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By Fr. Michael Chang, SDB

Pisana-Rome, Italy - On November 15-21, at the Salesianum, there will be the Study Days on the Initial Proclamation of Christ in the City, organized by the SDB and FMA Missions Sectors in collaboration with the Youth Ministry Sector. The Study Days are aimed at promoting a deeper and more contextualized reflection on the importance of the First Proclamation in an urban context to arrive at a deeper understanding of the challenges and elaborate together new prospects for renewed missionary practices. There will be approximately 50 FMA and SDB participants representing all Regions from the five Continents.

‘The First Proclamation of Christ in the City’ is the theme of the Study Days planned in synergy by SDB and FMAs. We read in Redemptoris Missio: “The initial proclamation is “the permanent priority in the mission” and “every type of missionary activity tends toward this proclamation” (no. 44).

This is the proclamation that brings the messenger with his/her life witness, way of acting, of speaking, and with the activities that arouse interest in the person of Jesus Christ. The initial proclamation seeks to establish relationships and arouse in the mind and heart, the interest to know the person of Jesus Christ, and, in the ultimate analysis, to have faith in Him. “It is the first in a qualitative sense, because it is the principle proclamation, the one that we must always return to listen to in different ways and that we must always return to proclaim in one way or another during catechesis, in all its phases and moments” (Evangelii Gaudium, 164).

For each Catholic Christian is fundamental to rediscover the importance and the actuality of the initial proclamation in all our pastoral activities, both in urban contexts and everywhere so that it may better illumine the strategies for accompanying the young in knowing and personally meeting Christ; foster our missionary presence in the digital world and among the migrants and refugees.

For the Salesians of our Region, the Study Days on the Initial Proclamation of Christ in the City are an invitation and a commitment to broaden their vision toward the city as a place of encounter and in it, toward those to whom the Gospel has never been announced; toward the Baptized who are far from the faith and the ecclesial community; or toward those people who seek something or Someone that they are aware of without being able to name it.

The theme of the Study Days and the Letter to the City, are an opportunity for reflection: ‘The city is the common home. It is in this space where we develop and share humanity and fraternity. It is urgent to act with hope and enthusiasm, confident in the change wished for everyone to build a more just and more untied city”.

The Study Days will be articulated in three moments: 1) Situation Analysis; 2) Study and Reflection; 3) Formulation of Way forward. Each day will begin with a Biblical reflection guided by Sr. Maria Ko, FMA.

The themes of the presenters of these days are:

  • 16 November - “The City Today, its Phenomena, challenges and possibilities for the First Proclamation” - Fr. Giulio Albanese, M.C.C.I.

  • 17 November - “Human Mobility and the City:space of the first Proclamation” - Sr. Milva Caro, M.S.C.S.

  • 18 November - “The City and Secularism Today: Challenges and Opportunities for the First Proclamation”- Prof. Carmelo Dotolo

  • 19 November - “the First Proclamation and the Preventive System” - Sr. Piera Ruffinatto, FMA; “Youth Pastoral and the City: Challenge and Joy of the First Proclamation” - Fr. Ubaldo Montisci, SDB

From the EAO region are present three participants - Fr. Martin Macasaet (FIN), the EAO regional coordinator for the Youth Ministry, Fr. Michael Chang (KOR) and Fr. Srimal Pryianga (Delegation of PNG-SI).







  • vaclav 2015.11.24 18:58
    23/11/2015 - RMG - First Proclamation of Jesus in the City: a permanent state of mission

    (ANS - Rome) - The Study Days on the First Proclamation of Jesus in the City organized by the Department for the Missions of the Salesians and the Sector for the Missions of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians ended on Saturday 21 November.

    Speakers were invited from outside the Salesian Family to help the participants to think beyond their normal way of thinking. On the first day a Comboni priest, Fr Giulio Albanese, who is also a journalist, gave a description of the city in today's globalized world, highlighting the common features and phenomena of the city. He insisted that "our works", are not always evangelizing, but we have to plan and have the intention to ensure that "our work" is really evangelizing.

    On the second day Sister Milva Caro, a Scalabrini missionary, daughter of Italian immigrants in Germany, spoke about the phenomenon of human mobility and the challenges and opportunities for the First Proclamation in an urban setting.

    On the third day a layman, Professor Carmelo Dotolo, Dean of the Faculty of Missiology at the Urban Pontifical University, stressed the distinction between secularization and secularism and the challenges and opportunities for the First Proclamation in a secularized setting in the cities.

    In the fourth day two speakers gave a profound reflection on the First Proclamation from a Salesian perspective. Sister Piera Ruffinato, professor at the Auxilium Pontifical Faculty of Educational Sciences, showed that in urban areas the preventive system can be a Salesian way to carry out the First Proclamation. Fr Ubaldo Montisci from the Department of Youth Ministry and Catechetics at the Salesian Pontifical University showed how youth ministry in the urban environment offers many opportunities for the First Proclamation.

    The Rector Major and the Mother General of the FMA gave the "Good Night" on 20 and 21 November. Both stressed the missionary character of the two congregations and the importance of keeping alive the missionary flame in each member.

    The Study Days led the participants to the conclusion that the awareness of always carrying out the First Proclamation is what leads every SDB and FMA to live their lives in a permanent state of mission, a situation that demands a pastoral and spiritual conversion in each and every one. The Rector Major also stressed that what is important is not so much the paper published, but the change of mindset that this learning experience and reflection has brought about in each participant.

    The proceedings of the Study Days will be published as a book, in different languages, with different index cards that will enable local communities in different parts of the Congregation to use the material for ongoing formation.

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