The VMY group in Croatia began in 2011 in Rijeka, in the convent of the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul – Zagreb. It was due to evangelical (Vincentian!) witness and collaboration of the VMY group from Slovenia, who came to Rijeka in November 2011 to help us establish the VMY group, that our youth became really immersed in the idea and project of VMY. Their visit and witness gave us a focus and inspiration during our beginnings.
Vincentian charism spreads more quickly and effectively in collaboration!
What preceded the foundation was a time of patient listening to the signs of the times. The young people who would later become VMY started organised volunteering with the poor. They were students of a Catholic school in which a Sister of Charity worked, she animated and led them. And, after two years of taking part in organised charitable school activities, what naturally followed was a call: “We want to follow Christ, and serve the poor in a community!” The youth had the initiative. They took responsibility to begin a community.
It takes time to discover a call. And, also, a genuinely answered call bears abundant fruit!
Eighteen young people became members of the VMY group during the Eucharistic celebration presided by a Croatian priest from the Congregation of the Mission in November 2011, in Rijeka. Sisters of Charity, Congregation of the Mission and Vincentian Marian Youth started their collaboration in a new way.
It also takes time to strengthen the bonds leading to genuine collaboration.
Initial enthusiasm of the VMY – Rijeka has not waned. In the course of their first year they focused mainly on establishing bonds between our members (on forming the community). Also, we started regular volunteering in a number of places. They also organized visits to the poor in neighboring areas but also started the practice of one-month missionary experience in Bulgaria for those members who feel called to. What we have continuously been doing in all of our VMY communities is discovering the poor in our neighborhoods, especially the young people, and help them primarily by becoming a place or environment where they can be accepted and loved and thus discover the meaning of life in God of Love. Our communities aim at being places for genuine human and Christian growth.
From 2011 to the present each November new members join our group in Rijeka. Also, in 2014 VMY spread to two more Croatian places – Kistanje and Split in collaboration with the Sisters of Charity. In 2015 a new group began in Zadar. These three communities have brought a new dynamism to VMY Croatia. Also, VMY group in 2014 began in the neighbouring country Bosnia and Herzegovina (in Žepče). All groups are closely linked with Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul – Zagreb.
Three VMY members are in the formation process (candidates and a novice sister) for the Sisters of Charity. The total number of members is about 168, four of whom have taken their Marian Consecration.
Marijanska vinkovska mladež
dr. Frana Kresnika 15, 51 000 Rijeka
Facebook page: Marijanska vinkovska mladež – Hrvatska