Articles in this newsletter:
Fe y Vida Biblical Ministry
The Biblical Mission: What is it, what does it do, and who carries it out?
What is the Biblical Mission for Youth and Young Adults?
The Youth Biblical Mission (YBM) is an effort of the Catholic Church whose objective is for young people to have a personal and communal encounter with the living Jesus Christ. It consists of four biblical sessions conducted by a team of young missioners with their peers at the local level, supported by our materials and a team of adults. It is designed to bring the Word of God to young people with new ardor, expressions, and methods; to promote the evangelizing vocation of young Catholic leaders; and to create a sense of the universal Church among Catholic youth and young adults in the Americas.
What does the Biblical Mission do so that “God’s Word Comes to Life in Young People”?
It trains them as missionary disciples—evangelizers to their peers—through an encounter with Jesus in Sacred Scripture. It is conducted in the spirit of Jesus, whose mission it was to announce the good news of the coming of the Kingdom of God to humanity. This mission was taken up by the disciples of Christ and, with the same power yesterday, today, and forever, Jesus invites all of us who are baptized to bring him and the Word of life to all nations, until the end of the age (Mt 28:18-20).
Who carries out the Biblical Mission?
The missioners are young people who are secure in their faith and active in the life and mission of the Church, supported by their adult advisers, who may be lay pastoral leaders or ordained ministers. All of the resources are available in English and Spanish, so that young people who speak either of these languages can fully participate. The Biblical Mission responds to the words Pope Francis directed to the young people of the world gathered at Copacabana beach:
“Careful, though! Jesus did not say: ‘go, if you would like to, if you have the time’, but he said: ‘Go and make disciples of all nations.’ Sharing the experience of faith, bearing witness to the faith, proclaiming the Gospel: this is a command that the Lord entrusts to the whole Church, and that includes you!”
Fe y Vida Publications
Websites, free resources, and printed publications
One of the goals of the Biblical Mission for Youth and Young Adults is “to create a sense of the universal Church among Catholic youth and young adults in the Americas.” In order to avoid any kind of obstacle to its implementation, registration on the YBM website
—that’s where all of the resources needed to carry it out in your group or community can be downloaded—is completely free, thanks to a generous grant from the Lilly Endowment. If your community is bilingual, the website in Spanish
has the same resources, also free of charge. May the Holy Spirit bless this missionary action of young people to their peers throughout the Americas!
While the four main publications of the Biblical Mission can be downloaded for free, Instituto Fe y Vida is also making them available in printed form in both languages, for purchase
at a very reasonable price in the United States. In Colombia it is also available in Spanish through Fundación Editores Verbo Divino
. It means the world to the participants to have a beautifully printed and bound Mission Journal to jot down their responses and reflections at each step in the process. The young missioners also appreciate having the Mission Guidebook and their Manual in book form, highlighted by their attractive covers. A brief description of the content and purpose of each publication follows:
1. Core Team Manual
This Manual includes the elements necessary for planning and implementing the Biblical Mission at the institutional level (i.e. diocese, Catholic school, apostolic movement, religious congregation, etc.). It also provides what the Core Team needs to organize the training of the young missioners and to support their pastoral protagonism (main leading role) throughout this process.
2. Manual for the Team of Young Missioners
This Manual provides the spiritual, methodological, and psychological components required to become a young missioner. It also includes recommendations for their training and guidelines for preparing the biblical sessions, as well as some leadership principles to be followed while facilitating the process.
3. Mission Guidebook
The Guidebook contains the step-by-step process for the activities and the content required for each of the four biblical sessions that together constitute the Biblical Mission. It presents the goals, the detailed plan and the materials needed for each session. It also offers instructions for each task to be carried out by the members of the Team of Young Missioners.
4. Mission Journal
The Journal includes the prayers and activities for the young participants’ reflection during the Biblical Mission. It also provides blank spaces for the participants to document their ongoing dialogue with Jesus throughout the Biblical Mission.
Fe y Vida Biblical Ministry
Testimonies about the Biblical Mission
Happy anniversary! Truly the Biblical Mission for Youth and Young Adults has brought so many gifts and blessings! We want to thank those who created this and many thanks to our dear God who has blessed this work and those who have worked so that it can achieve its goals! We love you all! San Antonio youth ministry here, may God bless you 😀 with much love! ♥
– Esteban Olmedo Orrego, Paraguay
Hi! We are so thankful, first of all to God for all we have experienced, and second to all of you because this material has been guided by the Holy Spirit. In every session, the young people who experienced it were able to discover Jesus who seeks us out, calls us forth, and gives us life… We made a few adaptations, but not many, nothing was lost, because we did it all in one weekend. We loved the intensity… and so we go on raising hope among our young people! Peace and love to you in Christ.
– Missionaries of the Miraculous Medal, Argentina
We are very excited about this Biblical Mission; we have started getting to know the materials with the priests in the parish and our youth group. God is filling us with His Word, which is the motor that drives us forward so that God’s Word may come to life in young people. Blessings to all who support and lead this Biblical Mission throughout the continent.
– Juan Manuel Guerrero, Colombia
Heartfelt greetings from the Enchanted Isle! In the name of the Redemptorist Vocational Youth Ministry, I want to thank you for the sacrifice and collaboration you have done on behalf of the evangelization of young people. The resources you have published, especially in the First Biblical Mission for Youth and Young Adults, are a great blessing for our ministry. Blessings to you all in the New Year!
– Carlos A González Del Valle, Puerto Rico
Hi, my name is Julia Sánchez. I live here in the United States, and I have been so blessed by Fe y Vida’s services, one of which is to bring new and interesting projects to our young Latinos. The Biblical Mission is an excellent tool—at least for me it has been, it is, and it will continue to be so—through which young people can have an encounter with the Living Jesus in each and every session!!! Thank you for thinking of our Hispanic young people, and for all of the resources you bring to Pastoral Juvenil Hispana in the United States.
– Julia Vázquez de Sánchez, Austin, TX
Fe y Vida Publications
Planning the Biblical Mission in a youth group
Several young people have asked us how they can best utilize the materials to carry out the Biblical Mission in their youth group, if they have never done it before. The websites and all of the resources for the Biblical Mission (in Spanish and English) are designed to facilitate a broad implementation of the Biblical Mission, organized at the institutional level. These same resources can be utilized to carry it out in a youth group, with some minor adjustments. It will still be necessary to form a team of four young missioners who have had some experience leading activities. The process would go as follows:
Make sure that an adult adviser for the group, or at least two of the young missioners, have studied the Core Team Manual in depth, so that they can guide the Team of Young Missioners whenever doubts arise.
Identify four young leaders to serve—two as evangelizers and two as hosts. If available, young people who have already experienced the YBM and who have the necessary maturity and commitment would make excellent candidates.
Set dates to gather as a team and study the material in the Manual for the Team of Young Missioners, together with an adult adviser. Of greatest importance is giving the young missioners the experience of the Training Day, ending with a rite of commitment as a team. This process could take an entire day, or it could be broken up into two-hour sessions over the course of two to four weeks.
Reserve the location and set dates for launching the Biblical Mission, the four sessions, and the Closing Liturgy.
Promote the Biblical Mission and extend personal invitations to the young participants.
Prepare each session as a team, supporting one another in the roles of evangelizers and hosts, as instructed in the Mission Guidebook and Journal. Be sure to:
Spend time in prayer, preparing spiritually so that the Holy Spirit may fill the young missioners with light and strength, allowing them to present Jesus in the Word of God.
Follow the instructions in the Guidebook to prepare the materials for each session.
Carry out each session following the steps specified in the Guidebook.
Celebrate the Closing Liturgy with all of the participants, preferably in a Sunday Mass.
Conclude with an evaluation of the entire process by the team.
When the Biblical Mission is organized and carried out at the level of a youth group, it acquires a different mística than when it is organized for multiple groups in a parish or diocese. Either way, the goals of the Mission will be achieved: young people will have a living encounter with Jesus in the Word of God, and God’s Word will come to life in them, thanks to the young missioners. This missionary action will bring many fruits to the young participants and to the local youth ministry. Although it may seem complicated at first glance, it is very doable and it is worth the effort. Don’t be afraid to do what the Lord Jesus asks! “He said to Simon, ‘Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.’ When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish and their nets were tearing.” (Luke 5:4 and 6)
Fe y Vida Formation Programs
Training for implementing the Biblical Mission at the institutional level: dioceses, Catholic schools, movements, etc.
In addition to providing free access to all of the resources for the Biblical Mission for Youth and Young Adults, “God’s Word Comes to Life in Young People,” Instituto Fe y Vida specializes in training young adult leaders to carry out their evangelizing mission to their peers. It is also prepared to conduct the Biblical Mission—in English, Spanish, or bilingually—the first time it is offered in your area, so that a corps of young missioners will be trained to repeat it with other participants or in subsequent years.
We are available to help you implement the Biblical Mission to renew and form the young leaders in your diocese, high school, apostolic movement, or other institution. It just so happens that our National Summer Program 2015
offers a program that teaches how the Word of God may enlighten, motivate, and give direction to the lives of young people and to youth and young adult ministry—and there is still room for more participants! An important element of that program consists in guidelines for implementing the Biblical Mission at the local level. The program is coming soon—June 28 to July 4—so act fast! There are partial scholarships available in case of financial need. To learn more about them, contact Joe Matty-Cervantes at Fe y Vida’s central office [email@example.com
• (209) 951-3483].
We are also able to bring a variety of formation programs to your diocese to strengthen the pastoral action of your young leaders and to help them continue maturing in their faith. To learn more about these programs and all of the services we can provide, contact: Walter Mena, Director of Formation Programs [firstname.lastname@example.org
• (209) 598-5145] or Adriana Visoso-Valverde, Associate Director of Programs [email@example.com
• (303) 808-8069]. We are here to serve you!
Instituto Fe y Vida, and our young people, need your help!
Instituto Fe y Vida’s apostolate of promoting and forming the leadership of young Latino Catholics, in the United States as well as in Latin America, is possible because of the generosity of Catholics like you, who love our Church, believe in young people, and respond to the call to invest in their formation. Your contributions, whether small or large, help the young Latinos in our Church to have the materials, formation, and guidance they need in order to respond to God’s call to be prophets of hope in their families and communities.
There are three different ways to make a donation:
- Send us a check at the address that follows below
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At the forefront of the New Evangelization among young Latinos, Instituto Fe y Vida is a national non-profit Catholic leadership institute that is widely recognized as the foremost authority in the field of Hispanic youth and young adult ministry in the United States, as well as the leading agent in bringing Sacred Scripture to young Latinos in the U.S. and throughout the Americas.