The unprecedented COVID19 pandemic presents massive challenges to people and communities around the world. Scores of people have fallen sick and far too many have died. Many have lost their jobs; universities are closing or moving online; companies and stores are shutting down; travel is suspended; and people are told to maintain a social distance. Tragically, just as many of us feel the need for community, and a connection to faith, we must isolate ourselves to stop the spread of the virus.
In addition to the medical, economic, social, and psychological dimensions of this crisis, the COVID19 Pandemic brings profound questions of faith.
● What does all this mean in the light of faith?
● What does it mean to “be a Christian” in this crisis?
● How can we witness to Christ when Masses are cancelled and church buildings are closed?
● How can we support the poor and vulnerable in the face of risk and uncertainty?
In front of these questions, technology offers Catholic students and professionals an opportunity to make connections and break the barriers of social isolation. While it is not the same as in person meetings, technology presents the chance to gather in online small communities. Here, we present one model of organizing a small group online by using the Review of Life Method . This method can help us to develop an integrated Christian response to the COVID crisis by enabling us to better connect with others and to connect the different parts of our deeper selves (e.g., social, spiritual, physical). As lay movements, IMCS (for students) and ICMICA (professionals and intellectuals) believe in the role and responsibility of all the baptized to take active roles in the church and in the world. Just because we cannot go to Mass, does not mean we cannot live out the vocation of our baptism. Just because the parish doors are shut, does not mean the church is closed. The church exists in the hearts and communities of the faithful, even online. Now more than ever, people need community. We invite lay Catholics to reflect on how they can connect with others in this difficult moment. As movements, we remain ready to support Catholic university students, professionals and intellectuals and to continue to connect small communities with each other across borders and cultures.
Download the guide on: COVID Online Group Guide 2 page
Pax Romana IMCS and ICMICA are happy to introduce a new resource on our spirituality action.
Living a Spirituality of Action: A Handbook for Organizing Communities of Catholic Students and Lay Professionals (Revised Nov. 2020)
For almost a century, our movements have been guided by a specific Christian spirituality action which inspires students, intellectuals and professionals to take leading roles as Christian citizens in the world and lay leaders in the church. From our work at the Second Vatican Council to advance a theology of the laity, to our work in the United Nations on youth participation and human rights, this spirituality has inspired the work of our movements
The small book draws from resources and texts from our movement over the past century and finds much connection to the writings of Pope Francis. In many ways this booklet is an update of the book by Fr. Buenaventura Pelegri, MIEC-JIEC Su Opcion Su Pedagogia (Lima, 1978), later published in English as IMCS-IYCS: Their Option Their Pedagogy by the IMCS Asian Secretariat (Hong Kong, 1979).
Included in the booklet are resource guides for how to organize small Christian communities (SCC) of college students and professionals.
The book is compiled by Kevin Ahern, a lay theologian who has been involved in the leadership of both ICMICA and IMCS. Drafts of this booklet were circulated among the leadership of IMCS and ICMICA before publication here.
This booklet explains the spirituality, identity, and history of Pax Romana, it offers resources for existing local communities and those seeking to create new groups at the local and national level.
Like the spirituality of our movement, we see this document as a living text that will grow and develop over time. So we invite friends and members to comment and make suggestions for how we can improve future versions. Translations in French and Spanish will be published soon.
IYCS and IMCS _ their option , their pedagogy
Written by Buenaventura Pelegri
Published by IMCS