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(ANS – Lisbon) – One year after their previous meeting, Social Communications Delegates from Salesian Provinces in Europe met in Lisbon to take stock of the current situation. They discussed developments in communication, especially of a digital nature, and shared their recent initiatives, but there was also a new topic: the spirituality of the Salesian communicator.
“We want to understand and discuss the spirituality of the Salesian communicator not just as subject matter, but as the interior experience of those involved in communication”, said Fr Filiberto Gonzalez, General Councillor for Social Communications. “Salesians, and in recent years more and more lay people, are making a commitment in this field. As with every field of ministry it involves commitment and sometimes mental strain. In our commitment to social communications it is important to remind ourselves constantly of our two great passions: God and the young.”
A good deal of time was given to presentations of the work going on in the 23 provinces represented in Lisbon at the centre, run by the Irmãs Franciscanas Hospitaleiras da Imaculada Conceição. Also present as guests were a Salesian and a laywoman from the Brazilian province of Recife.
This is the third year that the Social Communications Department has organised meetings of SC Delegates at a European level to provide a continental vision and contribution.
What has emerged is a picture of varied approaches and initiatives. They indicate strong commitment in some provinces and new growth of interest in the field of communication in others. There is also a wide variety in the level of collaboration in each province between the areas of Salesian mission: youth ministry, missions and social communications. There is a well developed presence on the web from provinces (with sites run by institutions and individual works) and youth ministry (web sites and multimedia magazines), but there is a lack of significant developments in Salesian formation in the initial and especially in the ongoing phases.
From the various reports it is apparent that several Provinces have made great efforts to present and apply the Salesian System of Social Communications which was updated and re-launched just over a year ago.