Seminar of Youth Ministry with Fr. Fabio Attard
By Miss Phyllis Tang
Salesian Youth Ministry Coordinator
Hong Kong, 6 April 2018 -- The China Province has organized a three-day seminar, from 4th to 6th April, on Salesian Youth Ministry in the Salesian Missionary House, Shaikeiwan. More than 90 participants – Salesians, FMA sisters, Sisters Announcers of the Lord, Salesian Cooperators and mission partners from various Salesian work – took part in the event with enthusiasm. It was a great honorable to have the General Councilor of Youth Ministry, Fr. Fabio ATTARD, to lead the seminar which has been chosen “Salesian Youth Ministry – Frame of Reference” as the main theme. The book was published in 2013 by the Department of Youth Ministry of the General House. It contents guidelines and references for the animation of youth ministry in various settings of the Salesian world. Fr. Lanfranco Fedrigotti, the Provincial, affirmed in his opening speech that the seminar was held in an opportune time when the diocese of Hong Kong was celebrating the Year of Youth in view of the upcoming Synod of Bishops on youth and discernment.
On the first day, with three dreams of Don Bosco, Fr. Fabio reminded educators that it was not enough to teach young people being good "to avoid sin". What’s more, they have to learn "doing good" and to be encouraged to share the Good News with others. Then, he introduced the general structure of the Frame of Reference:
- Chapter 1 to 3: principles of pastoral ministry – With the pastoral heart of Jesus the Good Shepherd, educators approach and listen to the young. By offering them the experience of God’s love, young people may be brought in contact with God.
- Chapter 4 to 6: Here lies the core of Salesian education – Following the Salesian style of Preventive System, the educative-pastoral community comes together and plan for the animation of youth ministry.
- Chapter 7 and 8: how Salesian works and provinces mobilize themselves for the realization of educative-pastoral project.
On the second and the third day, Fr. Fabio focused his sharing on the topic of how the educative-pastoral community realizes the Preventive System of Don Bosco with the Salesian educative-pastoral project (SEPP). In fact, an SEPP should include the following four dimensions of growth: the dimension of education to the faith, the educational and cultural dimension, the social experience dimension, and the vocational dimension. Fr. Fabio stressed that only with a holistic project we could help the young to develop fully the talents that God has given to them and to realize their true self.