December 5-8, 2017 – In partnership with Centro Internationale per la Animazione Missionaria (CIAM), WYA identified exceptional leaders from Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Members of the WYA, these young people have completed WYA’s foundation training in the dignity of the person, and serve as national committee leaders and trainers in their own countries.
The colloquium addressed challenges of cultural and political upheaval, while still addressing the
personal questions of vocation and what it means to choose to live in counter-cultural ways, through commitment to a vocation, commitment to self-giving service, and the intersection of the personal and public challenges that these options raise will be the heart of the questions posed, and will frame the discussion and publication arising from the colloquium weekend.
Seminar participants noted the universal nature of John Paul’s philosophical anthropology and the
power that these concepts and language provided to them in articulating common experiences,
challenges, and vocational struggles.
The participant from Jordan concluded the seminar by saying she had no idea how much Muslims
and Christians held in terms of common values, and that John Paul’s writings had helped her to
articulate commitments in her own life and vocation in a clearer and deeper way. The participant
from India echoed this sentiment by noting that these four days had been a “utopia” – an experience of living, working, thinking and debating with people from different cultures and religions, in a sometimes heated way, but always with love.
A request for ongoing study seminars of this nature was made by participants. They are eager to
continue to explore the deep theological and philosophical commitment of John Paul II, which
provides a language and means for understanding essential questions in their own lives.
WYA wishes to thank CIAM for hosting the event and the delegates for their active participation.