Wednesday, January 23, in the Basilica of St John Bosco in Panama City, more than 200 young people and leaders of the Youth Ministry of Salesians and of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, representing 30 countries of all 5 continents, gave life to the SYM Forum.
In that broad open debate, sub-divided by language, the participants gathered together on the meaning and role of youth in today's world; on how to integrate the vocational perspective and the discernment in the paths proper to the SYM; on how to build, starting from youth commitment, a more humane and just society; and they also shared the good practices carried out by the SYM in so many parts of the world.
All these contributions, together with those received in the subsequent debate with the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, and the Mother General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA), Mother Yvonne Reungoat, were then elaborated upon on the following day at the Don Bosco Technical Institute of Panama.
Five young people of the SYM, coming from different regions of the world - Dino Martinello (Australia); Victoria Weekley (USA); Julia Kershofer (Austria); Gerson Santos (Angola); and Andrea Ordoñez (Colombia) - accompanied by the heads of the SDB Dicastery and the FMA Youth Ministry Sector, summarized what had emerged the day before, and helped to focus how the SYM helps to make life choices.
In a sort of continuation of the work of the recent Synod of Bishops on "Youth, faith and vocational discernment", and in light of the theme of the WYD of Panama, which indicates to young people the example of Mary as a model of availability to the plans of God ("Here I am, I am the servant of the Lord, let what you have said happen to me" - Lk 1:38), the young people of SYM in Panama have elaborated a message addressed to all the youth of the world's SYM.