Today, 21 March, Fr Fabio Attard, Councillor for Youth Ministry and Fr Miguel Angel García of the Youth Ministry department, presented the Framework of Reference for Salesian Youth Ministry to members of the 27th General Chapter.
They first explained the process by which the framework was drawn up. There is a Salesian theological reflection that precedes and sheds light on the practical methodological part of Salesian Youth Ministry. A key element is that Salesian Ministry is rooted in the ministry of the Church.
For this reason, GC26 in 2008 called for consultation with all the Study Centres of the Congregation, National Centres for Youth Ministry, Centres of Ongoing Formation as well as Salesians who are expert in the field. All the provinces contributed through their Provincial Councils. The present document was drafted by a team of thirty people. It adopts the style and language of the Salesian Constitutions. It is attractive both pastorally and spiritually. The whole document is permeated and illumined by the Word of God.
Secondly, they explained the internal structure of the document. It follows a pastoral approach that fits in well with the renewed vision and approach of the Church. The opening pages outline the implications of the centrality of evangelization in Salesian formation and pastoral practice, and of the harmonious union of education and evangelization. The methodology of pastoral planning is rethought from this new perspective.
What emerges is a Salesian Youth Spirituality centred on young people, especially those most in need. It emphasizes the need for courage and a capacity for ministry and witness in the Educative-Pastoral Community. The future of the Educative-Pastoral Community depends on sharing responsibility between Salesians and lay people.
According to Fr Garcia, “It is not a question of adding or changing anything, but rather refocusing our activity on education to the faith. This is the mission of our Congregation. We must think concretely about the different works and services, and offer Salesian educators, both religious and lay, a formation that equips them for their mission.”
We must be willing to rethink our pastoral structures from the point of view of this synthesis, trying to find ways to draw up a Salesian educative-pastoral plan. This requires creativity in different contexts and continuous assessment.
The book enunciates our Salesian heritage as a valuable instrument for Salesians and all those who share responsibility with us in the mission of evangelization and educator. It is the culmination of pastoral work done over the past five years, but it is also the starting point for a whole range of choices, commitments, perspectives and ways of developing all that has been achieved until now.
First Published by InfoANS