A commission to reflect on the Salesian Missionary Volunteer movement met at the Salesian Generalate in Rome, to define the identity of the movement and to offer some main guidelines. The General Councillors for Youth Ministry and the Missions, Fr Fabio Attard and Fr Guillermo Basañes, were present, as well as representatives of both Departments, Fr Daniel García and Fr Martin Lasarte.
"It was a moment of fraternal encounter and vision. We discovered that there is a very large group of young people who undertake the volunteer experience", said one of the participants, Fr Guido Errico, SDB. Fr García stressed that we are talking about "young volunteer missionaries, who share our mission and are co-responsible for Salesian education and evangelization, especially to those who have the least, the needy, the most vulnerable in our society. This is why we must insist on formation and accompaniment, echoing the invitation that Pope Francis has launched through the Synod on the young."
The work consisted in re-examining the Salesian Volunteer Handbook (2008) and in updating and reflecting on volunteering today, the volunteer profile, the type, characteristics, training and accompaniment ... In the future also the working methodology foresees a request for feedback from the regions, the provinces and Departments.
In Salesian pedagogy and Salesian spirituality volunteering is an important way of putting evangelical charity into practice and exercising the pastoral outreach proposed by Pope Francis. In the most difficult moments in Turin, as for example during the cholera epidemic, Don Bosco invited his boys at the Oratory to show solidarity with the people in their social situation and to go out on the streets, getting involved and trusting in the blessing of Don Bosco and the help of Our Lady.