Address of the ASC World Coordinator at the end of 2019 World Council Meeting
By Mr Antonio Boccia, ASC
World Coordinator of Salesian Cooperators
Rome, Italy, 22 March 2019 -- "Dear Friends, in my brief conclusion, I will tackle the main themes we have discussed during past days of the World Council meeting in Rome (March 13-17,2019). Reflecting on the internal situation of the Association of Salesian Cooperators, I would like to share the following 4 points:
1 – COMMUNION IN DIVERSITY
We need to change our attitude about the life of our Association at different levels, from the World level to the Local level, looking at the provincial level as well. The so called ‘super-Cooperators’ make no more sense in our days – I speak about those, without whom we can’t do anything. We need to appreciate all for what they are. Remember Savio, Magone and Besucco? Don Bosco didn’t put them in different poll positions, but got in relationship (in communion) with each one of them, appreciating their own gifts. And this is my dream about our Association of the future: Salesian Cooperators, who are living their vocation of lay people in the Church and for the Church as they are. There are different aspects emerging from time to time, because there will be different kind of persons who will be available. Each one of us should breath the Spirit, who is present in him/her living in communion with all other members.
2 – SHARED MISSION
Alone we can’t reach any direction. Don Bosco himself, at the end of his life given totally for the young people, told us: ‘I was in need of all of you!’ As Salesian Cooperators we should look at all who stand around us in our daily life. Our nearest brothers and sisters are members of the Salesian Family. When the human fragility does endanger our relationships, just there we need to work together to work hard for our more effective mission.
We know, that is more easy to knock down a house, than to build it. Devil is patient, he is waiting when our relationships offer a space for divisions. Together we are stronger (‘three…… are stronger than the single one’). I’m afraid of Salesian Cooperators who are ‘free lancers’ without a consistent life within the local center: what kind of mission they carry on? What kind of shared mission do they carry on for the young?
3 – TOWARDS SOLIDAL AUTONOMY
This is a point, where all are telling that we agree, but at the end it becomes a point of contradiction. Our Association does need to live own autonomy (don’t confuse with isolation) in our living realities (SDB, FMA, Parish, Council of Salesian Family or Local Councils) also from the economy point of view.
Many were asking, “where Don Bosco get his money from?”. He found the resources through the hands of the Providence, through the involvement of many rich (benestanti) persons. In order to involve in our mission out of the works, as the outreaching Church, we need to foster our solidarity. It does not mean we need to be obsessed with fundraising, but to help the Salesian Cooperators to grow in awareness to own our Association, that my financial contribution is not just my duty, but something that goes beyond ‘my purse’.
4 – FORMATION
Here is not much to add on our effort in past three years at different levels of the Association, when we transform our mentality of ongoing formation of our members what we do for our aspirants or how to we interiorize the scheme of dimensions and pillars of formation. We need a formation also for the sake of our mission, making the best of diversity among our members. I will explain better:
We can’t improvise when we are confronted with specific reality of Salesian mission, we need to be formed in order to meet our challenges, for example the marginalized youth, juvenile work or how can we prepare ourselves to joint the foster family care system and many other fields of mission, where should we be present. The style of formation we are assimilating put at the center many persons, that our Lord makes us meet with their giftedness, defects and at times also with serious difficulties. In order to help them we need professional preparation, we can probably already meet in our Association or we need to network in order to be prepared for our mission."
The four above mentioned remarks were shared at the end of 5 days meeting of the ASC World Council in Rome (March 13-17) by the newly appointed World Coordinator. The world council is composed of 11 regional councilors and the Central executive secretariat. The World Executive Secretariat (World Coordinator, World Administrator, Secretary General, World Delegate SDB and World Delegate FMA) would finalize the details of the ASC Six years Strategic Plan 2019-2025.