|Philippines – Pre-Congress on New Evangelization in FIN|
|Italy – Fr. Attard: the Gospel and young people|
|Philippines – Educating the young to spirituality|
|Philippines – Mobile class-room for street children|
(ANS – Parañaque) – 25 Salesians and 50 lay mission partners forming the pastoral teams of the schools and training centers of the Philippines-North (FIN) Province gathered on 14-16 May 2012 in the theologate for the annual summer Salesian leadership seminar. Fr. Fabio Attard, SDB, General Councilor for Youth Pastoral Ministry, was invited to speak on the integration of education and evangelization in Salesian youth ministry.
Fr. Attard emphasized on the formation of a community of significant adults who journey together with young people with clear proposals and challenging processes to make the reign of Christ central to the life stories of youth today. He also challenged the educators of the FIN to continue its ongoing reflections to recapture Don Bosco and adapt his Preventive System for the new educative and pastoral challenges of the new times so as to have something significant to consign to the next generation.
Fr. Eli Cruz, the Provincial, spent an afternoon of reflections with the group on the practical issues of stewardship of time, talent, and treasure in the educative-pastoral community. The group of Salesians and lay mission partners went on the last day to the “Tuloy sa Don Bosco Street Children Village”, some fifteen minutes drive from the theologate, to listen to Fr. Marciano Evangelista (also know as “Rocky”), the founder of the work.
Fr. Evangelista spoke about the advocacy for the stewardship of creation and its positive impact on the healing of youth with delinquency problems. The group of Salesian educators were then brought to the “aquaponics” garden of the street children village to see first-hand not only the scientific-educative side of this advocacy but more so to interact with the street children and see the spiritual-evangelizing effect of this project on them.
This advocacy of exposing delinquent youth to active involvement in the care of creation had already caught fire. After the visit of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to the “aquaponics” garden of Tuloy sa Don Bosco, the group of battle-tested soldiers were convinced to use the method to counteract the insurgency problems with Muslims in southern Philippines. By teaching battle-scarred youth to care for “fish ponds”, the soldiers hope to duplicate Don Bosco’s magic of creating “peace ponds”. Indeed, a new way of integrating education and evangelization in the preventive system.