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).