THE HISTORY OF ECYD

LISTEN TO THE AUDIO NARRATION OF ECYD’S HISTORY

In the 1960s, a lot of youth around the world were out there looking for love and peace, but they were looking for them in the wrong places. The world was changing and yet was somehow confused. Life lost a little bit of its meaning and it seemed that doing whatever you wanted to do, with no limits, full of excesses, was where happiness was to be found.

Well, in the midst of this somewhat free-living world, we can say that God placed in the hearts of a group of adolescents, teenagers from Mexico this thing called ECYD (Educación, Cultura, y Deporte), in English, Education, Culture and Sports. They began to meet amongst themselves and discover little by little that God was inviting them to a much greater mission: to make Christ reign in their hearts and in the hearts of those around them.

So in the 1970s, belonging to a much greater spiritual movement called Regnum Christi, these adolescents began to express their commitment to this mission with the more formal act of incorporation into ECYD. Their desire to live a life of authenticity and true witness began to catch on. In fact, this spread not only around the country but around the world! In between 1972 and 1973, there were ECYD members in Italy, Spain and Mexico, and just a little bit afterwards in the United States as well.

At the end of the 80s there were about 3000 adolescents in ECYD, all of them responding to Christ’s invitation to be His apostles. Because there were so many of them, they started to see a need to put down in writing the spirit that they had been living and to give themselves a structure to organize their groups and activities. So it is that in 1983 the first statutes of ECYD were written. And those statutes described the nature of the organization, the spiritual guidelines, and the structure of ECYD on a general level and also on a local level for the actual groups that were living the life of ECYD. ECYD sought to be a complement to the schools and families that belonged to the Regnum Christi movement, and at the same time to be at the service of bishops and parish priests as a new and vibrant way of working with the youth. These statutes of 1983 strongly emphasized the pledge of friendship that each ECYD member made with Christ, living as his witnesses and apostles. This was the bedrock of this pledge and the heart of the whole organization.

Nearing the year 2000, there were dozens of thousands of members from many different countries around the world. It was at that point that an umbrella organization the Catholic Youth World Network was created with the intention of providing unity among the members and form an international network of clubs.

Now, by the beginning of the new millennium, that is the year 2000, more than 40 years had gone by since the beginning of ECYD and in those forty years, the world had changed radically. The fast-paced adolescents of the new millennium were very different from the more peace-and-love oriented youth of the 1960s.

With this in mind, in 2008, a commission made up of different members of Regnum Christi proposed a new perspective, a new way for ECYD and its formators to accompany these adolescents. All geared towards understand them and accompany them in a much better and realistic way. This is why the name ECYD took on a new meaning under this new light. And where we used to say Education, Culture and Sports, we now said Encounters, Convictions and Your Decisions. This expressed much better the formative dynamism and pedagogy of the new re-vamped ECYD.

So it was that in 2015, as a fruit of a careful reflection on its history, the process of creating a new and updated version of the statutes was begun. This took into account all the documents and many experiences from the past, together with the help of the different ECYD groups around the world who shared their own experiences of present-day ECYD.

At the beginning of 2016, the new version of the ECYD statutes was written and approved. These statutes describe how adolescents live their pledge of friendship with Christ in ECYD, the ECYD spirituality, organization, lifestyle, ideals… in the end, defining and describing ECYD as the charism of Regnum Christi lived by adolescents.

This is the story of ECYD as an institution. The real story, the one that matters is still being written today. In the hearts of each one of our members who are trying to embody our ideals in their own lives


“To live ECYD is to experience a charism that is then incarnated in a lifestyle and mission.
It is the joy that springs forth in the adolescents when they discover that they are loved and called by Jesus Christ;
it is the initiative and creativity enkindled inside when they know they are engaged in a great mission in the light of eternity;
it is what happens within when they understand that an authentic and attractive Christianity can be lived, thus leaving a deep imprint in today’s world;
it is the strength given by being part of a group of friends who share the same ideals, and above all their faith.”

 

– EPILOGUE OF THE ECYD STATUTES –