The city of Chiclayo, in Northern Perù

Perù: "I was struck by the intensity of their lives"

Jessy, a university student in Chiclayo, in the north of the country, talks about how she met the university students of CL. Life, friendship, and a commitment to deepen their faith. A simple description of the experience of the movement.

Two months ago, I packed my suitcase and left, with a group of friends, for the customary summer holiday. Every year, we meet up with other university students in Lima and go to some remote place together, where we play, sing, share our experiences and pray. It might seem strange that a group of young people meet to talk, on their own initiative, about faith, but that is exactly what happens in the Clu. These young people have decided to run against the tide in a world where faith has no relevance.
I met the movement through Milagros, a friend from high school. Her parents are very religious, whilst mine aren’t really. But when her mother proposed that we participate in the movement, my parents did not hesitate because they deemed that it would be good for me. Up till then, I wasn’t living my faith: I only went to mass from time to time. It felt like an obligation, something that I had to do to be good, but it didn’t offer me anything.

When I met the guys of the Clu, I saw normal young people. Young people who liked to have fun, to go out to eat and who took the bus to save money…typical university students. But what struck me about them was the intensity with which they live. They are not afraid of reality, so much so that they involve themselves in it and seek the encounter with Christ in their experience, through people and circumstances. For them, faith is not about “mass on Sunday", its about daily life.
The movement has allowed me understand what faith in Christ means for my life. It is not a fact of the past, but it corresponds to the desires of my humanity, because He is here and now.

We do School of Community once a week. A question is posed and then we talk, recounting experiences in which we have recognized the grace of Christ. A beautiful friendship is also born through School of Community. Sharing what we live brings us closer to others and these friends have become a companionship that helps me to endure in faith.
This is precisely the method proposed by CL: to educate in faith through friendship. We begin from the presumption that Christianity is not transmitted through doctrines and traditions, but through an experience that happens to the person. No one can truly understand reality, if they don’t live in it.
Enthusiasm is infectious in the Clu. Although, at a national level, a diocesan priest is responsible for the movement, it is the young people that organize for themselves the School of Community and all other activities of the movement: the most important are the Spiritual Exercises, charitable work and the community holidays.

This year, Milagros and I have begun to take things more seriously and have begun to participate in School of Community. Moreover, Luis, a classmate, also joined us. At first, he did not really participate, but then he became more involved than anyone else. The three of us are very united.
Fr. Giovanni guided us until 2016, when he had to return to Italy. We were sad because we missed him and we were also worried about how the life of the movement would continue. But the holiday of the following year exceeded our expectations. Fewer people attended the holiday in Chiuchín in 2017, and Giovanni was not there. Fr. Miguel, who we already knew, lead us. A different person was there, but the holiday was the same. Even the games and songs made us feel that we were in the right place.

Giovanni had taught us a lot, but we were learning not to stop at friendship, but to look at what it conveys to us. Friends can leave, but our need for Christ remains the same.
The movement has helped me to mature, not only in faith, but also as a person. It has allowed me to look at reality with new eyes, and to recognize that I am in need of Christ.
I wish to be, for others, this companionship through which they can get to know Christ. As CL was for me.

Jessy, Chiclayo, Peru