Saturday, February 28, 2009

Report on the Second gathering of the International Federation Juventutem

Report on the Second gathering of the International Federation Juventutem

in Bern, Switzerland, February 21-22, 2009 (

"For the second time, representatives from Juventutem groups in various countries have met in Bern, Switzerland, on February 21st and 22nd, 2009.

The schedule was similar to the one last year. Over twenty Juventutem members had travelled to Switzerland for the occasion. They came from France, England, Ireland, Slovakia, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Spain, of course Switzerland, and even Russia. Like last year, the aim was not to have many people, but rather to ensure diversity of representation.

The gathering officially started with Holy Mass at 3pm at the Villa Maria. Juventutem Ecclesiastical Assistant Fr Armand de Malleray offered a votive Mass of Saint John Bosco, Patron of Catholic Youth. In English and in French Fr de Malleray drew a parallel between St John Bosco’s time and ours, reminding us that the great apostle of Turin had had to overcome all sorts of suspicion and of opposition as the government accused him of working for the Vatican against the new regime set up by the Piedmont-Savoy sacrilegious monarch. King Victor-Emmanuel of Piedmont-Savoy had indeed invaded the Pontifical States, putting all Catholic clergy loyal to the Sovereign Pontiff in a very delicate situation. Despite the most obvious value of St John Bosco’s apostolates for the education of the youth and of the clergy, shaping young men into good and trustworthy subjects when so many others were falling into illegality and vices, these worthy initiatives were often hindered by civil authorities. This did not prevent the saint from working wonders at the service of God. Fr de Malleray said that current anti Catholic prejudice could sometimes discourage us in the XXIst century. However he added, we should be certain that God’s almighty grace could help us bare abundant fruit and achieve great things for his Reign - if only union with God was our essential and constant goal. Thomas Balsis from Lithuania served the Low Mass, which was concluded by the singing of the Marian antiphon “Ave Regina Coelorum”.

After thanksgiving, we met in the refectory for coffee. The Juventutem Federation’s flag was hanging on the wall. Like last year, the Sisters had prepared everything for us on the tables and really made us all feel at home. There was an informal time for greeting each other. It was good to see again many members who had come last year. For instance, newlywed Damian Barker from Juventutem England (YCA) had come with his wife. Some of us had seen each other in between, either at the traditional pilgrimage to Chartres, or at WYD in Australia. Vassili came from Moscow, where he leads the Gregorian schola for the Old Rite Mass.

Juventutem Federation President Gregory Flash then opened the official session. Each member introduced himself or herself and shared update on his or her group’s activities. Gregory said it was important to keep the Federation informed of what we were doing as Juventutem groups. He asked whether we had seen any improvement in our situations as the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum was making the Roman traditions of the Church better valued and accessible. It seemed that the multiplication of Mass centers in the Extraordinary Form could make it easier for more youths to hear about these traditions and benefit from them, but on the other hand, it also meant that each Mass center had fewer people attending, thus making the traditional setting sometimes less attractive for youths. Young people like it better when they see a sufficient number of other youths interested in the same things.

Juventutem Federation Treasurer Cosimo Marti reminded every member of last year’s decision when a €10 contribution per year and per person had been voted. He said that many had omitted to fulfill it. Gregory Flash said that it was not so much the amount of money that mattered, than the concrete manifestation of every member’s commitment it should express. Cosimo approved, saying that last year’s decision had set a €10 contribution “depending on each member’s actual resources”. He said the €10 represented less than one Coca Cola per month.

Cosimo also asked for the addresses to be updated, as a fair number of the 450 Juventutem Christmas cards he had sent two months ago had been returned to him due to incorrect address.

Gregory Flash then announced his intention to have a successor elected. He said that as he was nearing 30 years of age, and after several years serving a President of the Federation, he would be glad if another member could take over. He added that he had talked already with Raphaël Waldis about that possibility. Gregory said that he would still be active in the Juventutem chapter at the Chartres pilgrimage. Raphaël Waldis is a student in Switzerland and has been involved in Juventutem since the beginning, partaking in the first international gathering in Bavaria (August 2005) and subsequent WYD in Cologne, as well as at other events like the Chartres pilgrimage every year and WYD 2008 in Australia. Gregory said that of course anyone was free to vote for whoever they wished. We then proceeded with the vote, with Raphaël being elected at the first ballot. Several groups who did not have a representative physically present had sent a proxy. Raphaël thanked the members and said he was happy to be of help. The fact he lives in Switzerland will help for collaboration with Treasurer Cosimo Marti.

We then went back into the chapel for exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and adoration, served by Damian Barker, from England. It was a wonderful moment, all of us gathered before the Lord, fulfilling a very essential dimension of Juventutem’s spirituality centered on Eucharistic devotion, both through the Mass and through adoration, as depicted in our logo. After having exposed the Blessed Sacrament, Fr de Malleray recessed in the sacristy to hear confessions while we adored. He then came back and led us in praying a decade of the Rosary asking for strength and protection for the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI. He reminded us of the fact a novena was currently being prayed all over the world for the Holy Father, ending the day after, on the Feast of the Chair of St Peter. We also presented to God the intentions of all Juventutem groups and supporters all over the world.

After adoration we cleaned the refectory and tidied up the chapel and sacristy, before making our way to Il Grissino, the restaurant where we were to have dinner. It was a very merry evening in a casual and convivial atmosphere. We were glad to have among us Mr Heinz Müller, an ebenist supporting Juventutem (although not a Catholic). The night was beautiful, with snow in the streets, then quieter than last year when it was carnival.

Dinner at the restaurant was a great opportunity for all to talk casually with each other and exchange news. French and English were the most commonly spoken languages. Many pictures were taken and Gregory and Raphaël suggested we changed seats after the main course, so as to allow for more opportunities to speak with everyone. After meal, everybody was free to walk around the city or just go back to their youth hostel and chat.

On Sunday morning 22 February we all met again at Holy Trinity Church for Holy Mass. Like last year the Secretary to the Papal Nunciature attended Mass in choir. Mgr Ruiz Mainardi had been assigned at the Papal Nunciature in Cuba, but his successor was equally pleased to pray with us. Unlike last year though, for want of available clerics, we had a Sung Mass and not a Solemn High Mass. It was served by male members of Juventutem from various countries, while others – boys and girls alike – joined in the schola to sing the Gregorian kyriale and proper of the Quinquagesima Sunday. Fr de Malleray offered the Mass and preached on Juventutem. He quoted Pope Benedict’s homily at Randwick on the last WYD in Sydney, and also Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos’ letter of support to the International Juventutem Federation last year.

After thanksgiving we met for breakfast at the Hôtel National where Dr and Mrs Gerd Weisensee joined us. Dr Weisensee has supported Juventutem from the beginning and had given a talk on pro-life legal issues related with health insurance at the first Juventutem gathering in Bavaria, August 2005. Breakfast was followed with a projection of pictures and films ( on Juventutem activities over the past year, mainly on the Eucharistic Congress in Québec, Canada, and at WYD in Melbourne and Sydney. We then had a time for sharing our experiences and our expectations as Juventutem members. Tomas Balsis, from Juventutem Lithuania, was presented with an ancient map of his country. It was quite unique to hear such a diversity of testimonies among a rather small group of people representing very diverse cultures and languages (with members from Spain, France, England, Ireland, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Lithuania, Slovakia, Italy and Russia).

We then met for lunch at Il Grissino where the waiters now know our group fairly well. The Nunciature’s Secretary came for lunch as well and was able to speak with Kieran, from Juventutem Ireland, his fellow citizen. Fr Arnaud Evrat, FSSP, the chaplain to Juventutem Switzerland, attended lunch as well. Some of us started departing in order to catch their trains back home, while others stayed longer. Some were shown around Bern by Cosimo Marti. That week-end has been a blessed time of fraternal gathering and it is a pleasure to see that the Federation is getting stronger through mutual friendship and prayer. We all gave thanks to God “Who giveth joy to our youth" - ad Deum qui laetificat Juventutem nostram. ("

Sunday, February 22, 2009

2nd International gathering of Juventutem delegates took place this weekend in Bern, Switzerland

Juventutem Ireland was represented during this International weekend. A full report will follow soon.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Pontifical High Mass Juventutem Québec

Bishop Léonard of Namur (Belgium) kindly offered this Mass on June 21, 2008 at the invitation of Juventutem, as part of our liturgical program during the Eucharistic Congress in Québec, Canada. Many clergy and laity attended.


Thursday, June 19, 2008

25 Days Away

Keep posted to the following website if you intend going to World Youth Day with Juventutem.
You are also invited to establish a Juventutem Chapter. Visit the website for details.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Novena for 2nd anniversary of foundation

“Introibo ad altare Dei, ad Deum qui laetificat juventutem meam » (Psalm 42)

On Thursday 15 May 2008
Dear Friends of Juventutem,
In nine days, on the Feast of Our Lady Help of Christians, we will celebrate the 2nd anniversary of the founding of the Federation International Juventutem (May 24, 2006) in Bern, Switzerland.
Like last year, we suggest that those who wish may unite spiritually in praying a novena for Juventutem. Our prayer will focus on our members in Hong Kong, as Pope Benedict XVI has decreed a plenary indulgence for Catholics in Hong Kong diocese who join a May 15-23 novena to pray to Our Lady, Help of Christians or special prayers for the Church in China.
The novena is a response to Pope Benedict's call for a World Day of Prayer for the Church in China on May 24. He announced this in his June 2007 letter to mainland Catholics. « This day, he said, is dedicated to the liturgical memorial of Our Lady, Help of Christians, who is venerated with great devotion at the Marian Shrine of Sheshan in Shanghai ».
We will pray in particular for Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun of Hong Kong, who recently offered Mass in the extraordinary form of the Roman rite, assisted by our friends in Hong Kong. Our prayer intention will include all Catholic bishops, clergy and laity, particularly those suffering for their faith.

Cordially yours in St John Bosco, special protector of youths,
Fr Armand de Malleray, Eccl. Assist. Juventutem

P.S. You may like to recite either the whole prayer below or part of it each day of the novena, or simply one Hail Mary.
Hymn and oration from the feast of Our Lady Help of Christians

Oft when the flock of Christ were driven,
By bloody sword and cruel foe;
The tender Virgin came from heaven,
With loving aid to heal their woe

.So was it in the days of old,
As many a temple lifted high;
Proclaims; and gifts of richest gold,
With grateful blessings testify.

New thanks for help today we bring,
To Mary, Queen, with gladsome voice;
In strains of holy joy we sing,
And all the bounds of earth rejoice.

O happy hour! O glorious day!
Behold the Master on the throne!
The years of fear are passed away,
The Chair of Faith receives its own

.Let gentle youths and virgins chaste,
Uplift to heaven rejoicing lays;
While priests and people proudly haste,
To join in songs of thanks and praise.

Sweet Virgin, hear us in our need,
Mother of Christ, thy gifts increase;
Help thou our Guide, his flocks to lead,
To pastures of eternal peace.

O Triune God, let all our days,
Be glorified with love of Thee;
While songs of faith and heavenly praise,
Resound through all eternity. Amen.

V. Deem me worthy to praise Thee, o sacred Virgin, (alleluja).
R. Give me strength against Thy enemies, (alleluja).
Almighty and merciful God, who for the defense of the Christian people didst wondrously establish a perpetual help in the most Blessed Virgin: grant in Thy mercy, that we, protected by such a defense as we strive in this life, may be able to obtain victory over our malign enemy in death. Through Our Lord…

Monday, May 05, 2008

Delegation to the International Eucharistic Congress in Québec, Canada (June 19-20-21-22, 2008):

None of us will ignore that the Juventutem logo depicts… a monstrance. Devotion of youths towards the Holy Eucharist is part and parcel of the Juventutem identity. Therefore Juventutem is glad to be able to partake in this important event. As members of the “Summorum Pontificum generation”, Juventutem youths will travel to Québec and partake in Eucharistic events (liturgical and doctrinal) as encouraged by Pope Benedict XVI: “young persons too have discovered this liturgical form, felt its attraction and found in it a form of encounter with the Mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist, particularly suited to them”(cf Letter to the Bishops on Summorum Pontificum, July 7th, 2007).

We are very grateful to a successor of the Apostles, Right Rev. André-Mutien Léonard, Bishop of Namur (Belgium) for having kindly accepted to offer a pontifical High Mass in the extraordinary form for Juventutem on this occasion with the approval of Congress authorities. You are invited to attend on Saturday 21th June 2008 in St Francis-of-Assisi Church at 10am in Québec City.

The Congress lasts one whole week, but many youths will rather attend the final week-end (20-21-22 June) when in particular various Juventutem chaplains will give lectures on the Eucharist, offer Holy Masses and preside at Vespers, Complines and adoration.

Visit for more details

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Eucharistic Adoration

What services from Juventutem to parishes?
Juventutem groups are encouraged to sign up on their local parish Holy Hour rota, particularly at nights when older parishioners are prevented from attending. Eucharistic adoration is a very valuable contribution of Juventutem to the life of the Church at a local level, which God will reward with many graces.
Juventutem youths can also offer the priest in charge (parish priest or chaplain) their services for every suitable mission he may like to give them, such as visiting the poor and homebound, help clean the church or rectory, etc.
Contact us for more information.

1. recite daily for the sanctification of youths the extract from Psalm 42 «Judica Me », (“Judge me O Lord” - full text under
Spirituality) or say a prayer of your choosing (Hail Mary or Our Father for instance);
2. enter into a church or oratory once a week to adore Our Lord really present in the tabernacle;
3. once a year or more: attend Holy Mass in the 1962 Roman rite; go to Confession; on behalf of Juventutem, partake in some faith activity (Holy Hour, doctrinal talk, pro-life initiative, charitable action, excursion, etc).

Membership and the commitments that it involves are automatically renewed each year on the feast of Our Lady Help of Christians (24 May), unless a contrary choice is explicitly notified.

When accidentally failing to keep one of his/her commitments, a member does not commit a sin (unless it be out of conscious neglect).
As a lay Catholic organisation, Juventutem does not depend on any particular clerical community or on any political movement.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Pentecost Pilgrimage from Paris to Chartres with Juventutem

As many of you know, this is Europe's most well attended annual manifestation of the widespread love for the traditional liturgy, particularly among the young. Many of you have been on the pilgrimage, and many of you will doubtless be attending this year. Some of you have not been - I would encourage you very strongly to join us this year.
You can find details of the pilgrimage here: (or on the Juventutem website).
It takes place from 10 to 12 May 2008. Please consider registering soon.
You would be most welcome to join me in a predominantly English speaking (but international) Juventutem chapter, which Fr Armand will be helping to lead.
If you have already committed to walk with other chapters, it would be good for us to meet up either during the pilgrimage, or perhaps on Friday evening in Paris.
If you have any suggestions, or questions on registering for the pilgrimage, please contact me.


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