|Portugal – Meeting of the Project for Europe Commission|
(ANS – Turin) – The Commission for the Project for Europe met between 21 and 23 July at Turin Valdocco; the seventh meeting since it was set up by the Rector Major on 31 January 2009. Since Fr Ivan Marianovic, Provincial of Croatia has completed his term of office his place was taken by Fr Mark Tips, Provincial of North Belgium.
The Commission has alternated its meetings between Rome and significant European centres: Fatima, Czestochowa, Santiago Compostella, and now Turin Valdocco. The work was in fact interspersed with Mass celebrated in the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians and in Don Bosco’s rooms and personal prayer in front of the casket of Don Bosco. “The place certainly inspired our reflections and discussions about the places of Salesian interest and the preparation for and celebration of the Bicentenary of the birth of Don Bosco”, Fr Francesco Cereda, coordinator of the Commission said.
First of all the Commission concentrated on the preparation for the IV Meeting of the Provincials of Europe, to be held at the “Salesianum” in the Generalate between 30 November and 2 December. This will be an assessment meeting of the Project for Europe starting from its becoming a commitment of the whole Congregation at the GC26 in 2008. In the meantime the face of Europe and of the Salesian Provinces of Europe has changed considerably.
“The Project for Europe is quite young only four years old. The first steps are the decisive ones and so it is important to assess the progress made.” – Fr Cereda says- “In the assessment attention will be given to the understanding and acceptance of the Project on the part of the 29 European Provinces. Then each of the three key areas of implementation will be examined:: the revitalisation of the charism from within; the re-organisation of the centres in the Provinces, the experience of welcoming and sending the missionaries.”
Finally there has to be consideration of the expectations raised by the project and the way ahead. In fact under consideration will be the features to be strengthened and those to be improved in implementing the PE. A promising path lies ahead still needing commitment and involvement from the Provinces of Europe and of the whole Congregation. For this reason, at the next meeting of the Provincials of Europe all the General Council will be present.
The Commission also looked at two other topics which will be on the agenda of the Provincials’ Meeting: the new evangelisation for the transmission of the Christian faith in Europe and Salesian concern and commitment in Europe regarding the phenomenon of migrations. It also reflected on the new scenario of the Regions in Europe in view of the GC27.
In conclusion the Commission carried out its own self-assessment, in particular regarding the practical commitments taken up for the two-year period 2011-2012. The four Sectors – Youth Ministry; Social Communications, Missions and Formation – gave an account of what had been done; the three Regional Councillors for Europe did the same. The results were very valuable and a stimulus for all to continue in the process of animation up to the General Chapter.