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Young Salesians and Accompaniment - international research


By Our Own Correspondent


Rome, Italy, 24 March 2018 -- The new book of large international research on 'Young Salesians and Accompaniment' (LAS Rome, 2018, 580 pages, By Marco Bay, SDB with the presentation of two SDB General Councilors, Fr. Ivo Coelho and Fr. Fabio Attard) was finally published. We congratulate and give thanks to hundreds of Salesian formators and young Salesian who did contributed to the whole process during past two years of this huge research.


Although about 45-60% of 4000 Salesians (3500 formandi and about 500 spiritual guides - formators) replied in English (the most common language across the 7 Salesian regions) the book is published in Italian thanks to joint effort of many formators across all 88 Salesian provinces and thanks to famous Piedmontese hard work of Br. Marco Bay (Statistics professor at the UPS) and Fr. Silvio Roggia (Formation sector). The book presents an outcome and analysis of replies to 38 questions to (3500) young Salesians and 44 questions to their (500) spiritual guides.


For the eventual EAO region readers would be interesting to note: There are 480 EAO respondents among the 4000 who replied to this survey. Among the different stages of initial formation (prenovitiate, novitiate, postnovitiate, practical training, specific formation and quinquennium) does shine the 25.9% of Salesian Brother in specific formation from our Region (average12.1% of the whole Congregation). For the reading of various graphics in this article just note that "RASE" means EAO region in Italian.


What is interesting for an ordinary Salesian? Probably most of all are the 'live comments' to some open questions reported entirely in this publication (most are in English!). It's a deep insight in the soul of today's young Salesians. The survey questions might be very useful for a personal daily vocation growth, some facts may help us to move forward - to create better conditions for Salesian accompaniment.


Reading the regional differences we can get some wisdom for our EAO initial and ongoing formation, how to improve our culture of accompaniment: 77% of EAO confreres goes to confession monthly (3rd among the 7 regions), EAO rectors of formation houses are appreciated most for the animation and guidance of the whole community and each confrere (96% - 1st among the 7 regions) and for the spiritual accompaniment (88% - 2nd among the 7 regions). However 32% experience fear to be open to those who accompany the formands (2nd among the 7 regions) or the guide want to listen what he likes (31% - 1st among the 7 regions) or less frequent encounter for spiritual accompaniment and lack of trust (48% - 2nd among the 7 regions), in the encounter the young Salesian speak only what is necessary to say (58% - 1st among the 7 regions).


For 65% of EAO young Salesians the rector is also their spiritual guide (Cafasso) and for 67% of them the confession and spiritual accompaniment are two different things with two different persons (5th among the 7 regions). And 86% of our young EAO candidates discovered the 'friend of the soul' or spiritual accompaniment only in the prenovitiate and not before.


It's rather interesting that the EAO young Salesians appreciate more than all other regions the confession (1st - 73%), are sustained by the personal knowledge of Don Bosco and the Constitutions more than other regions (1st - 70%). Also for our young generations the community life (1st - 78%) and apostolate (3rd -74%) does foster their growth. And also compared to other regions, they are 1st in appreciating the rendiconto (1st - 57%) and confession (1st - 73%).


This publication is available. If you are interested, contact the members of Formation sector in the General House or the LAS Rome publishing house.




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