Juventutem (Latin: Fœderatio Internationalis Juventutem) is an international movement of young Roman Catholics of the ages 16 to 35 who are attached to the Tridentine Mass. The aim of the society is to foster and strengthen relationships between these young people at the national and international levels, and to encourage and assist them in developing their faith.
So what does that mean for us?
Juventutem Reading is a small group of young Catholics who seek to foster and grow that same spirit of fellowship and friendship. We organise social events and get together with other likeminded people. Occasionally we'll organise to attend a Mass or have a talk by one of the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter priests.
But above all it's about having some fun and fellowship in a world which generally or completely misunderstands us. It's about being carefree, we're all Catholic, we're all more or less traditional and we're all young, so we can relax a little more!
Story of Reading Juventutem
The group itself was set up in February 2011 by a young Catholic man who had just moved to the area. He had been involved with a similar social group in his home town, and had always seen the benefit of it. Carrying that enthusiasm, being new to the area and not knowing many people, were all catalysts to starting the group. He's one of those types which says "well if it doesn't exist, make it exist!" and then does it.
"It doesn't take much to do the same, mostly just the overcoming of fear (what will people think of me if it fails) by thinking "what will happen to those people who could benefit from it, if I don't do it..." and trying to keep the maxim of "Evil reigns when good men do nothing" constantly in mind. Persistence and prayer are needed too, but that's about it.
"For me, Juventutem is about providing a forum, not about how many people turn up. It's more about providing opportunities to meet up, than whether people take that opportunity or not. For instance one day there was a walk advertised and only I turned up, but instead of getting down, I just went for a walk by myself, and had a great walk!
"So do likewise, if you want a Catholic social group in your area, just start one up! Juventutem Reading would love to support any group wanting to start up at home or abroad, we can give you helpful tips, and moral support over the phone and by prayer, we could even organise a future trip to visit you!
"All that is needed is open-mindedness and willingness (though a good smack of loneliness does wonders at motivation too!)."