Synergy between Youth Ministry and Missionary Animation
We are called at this me to a deep study of the path given to us at GC27: mystics, prophets and servants. In keeping with recent General Chapters, and in collaboration with the Regional Councillors, we want to strengthen the synergy between Youth Ministry and Missionary Animation, especially in the area of missionary volunteer service.
During the regional meetings of Youth Ministry and Mission Animation we will share a moment of personal and community prayer, and we will devote a whole day to:
- reflecting on the experience of collaboration in the Provinces,
- listening to current experiences
- drawing up together some lines of collaboration for the future.
We avail of this opportunity also to share with you the dates and venues of the next regional meetings:
- For the Region of Africa and Madagascar: Sept. 16-19 – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
- For the Region of Interamerica and South Cone: Oct. 17–20, 2015 – Cumbaya, Ecuador
- For the Region of South Asia: Nov. 2-5, 2015 – Bangaluru, India
- For the Region of East Asia – Oceania: Nov.10-13, 2015 – Seoul, South Korea
- For the Region of the Mediterranean: Feb. 2-5, 2016 – S. de Compostela, Spain
- For the Region of Europe Centre-North: Feb. 9-12, 2016 – Rome
The regional meetings are a particular moment in our life that we wish to entrust to the action of the Holy Spirit. We hope that he may lead us to discover the paths which will take us to the mission with a heart filled with the joy that comes from the Lord.
May God bless us!
Fr. Guillermo Basañes, SDB
Councillor for the Missions
Fr. Fabio Attard, SDB
Councillor for Youth Ministry
My country needs missionaries, but I learnt that mission has no borders!
There are two elements in my desire to be a missionary. The first is that I think my missionary vocation was formed in my heart and in my mind long before I was aware of events of my life. My mother belongs to the Legion of Mary, and I remember that before learning the catechism, she took me to give food to the hungry, comfort and hope to those who were sick. Gradually I began to understand that to be a Christian means to leave the house, to go out to meet and share with others, even the little we had.
The second is that during my childhood and my youth I had the grace to know many missionaries who profoundly marked me with their example of life, up to the point of wanting to imitate them: Spanish, Italian, Polish, Irish, Egyptians, Colombians, Argentinians, etc. who were plumbers, teachers, cooks, psychologists, mechanics, nurses, musicians. But above all, they were men and women who love Jesus and others, they have left everything to serve. They have left their homeland and came to help, to live with us, to mourn and laugh, sing and pray, to walk and grow. Through their lives they shared with us a great news, the news of Jesus. Through them I had my missionary vocation, I want to imitate their lives, their good works, their sacrifices, dedication and perseverance. I always want to love as they have loved.
Africa is a mysterious land where pain and sadness are always at our doors. Many young people have been pushed into a life of survival, disease, injustice, danger, death. In the midst of this reality my greatest joy has been to discover the loving and merciful action of God; and realise that the more I try to evangelise, it is I who is actually evangelised even more! Certainly, many ask: “Venezuela needs also missionaries, why go to Africa?” This is a difficult question. Surely Venezuela, the land that I love, needs missionaries; but gradually I learnt that life is our mission and that mission has no borders. That our life is based on the call of Christ who sends us. How much joy I experienced in serving my people, but I felt that the Lord was asking me to go to the furthest corner, so that those who do not know Him yet may encounter Him.
To Salesians who want to be missionaries, especially those of South America I want to say: let us be attentive to the Lord’s missionary call ad gentes and let us allow ourselves be led by His Spirit! Let us not forget that our father Don Bosco always dreamt of being a missionary. You can fulfil the dream of Don Bosco, remember that there are many who are waiting for you!
Fr. Ubaldino Andrade
Venezuelan, missionary in Sierra Leone
In a letter to the Rector Major Fr. Peter Ricaldone, in 1938, the Servant of God Fr. Francis Convertini (1898-1976), missionary in India, described his wor as evangelizer: “I have proclaimed to them Jesus. Jesus the saviour. The merciful Jesus. I spoke to them about the cross, I showed them a picture of Jesus crucified. My voice was quivering, they were weeping. How much joy, how much emotion was in my heart”.
For the 146th Missionary Expedition
That the 146th Salesian missionary expedition promote the missionary spirit and enthusiasm for one’s vocation throughout the Salesian Society.
In the history of our Society missionary expeditions ‘ad gentes’ and ‘ad exteros’ have always stirred up in young Salesians and joy of evangelisation and enthusiasm for the Salesian vocation. While we pray that Salesian missionaries may be coherent witnesses to the faith they proclaim, we ask the Lord that this concrete expression of the missionary spirit of Don Bosco may stirr up the apostolic zeal of Salesians and inspire new Salesian vocations.