Valdocco, Turin, 27 February 2020 -- On 25 February, one of the members of the Preparatory Commission of the GC28, Fr Andrea Bozzolo (Italy-Piedmont province, ICP) used a clear Prezi presentation to introduce the tool in our hands to the Assembly (published already last November 2019, translated also in Japanese): Goal - Journey before GC28 - Document - Steps - Way forward. The presentation had 6 points.
The theme of GC28 'What kind of Salesians for the young people of today?' is articulated in three nuclei: (1) Priority of Salesian Mission, (2) Profile of the Salesian Today and (3) Shared Mission and Formation with the Lay people (as partners) - all in 29 pages of the Working document (A4 format). Fr. Andrea introduced this tool to the Assembly with passion in the following terms:
- GC28 is just one step on the path of the Congregation: we offer one contribution to the transformation of our Congregation
- The GC28 path already started with the 2019 provincial chapters as first moment of discernment: we don’t start from zero!
- We have a Working document because already 90 provinces have ‘worked’ during last year 2019
- The General Chapter is a decisive step in interpreting the overall SDB discernment and called to give some orientation.
- If a General Chapter does its discernment well, it offers a lot of energy and motivation to the life of the whole Congregation
- The journey of the Congregation is perceived as part of the path of the whole Catholic Church renewal launched by Pope Francis
- CHOICE: The GC28 Preparatory Commission wanted the Working document that is not a kind of 'final document draft’, hence the GC28 is called to produce entire 'GC28 Document' and be open to any new movements
- QUESTIONS: In the Working documents we find many 'sets of questions' to guide the GC28 DISCERNMENT
- METHOD of DISCERNMENT: suggested a spiritual journey, where the protagonists is not the GC28 members, but the Spirit of the Risen Lord
- (Fr. Andrea shared his experience with regular 3 minutes silence in the 2018 Synod hall about the 'Youth-Faith-Vocation Discernment)'
- STEPS OF DISCERNMENT with clear goals:
(1) RECOGNIZING: not only intellectual exercise, but also(2) INTERPRETING: going to the root cause of the reality with the criteria of the Church and Salesian tradition(3) CHOOSING: we are called to make great choices (image of the Journey - Path - Process)
The Working document is taken in the five chapter commissions: 1st ENGLISH - 67 members, 2nd - 49 members, 3rd - 52 members; 4th - 42 members and 5th - Juridical Commission: 29 members) with the following concrete indications:
What kind of priority choices can we make at the level of the Congregation (few, realistic and clear)?
a. Moment of Scripture readingb. First sharing of choice proposalsc. Time of personal prayer and reflection on the other proposalsd. We are called to articulate the main emerging choices
General Chapter is called to discern:
a. What attitudes and mentality to convert?b. What process to activate?c. What conditions of structure to guarantee?d. What responsibilities to take?e. What are the subjects of these choices?
At the end the GC28 discernment brings us always to the reality, we are not living in the perfect world!"
For our EAO region is interesting that there is a consistent use of the Samoan wisdom of a young man (observer in the 2018 Youth Synod) Sefo Moeno-Kolio) first in the Christus Vivit and now also in the GC28 Working document:
"During the Synod, one of the young auditors from the Samoan Islands spoke of the Church as a canoe, in which the elderly help to keep on course by judging the position of the stars, while the young keep rowing, imagining what waits for them ahead. Let us steer clear of young people who think that adults represent a meaningless past, and those adults who always think they know how young people should act. Instead, let us all climb aboard the same canoe and together seek a better world, with the constantly renewed momentum of the Holy Spirit." (Pope Francis, Apostolic Exhortation Christus Vivit, n.201)
"The spiritual, educative, pastoral and ecclesial experience of Valdocco began in this way: with the wisdom of the elderly and the enthusiasm of the young. We can therefore set out on the adventure of the Chapter making our own the image with which a young man from the Islands of Samoa spoke about the Church. It is like a canoe... "(GC28 Working document, Introduction no.4)
From February 27th all GC members enter the discernment work in the five commission, you may accompany them in their prayers! And why not, you can also take for your reading and reflection the same GC28 Working document available on Boscolink!