RMG – Seventh General Assembly of IUS

11 July 2016

(ANS - Rome) - The representatives of more than 40 Salesian Institutions of Higher Education (IUS) from 21 countries gathered at the Salesian Generalate in Rome from 4 to 9 July as part of the Seventh General Assembly of IUS.

The proceedings opened with greetings from Fr Fabio Attard, General Councillor for Youth Ministry, and continued with addresses by Msgr. Vincenzo Zani, Secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education, and Msgr. Guy-Réal Thivierge, Secretary General of the International Federation of Catholic Universities (IFCU).

In their talks they highlighted the need for the Catholic University not to be remote from reality but in dialogue with society; the current opportunities, with over 150 million university students in the world; and the challenge of dealing with scientific progress in the light of Revelation; and they analysed research to learn more about the worldwide vision and culture of the university today.

Bro. Mario Olmos, IUS General Coordinator, presented a report on the development of the Salesian presence in Higher Education and observed some challenges of the present time: raising standards; bureaucratic difficulties make it difficult to open new Salesian universities in many parts of the world; collaboration with other groups of the Salesian Family and the local churches; development of research, etc.

In an address given on Wednesday 6 July the Rector Major emphasized the importance of the IUS for the Salesian pastoral project. "We have the ability to reach 140,000 young university students. We cannot ignore such an important reality," he said, and then indicated the intention of the General Council to strengthen the number and quality of Salesians in the IUS.

Fr Ángel Fernández Artime then set out the need for the IUS to live and transmit the Salesian charism, with two specific indications: a vibrant campus ministry and the preferential option for the most needy.

On subsequent days, after comparisons on a regional basis, Fr Attard re-proposed the Salesian pastoral model in IUS, recalling the need for pastoral solutions which originate from the charism of Don Bosco and are serving the Church, in education and evangelization. These solutions are to be carried out in dialogue with young people


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