General Chapter 28
Valdocco-Turin, February 16-April 4, 2020
Working document for download
WORKING DOCUMENT PRESENTATION DURING GC28
Working Document GC28 – Presentation (Fr Andrea Bozzolo) February 25, 2020 VALDOCCO
· Structure (6): Goal, Journey before GC28, Document, Steps, Way forward
· General theme: What kind of Salesians for the young people of today? (! Language important)
· Nucleus (3): general theme articulated
1. Priority of Salesian mission
2. Profile of the Salesian today
3. Shared mission and formation with the lay as partners
· Path of the Congregation: we offer one contribution to the transformation of our Congregation, path already started with the PC 2019 as first moment of discernment, we don’t start from zero
· We have a Working document because already 90 provinces ‘worked’
· Phase 2: GC28 – decisive step to interpret the overall SDB discernment and called to give some orientation. If a GC lives well the discernment express a lot of energy to the life of the Congregation
· Phase 3: Living the GC28 at different levels
· The journey of the SDB congregation perceived within the path of the whole Catholic Church (Francis) ‘Reform’ of the Church – strong wording by Pope Francis; cf. Saint Therese of Avila
· Preparatory commission (Rome, September 2019) represented all 7 regions
· LISTENING: to young people, to group of confreres and provincial chapters (live voice)
· CHOICE: document that is not a ‘kind of final document draft’ (not the first draft!) and we need to be open to any new movements
· TEXT: indications, synthesis with proposal of many questions for the DISCERNMENT (questioning text would like to help the GC reflection)
· METHOD of DISCERNMENT: but deeply is about SPIRITUAL METHODOLOGY, where the protagonists is not us, but the Spirit of the Risen Lord – with the outlook of God in our life, more an art than a methodology or technique, to be tuned to the Spirit of the Lord
Inputs: Synod of Youth (2018), Magisterium of Pope Francis
· We should ask in our groups: we are just discussing or are we involved in the discernment, it’s a way to be present in the group, in the commission, the way of speaking, to contribute, to listen, to decide: a difficult art that requires our conversion (card Joao – quoting: New wine in new wineskins: each stable organization tends to resist to the change or transformation)
· We face our own resistance to the change, there is a fatique to go beyond our own ideas and let God enter our dialogue and listen deeply to Him.
· Discernment is not a just a talking, no strong head, but open mind – usually in the discernment does emerge a greater idea, as a fruit of convergence, something new born in the gesture of faith and communion
· Youth Synod (2018) asked that each 5 intervention in the hall balanced by 3 minutes of silence! We are not a parliament, we are an assembly of listeners to God, through the voice of the confreres. In the Synod this silence time (Francis – educator) to listen to the movements of our heart, to the light in our hearts brought by the Spirit and Francis was sharing ‘Today I was touched by this… = the right attitude of discernment
· Francis: October 3, 2018 – invitation at the start of the Synod, interior attitude rooted in faith
Inputs: The tradition of our Congregation, previous General Chapters
· Moments of Don Bosco’s discernment
· Versiglia and Caravario: what they are telling us for our spiritual journey?
STEPS of the DISCERNMENT are the most important – each prepares the next step, clear goal: to chose our task, not to write a great document, but to make choices
· STEP 1: RECOGNIZE – stay in touch with the reality around us (no imagination, rooted in ground reality – venue of the ‘possible’ – also with the inspiration and limitations with our heart and mind – emphatic involvement: usually in 5-6 short paragraphs followed by some questions (equal for each nucleus). It’s not about description of youth world today (already Synod 2018 produced this description in very rich manner). What does touch ourselves, what is emerging us in all 3 nuclei
· STEP 2: INTERPRET – in depth reading, going to the root causes (Why it’s so? In what sense is like this? What resistances we find in this reality? What richness we find in this reality?
Looking for the causes – evaluate the reality. Key word: CRITERIA for reality reading, basically are two – Word of God + Magisterium of the Church (ecclesiology of today: how do we stay with the lay people, discipleship, formation today by the Magisterium) and Don Bosco (Salesian tradition, Don Bosco and witness of our Saints). We have chosen NOT to indicate any icon or guide to each single nucleus, only suggested some points (EPC – Acts, Youth – Jesus encounters with the young and DB meetings with the young; this should be born in the prayer and reflection of the Chapter that is motivating, moving and acting. This is more difficult step. We find 3 paragraphs with questions to face and discuss (e.g. n.7 – criterion, DmA and community life with many questions leading to the causes. BUT NO NEED TO RESPOND to all question – questions are just to provoke us for dialogue
· STEP 3: CHOSE - great choices we are called for (IMAGE of the JOURNEY)
Already each PC 2019 produced some choices, after a mature choice – these are treasured in the synthesis of the most frequent choices (similar) although the GC28 is called to discern in freedom what are the choices leading to the future as our Congregation.
What kind of priority choices can we at the level of Congregation (few, realistic and clear)?
a. Moment of Scripture reading
b. First sharing of choice proposals
c. Time of personal prayer and reflection on the other proposals
d. We are called to choose the priorities (C 66 ‘fruit of convergence’) main emerging choices
Chapter is called to
a. What attitudes and mentality to convert?
b. What process to activate?
c. What conditions of structure to guarantee?
d. What responsibilities?
e. What are the subjects of these choices?
Discernment brings us always to the reality, in the reality … not just in the perfect world!
(Working document introduction n.4)
Report of the RM (part EAO region)
Prayer for the General Chapter 28 - Lauds and Vespers
Intercessions at Lauds
O Father, through our participation in the Chapter, you move us to renew in ourselves the apostolic courage of Don Bosco that is capable of embracing the whole world:
- make us docile to the breath of the Spirit so that we may open ourselves, together with the young, to the grace of a new Pentecost.
O Father, through the Chapter you call us to a profound missionary conversion in our communities and in our formation:
- grant us the grace of unity and an apostolic interior life so as to be able to discern the signs of your presence and respond promptly and generously to your will.
O Father, through the Salesian Family you have raised up a vast movement for the salvation of the young:
- enable us to share the same spirit with laypeople within the variety of vocations and in apostolic and educative collaboration.
Intercessions at Vespers
O Father, through the action of the Spirit you dwell and work in the hearts of the young to lead them to beauty, goodness and truth:
- grant that following in the footsteps of our Father, Don Bosco, we may welcome the dreams of the young people of our time and accompany them with wisdom and enthusiasm.
O Father, in Mary you gave Don Bosco the inspirer and teacher of our spirituality and mission among the young:
- help us to cultivate an inner attitude of silence, listening, prayer, fraternal sharing and mutual respect in seeking the good we must do.
O Father, in the specificity and complementarity of vocations, you manifest the equal dignity of Christians and the universal call to holiness:
- grant that the Salesian Family, in fidelity to the charism bestowed on Don Bosco, may carry out its mission of evangelization and education of young people and the poor.