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Turn to Jesus (Article)

ECyD Mentors Course in Madrid, Spain

ecyd mentos in madrid

A little more than two years ago, the project of rethinking and revising Regnum Christi’s youth club ECYD was begun. Headed by Sonia Gonzalez, a former ECYD member from Spain, a team of lay people, Legionaries, and consecrated members from around the world have been working on updating the identity and mission of ECYD. The club’s name has been changed from ECYD – Education, Culture, Youth Development – to ECyD: Experiences, Convictions, and your Decisions, a name which the team believes is a better expression of what happens in the heart of youth when they experience a life-changing moment of grace. These moments of grace are one of the elements around which the team is attempting to re-center ECyD, along with attention to the real needs of young people, and the idea of the ECyD mentor as one who accompanies the club members on their journey towards God.

The ECyD revision team gave a course in Madrid late last year, and invited a group of mentors from each territory to discuss and learn about the rejuvenated vision of ECyD, in order to help extend that vision to their own territories. The course was meant to be an experience of ECyD for each of the mentors; an experience that they could then share with those they help in the clubs. Br. Lucio Boccacci, LC, and consecrated women Carrie O’Connor, Helen Yalbir and Racine Silva represented the North American territory at the course.

Along with offering the participants a real-life experience of ECyD, the course covered topics such as a youth-centered approach for activities and programs so that they respond to the needs and questions of young people, and a fresh and positive look at the identity and mission of young people. As mentors, they also discussed the role of a mentor as one who awakens a thirst for God and accompanies the young person in his search for God. As mentioned above, “moments of grace” were an important theme: the inner workings of an encounter between God and a young person’s soul, which becomes a life-changing experience.

“I learned that if we are to make ECYD what it is meant to be then it cannot start with a conversation about structures, programs, and methodologies,” said Br. Lucio, who works with ECyD in Dallas, “but it must start with me; with the charism that God wants to release from the tension and scars that prevent it from blossoming to its full.”

Br. Lucio was surprised by the experiential, rather than informational focus of the course. “The course ended up being what I was really longing for without fully knowing it: finding true friends, friends from the heart, and experiencing a profound encounter with them as a family, along with the realization that I was an indispensible part of something larger than me.”

God’s grace at work in a person’s life is something larger than any of us, but the work of ECyD mentors is a very important part of the chain of grace for many young people. 



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