orientation: particularly topics such as heterosexuality, homosexuality, transgender and queer-theory;

2) sexuality and responsibilities: particularly pregnancy, abortion, contraception;

3) decisions and life-styles such as traditional family models and alternative concepts existing;

4) sexual disorders such as pedophilia;

5) sexual abuse within Church as a current global debate relevant to both believers and non-believers.

Please find attached the Call and the application form.

Deadline for completing the participants’ application form: 5th September 2014.

With best regards on behalf of the preparatory team,

Maximilian Niessen
(European Coordinator)

Impression

(co-financed by the European Youth Foundation)

Colloquium2014-Application-Form  Colloquium2014 – Participants Call

JECI-MIEC invitation to pray for Ukraine and Obnova

Dear friends,

please find enclosed a proposal by our European Chaplain Fr. Markus to have a joint prayer as well as intentions for Ukraine and our friends from “Obnova” in your next mass at movement level.

We would be happy if as many of you as possible could join.

JECI-MIEC invitation to pray for Ukraine and Obnova

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Preparatory meeting of the Colloquium 2014 “Young Christians and Sexuality in 21st Century’s Europe”-“The Choice of our Lifestyle”

From the 17th to the 19th of January the preparatory team, namely Anna Holodnytska from Obnova, Maximilian Niessen, Laura Sopon and Eirini Freri, met in Kyiv in order to prepare the Colloquium that will be held on the 23rd to the 30th of March 2014 co-financed by the European Youth Foundation. At this meeting, the preparatory team planned the daily program, organized the logistics and prepared the info pack. Furthermore at the 18th the team had the honor to be invited by Obnova Kyiv at a supper for the feast of Epiphany.

We are looking forward to seeing you all!

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IMPORTANT UPDATE: JECI-MIEC Colloquium “Young Christians and Sexuality in the 21st Century’s Europe” – “The Choice of our lifestyle”

Dear friends,

dear applicants to the JECI-MIEC Colloquium 2014,

with this notification we would like to apologize for the fact that we had to withdraw the call for the Colloquium “Young Christians and Sexuality in the 21st Century’s Europe” – “The Choice of our lifestyle” for the fact that it contained a mistake done in the process of editing the call.

Unfortunately, this mistake concerned the financial regulations related to the participants’ reimbursements mentioned in the call.

Upon the decision of the European Team it was regarded necessary to update the call with the correct information and at the same time, as a means of transparency, to communicate to you the relevant changes:

Instead of a 100% reimbursement of travel costs, JECI-MIEC is only able to cover 90% of your travel costs to the Colloquium.

At this point we would also like to mention that we will still try to do everything within our measures to assure you a 100% reimbursement, but for budgeting reasons it could not be kept in the official call.

We hope for your understanding and that this change of criteria will not be a reason for you not to apply to our Colloquium.

Together with this notification you will receive an updated version of our call (with the changes marked in yellow) which is now legally binding.

Anyway we will ask any applicants after having received their application whether they were informed about the change and whether they consent to it.

Once more we would like to apologize for the unprofessional work and this personal mistake of the person responsible for editing the call.

With best regards,

Maximilian Niessen

on behalf of the European Team

 

Colloquium2014 – Notification of Change and Letter of Excuse Colloquium2014 – Participants Call – UPDATED Colloquium2014 – Application Form

IMPORTANT UPDATE: JECI-MIEC Colloquium 2014: “Young Christians and Sexuality in the 21st Century’s Europe” – “The Choice of our lifestyle”, Obukhiv (Kyiv region), Ukraine, from 23rd – 30th March 2014

Dear friends,

dear applicants to the JECI-MIEC Colloquium 2014,

with this notification we would like to apologize for the fact that we had to withdraw the call for the Colloquium “Young Christians and Sexuality in the 21st Century’s Europe” – “The Choice of our lifestyle” for the fact that it contained a mistake done in the process of editing the call.

Unfortunately, this mistake concerned the financial regulations related to the participants’ reimbursements mentioned in the call.

Upon the decision of the European Team it was regarded necessary to update the call with the correct information and at the same time, as a means of transparency, to communicate to you the relevant changes:

Instead of a 100% reimbursement of travel costs, JECI-MIEC is only able to cover 90% of your travel costs to the Colloquium.

At this point we would also like to mention that we will still try to do everything within our measures to assure you a 100% reimbursement, but for budgeting reasons it could not be kept in the official call.

We hope for your understanding and that this change of criteria will not be a reason for you not to apply to our Colloquium.

Together with this notification you will receive an updated version of our call (with the changes marked in yellow) which is now legally binding.

Anyway we will ask any applicants after having received their application whether they were informed about the change and whether they consent to it.

Once more we would like to apologize for the unprofessional work and this personal mistake of the person responsible for editing the call.

With best regards,

Maximilian Niessen

on behalf of the European Team

 

To: All Organizations and Federations of the European Coordination JECI-MIEC

Dear friends from the national organizations,

the European Coordination JECI-MIEC has the great pleasure to invite all the national member organizations to nominate participants for the Colloquium “Young Christians and Sexuality in the 21st Century’s Europe” – “The Choice of our lifestyle”, which will be taking place in the Monastery of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Obukhiv (Kyiv region), Ukraine from 23rd – 30th March 2014 (including arrival and departure day).

The Colloquium is targeted to both: Secondary and University Students.

This Colloquium is co-financed by the European Youth Foundation (EYF) regularly alternating with other typical activities of the European Coordination JECI-MIEC.

What is our Colloquium about?

Understanding of sexuality in 21st century’s Europe is diverse – as the debates and controversies are. Although Europe’s history and culture has been profoundly shaped by Christian values, European secular societies are nowadays facing the “challenge”, that to the tradition of living in a two-sexes-lifestyle there are many more options, which might even will have their role to play as it regards the demographic development of future Europe. Especially as secular positions towards sexuality meet faith-based (and particularly Christian) convictions and beliefs, debates and discussions tend to become inevitable: Some topics such as sexual orientation, marriage and divorce concern particular lifestyles, while others such as contraception and abortion even have controversial ethical implications. Most recently topics such as pedophilia and sexual abuse within Church have been subjected to strong criticism globally. What does this have to do with young people in Europe?

The European Coordination JECI-MIEC is a platform of secondary and university students in Europe who share their common identity as Catholic believers. Taking into account contemporary developments, it is clear that apart from morals and values concerning sexuality also Christianity in itself has further developed. Different world-views and debates on what is, can or should be allowed in one’s sexual life do not only come up between Church and secular society, but exist also within the community of Christian and especially Catholic believers in Europe and beyond. To give an example: “What is in the eyes of a Catholic student better? A committed homosexual partnership or a ‘proper’ marriage where there is disrespect and violence?” As recognizable from this question, decisions on (especially one’s own) sexuality need to be taken individually, consciously, respectful and responsibly – even if there for sure exist collective catalogues of values from several secular and religious instances.

Our colloquium therefore aims at raising awareness about the diversity existing among secular societies and Christians in Europe as it regards the topic sexuality and the reality of young people (SEE), to enable the participants of this colloquium to take their decisions on their sexuality more consciously and without prejudices or discrimination (JUDGE) and to make society aware of the results of these reflections (ACT).

Out of the variety of topics and issues existing, JECI-MIEC decided upon the following fields of interests to be addressed during the colloquium:

1)      sexual orientation: particularly topics such as heterosexuality, homosexuality, transgender and queer-theory;

2)      sexuality and responsibilities: particularly pregnancy, abortion, contraception;

3)      decisions and life-styles such as traditional family models and alternative concepts existing;

4)      sexual disorders such as pedophilia;

5)      sexual abuse within Church as a current global debate relevant to both believers and non-believers.

Please find forwarded with this notification the call for participants in PDF format as well as the participants’ application form in WORD format.

Deadline for completing the participants’ application form: 31st December 2013.

We kindly ask you to disseminate this call among your membership!

 

Impression

(co-financed by the European Youth Foundation)

Colloquium2014 – Participants Call – UPDATED Colloquium2014 -Notification of Change and Letter of Excuse Colloquium2014 – Application Form

Extensive report of the Colloquium 2011

It is a great pleasure for the European Coordination to present the extensive report of the Colloquium 2011. We would like to thank the documentation committeee for their work.

You can download the PDF file : Colloquium2011-Report

Statement of the Colloquium 2011

Introduction

Between the 8th and the 14th of March 2011, 31 young Christians of the JECI-MEC European Coordination gathered in Birštonas, Lithuania for a colloquium to reflect on “Integral Education and Christian Faith”. As a result of our experiences, reflections and discussions during the colloquium, we present a statement on the conditions, needs and means of education in a Catholic way. In order to avoid any misunderstandings and differentiate our understanding of education from others, we introduce the term “Integral Education”.

I. What is Integral Education based on?

We as Catholics hold the view that life’s goal is to search for and to draw close to the truth – not merely subjective, but also objective truth. Both individuals and the community of the Church search for the truth using different methods. Every individual searches for the truth using his or her own experience of life. However, the Church draws on two sources during this journey towards the truth – both Tradition and the Scriptures.[1]

II. Why is Integral Education needed?

We as young Catholics have heard of and reflected on three major issues concerning individuals and society. We wish to express what we believe is our way of responding to these issues:

1)     The issue: Often human beings are reduced to objects valued simply in terms of their usefulness. People are often judged superficially according to external criteria.

What we believe: Each person is unique and made in the image of God. Therefore a person is more than just a set of characteristics.

What we see to be done: We must always work to respect the dignity and uniqueness of every human person.

2)     The issue: Society itself is often viewed in materialistic or mechanistic terms, where communities are not able to flourish.

What we believe:  Society should be understood as an unconditional love-based relation between people; that is a community of communities.

What we see to be done: In our work and activities we will promote and practice the idea of the common good through solidarity and subsidiarity.

3)     Issue: In the modern world the rights of individuals can be promoted in such a way that the common good is not served. For others, society is developed, so that the rights and the dignity of the individual are not valued.

What we believe:   Every person lives in the context of his or her own society. We believe in a creative dynamic between the rights of the individual and the growth of a real society.

What we see to be done: Society should base its human relations on the value of charity, understood as unconditional love for the other person.

Recognizing the fact, that we, as imperfect creatures, will never be able to fulfill our suggested values fully, we search for the best solution within human measures. This solution, according to us, is Integral Education.

III. What is Integral Education?

We as Catholics hold the view that Integral Education is defined by its purposes.

1)     To form a whole, well-rounded person, who is able to act responsibly and who is free enough to make individual life-choices.

2)     To form a citizen, who is able to make life-choices guided by the common good.

The process of Integral Education actively enables people to act responsibly and beneficially. Integral Education does not only mean that people are taught or receive education but are also enabled to teach others. In this understanding Integral Education has got the third purpose

3)     To form multipliers of knowledge, skills, attitudes, values, and spirituality amongst others.

IV. What is our plan of action?

What follows is a plan of action based on the statement previously presented. This plan holds for all stages of any educational systems and is a list of practical suggestions which may be adopted and implemented in the view of local community needs.

– Encourage experiential learning for personal and social development through extracurricular activities such as outdoor education, civic education, and learning through games

– Reflection and dialogue on the Scriptures and issues of public interest, with the aim of finding ways of acting responsibly after becoming aware of societies’ needs

–  Learning through the knowledge and experience of experts

–  Support the continuous professional development of teachers

–  Collaboration with other organizations including secular ones

–  Organization of collaborative learning through a peer-learning-system or a tutoring system

–  Multicultural education through student exchanges such as Erasmus

– Promotion of the statement of the Colloquium to people in power, (which would include the European Youth Forum), following a pilot study of these suggestions


[1] As expressed by the Magisterium of the Church.

 

Colloquium 2011 – Personal Reflections

During this week in Lithuania 31 people from 11 different countries met together and with the help of inputs from experts discussed and analysed if education as it is structured can really form up a whole person.

The first thing we noted was the fact that education is normally oriented to form a functional person. I.e. that education is oriented to form up people to do jobs, so society looks at its people as those means which without them it would not survive. This led to the fact that education is not actually forming persons but “functional machines” which are needed to society. This is a somewhat generic statement so it does not refer to a whole reality but it is still in some way true.

To see how we can truly form up persons, one has to define what he means by person. A person is not only defined by the participation and role in society. Also a person cannot be defined when on its own. A person is defined by the relationships and actions it has with others and the world. As Christians the greatest example of personhood is found in the triune God. This is because in our Triune God we can see the perfect relationship between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Also in genesis we find that we are made in his liking and so we can only know and be who we are (humans/persons) when we meet God and act as He wills. Nonetheless God never impose himself on us since He respects our freedom. God lets us free to shape ourselves in our unique manner. Still this doesn’t mean that God just let us to drown in our own mistakes. He himself has come in the world as a human and lived as a true human so that we may have an example to look at and learn from.

This shows the fact that a person in itself cannot be shaped or formed but can only be led to grow in its unique way. As God did to us we have to do to each other. We must respect each other’s freedom and so we can never impose a system or a structure. We can only give out what we learned and what we did so that others can learn and shape up their own knowledge using ours. Pope Benedict XVI in the encyclical “Spe Salvi” writes that one can never overlook freedom and “freedom must constantly be won over for the sake of good”. (Spe Salvi Par 24).

As a conclusion we arrived to the fact that for education to form a whole person it (the educational system) cannot just give knowledge but it must give the opportunity for the students to shape up that knowledge and add their own unique experiences so that through this exercise they are also forming up themselves. In this manner one is not only exercising what he got from formal education but now he can also add the other knowledge he got through informal education and non-formal learning. In this manner people could feel more complete and also knowledge could find its practicality and wholeness in the persons mind.

Sergio Fenech

Live from Colloquium 2011

JECI-MIEC European Coordination will try to broadcast live from the Colloquium 201. Therefore each evening the Media Group will publish the resumed activities of the day.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

An informal evening was organised for the arrived participants which started as ice-breaker and thus people managed to get-to-know each other better.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

At the begining of the morning we had an opening Mass of the Ashes day. Then we played some games for knowing each other better and for working as a team. Afterwards we had a guest from Kaunas university, Mr. Benas Ulevicius, talking about the Christian faith and catholic church teaching. We were tought a new method of reflection by St. Ignatius Loyola. In the evening program participants presented their organisations in the Movement Market.

Thursday, 10 March

We began the day with the prayer in the church and afterwards we had a lecture which was held by Dr. Ms.Egle Laumenskaite about the integral education. We were asked to work in groups and discuss such questions as autonomy, critical approach,pluralism etc. After the discussion and lunch, we had a debate experience, where we were able to express our opinion, listen what other participants think and share our point of view. In the evening program we had an intercultural event. Every country had to bring some special food of their country and to share traditional games/songs/videos. It was a great day. We also had a guest, the International Chaplain of IMCS/MIEC, father Chris Mccoy.

Friday, March 11

Friday started with a mass conducted by father Chris Mccoy, who later gave us a lecture about Catholic Church teaching on integral education. He mentioned that this concept was created by JECI-MIEC so it was hard to find out a description in different resources. It was a different lecture because we all participated in order to understand why we need education. The participants found it very dynamic because they were invited to play a game where there survival depends entirely on there’s education, the way we built the society if we were only women and children in an island. After lunch we visited Kaunas where we had an excursion directed by a member of Ateitis federation – Raminta. We ended up the day in Ateitis federation office for celebrating the Independence of Lithuania. The lithuanian participants tought traditional folk songs, dances and games which were really important to knowing the hosting country’s culture.

Saturday, March 12

Saturday started with the Mass after which we had a guest, Mr. Vygantas Malinauskas, who was talking about the analysis of different integral education concepts. During the lecture he asked us to compare four documents: two from the Vatican and two others official documents from church teachings. Then we shared our conclusions and Mr. Malinauskas helped us to understand better those documents. After the lunch we participated in the activity where we were divided by the countries: Malta, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania presented their educational systems, and the rest of the participants formed two teams, who had to answer these questions: 1) What should we get outside formal education? 2)What do we get outside formal education in our movements? The next activity we were having was creation a perfect educational system. The contest of the task was to repopulate new island with 2000 people from every country of the world.

After this activity we had an evaluating reflection of the two days, where we shared what we liked and got from these days. At 21 pm the official program was over and everybody could do whatever they wanted – go for a walk, play games, dance, communicate, sleep.

Sunday, March 13

Sunday’s morning began with a prayer. During all week we were reflecting about the integral education and this day was about finding a plan of action in different levels: to ourselves, in  our country and together in Europe. Every country presented the ideas of a plan and afterwards all participants made some practical suggestions how to improve educational system, how to work inside the JECI-MIEC organisation. After the lunch we shared our final ideas about all the event. The official Colloquim 2011 ended with the closing Mass leaded by father Chris Mccoy, after which everybody get the certificate of participating in this event.  After our final dinner we had a farewell party.

The whole week was a wonderful experience for everybody, and we know, that those people who we met will be in our hearts the whole life.

Thank you all the organisation team, animators, and every participant! See you soon, in WYD, Madrid.

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