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Young people dream about the Salesians of today

By Ms. Taichi Miranda

Cebu, Philippines, March 21, 2020 --

What is your dream for SDB formation?

Aside from acquiring and internalizing profound understanding and appreciation on Salesianity, young Salesians should also be fully immersed to activities that are deeply rooted to the changing social realities of today to enhance essential relationship skills and cultivate a sustained missionary zeal for the young especially the poorest and most desperate.

Adult Salesians should be a good model, mentor, and spiritual director to the young Salesians. While accompanying the young Salesians, they must not forget to take care of their personal formations that are helpful to their ministry. Formations must also include areas that will foster more their Salesian vocation and at the same time address their human growth. For example, formations not only for those in the higher positions like the provincials, rectors, economers, formators and the like but also for the parish priests, pastoral animators, etc., formations on relationship skills, community development, dealing with conflicts, spiritual guidance, basic psychological first aid, technology and many more.

The greatest part of the SDB formation happens in the mission. Salesian charism will be enriched through personal experience and encounter with the young. From my humble perspective, a Salesian who only focuses his attention to his office works and choose the kind of youth he wants to serve and be with can never make their Salesian charism fully alive.

What is your dream for the shared mission among SDB, Lay Mission Partners with the Young People?

I can only think of the moment when Don Bosco told Don Rua “I give you half of what I have. From now on, you and I will share everything in life.” I am deeply moved by how Don Bosco placed his confidence and trust to a young person in setting up the Salesian Congregation, sharing responsibilities to his boys and empowering them as protagonists in his mission work for the poor and disadvantaged youth. Furthermore, I would like also to highlight Don Bosco’s humility to seek help from the lay people especially his mother, Mama Margaret and involved them in the development of the Salesian mission. And this is my dream when we talk about the shared mission among the Salesians, Lay mission partners and Youth: that all of us will anchor our hearts and minds to this very significant moment, to preserve the culture of full trust and confidence among the young and the humility to seek help from the others, because there are things we cannot do alone, and involved them in enriching the Salesian mission.

Your dream about SDB community/personal life witness?

My wish for every Salesian is for them to live simply, to have an authentic love for the poor, a man who can bring the love of God to the young, to care for their confreres and protect each other, instead of fighting and destroying each other.

What did you feel in the holy places of Don Bosco - Becchi, Chieri or Valdocco?

It felt surreal. I never imagined being able to touch down to the very heart of the Salesian missions. It had mixed emotions. My heart cried for joy and was filled with genuine happiness and overflowing gratitude. As a Salesian youth who is a believer of Don Bosco, it was very enriching for me that everything I read in the books and saw in the internet were now already visible and tangible to me. I was more fascinated to learn new stories that I have not heard about Don Bosco and something inside of me yearns to get to know more about him and his works. There were many unexplainable feelings and thoughts that emerged during our visit to the holy places of Don Bosco but one thing I was certain about – I thought of every Salesian youth and Salesian family across the globe, dreamed and prayed for them that they too could have the opportunity to visit and experience the roots of our Salesian home.

And your experience talking to the GC28 delegates?

It was an honor and privilege to be able to talk to the different superiors and key persons in the Salesian world, communicating with them outside their offices, without walls and gaps, defying language barriers. I appreciated so much those who really greeted and talked to the young people first and unconsciously created a personal encounter with me, to us young people, in a very short span of time. Talking to them makes me also feel connected to the different Salesian missions across the globe.

Expectation for the journey after the GC28?

I am hopeful that whatever they have planned and dreamed for the next 6 years will not only remain in writing but must be seen and felt in doing especially in the local provinces and communities.

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