SDB - FMA General Councils
Rome, Italy, FMA General House, 26 June 2019 -- Five months after the previous joint Council meeting on 17 January 2019 the two General Councils SDB and FMA met this time at the General House of the Salesian Sisters (Via Ateneo Salesiano, 81 - Rome) in the afternoon of 26 June. The main theme of the sharing was inspired by the 'Synod of Bishops 2018' (Youth-Faith-Vocation Discernment) leading to the upcoming General Chapters of the SDBs (Valdocco, February 2020) and FMA Institute (Rome, September 2020).
The main input to the meeting was provided by Fr Rosanno Sala, SDB (Special Secretary to the 2018 Synod) on the Apostolic Exhortation "Christus Vivit" (Chapters 7-8) and Sr Runita Borja, FMA (General Councillor for Youth Ministry) on the emerging points of the FMA GC24 - Listening to the Young, Journey with Mary, Missionary Synodality and Hope-filled reading of present reality. After their talks followed a traditional mixed Groups and Assembly sharing, with a few inspirations emerging:
- Main attention was on HOW we LISTEN and ACCOMPANY young people personally and also as community
- We need to always focus on the encounter with poor and marginalized youth, who are at the heart of Don Bosco and Mother Mazarello. Today it would mean also a specific attention to youth struggling with drug addiction.
- We need to not only read 'Christus Vivit' but also study and own its main inspirations
- We need to find courage to change our structures and lifestyle in accordance with the needs of real young people around us: who are we there for?
- Open questions are making our life more healthy: What kind of Salesians for the Youth of Today? or Who is moving our Life? Are we moved by the Youth and by the Spirit
In his Good Night Talk, Fr Angel F. Artime reflected on the thousands of youth in need or at risk who are daily being saved in Salesian houses around the world. Young people who are welcomed and loved in the SDB and FMA educational works, finding their salvation. The necessary change of our life desired by the General Chapter journeys (SDB - GC 28 and FMA - GC 24) will happen only if we open our hearts daily and give our lives to the young. We should never let them stay alone in our playgrounds; we experience that the Young people are saving us - as nicely expressed already by the late Fr. Juan E. Vecchi!
We firmly believe that the Salesian Family is growing through simple life sharing, praying and sharing meals, in the family spirit atmosphere with simplicity and open heart. Another stop on our common journey of two General Councils offers a lot of inspiration. With a lot of non-formal exchange of experiences during meal time this also fosters a mutual understanding of the Salesian charism in its different forms: "The recognition that without the other the members, a particular Group cannot be themselves ought to be an awareness cultivated by all SF groups.. " (Salesian Family Identity Charter, art. 10).
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