Argentina – Ariel Fresia, SDB: "Even if disturbing, the future will be more interesting"

21 May 2020

(ANS - Buenos Aires) – Bro. Ariel Fresia is a Salesian Coadjutor, Director of the Missionary Mission Office "Por los Jóvenes-Don Bosco". In the context of the COVID-19 emergency, the Mission Offices, encouraged by the initiative of the Rector Major, are carrying out a coordinated response worldwide. We invited Ariel to talk to us about the pandemic, what it is causing in his country, and the actions the Salesians are carrying out in the context of this campaign.

What is the situation in Argentina as regards the crisis caused by Covid-19?

In Argentina, social isolation measures, in addition to preventing contagion, protecting the population and therefore considerably reducing the amount of deaths, have also created enormous economic and social problems. There is a great impact on blue-collar sectors, workers, low-income families in the marginal neighborhoods of large cities ...

What are the actions undertaken by the Mission Office at the national level?

The Mission Office continues to work with individual benefactors and in alliance with companies, which are maintaining their level of generosity despite the crisis. In collaboration with the Salesian Bulletin, we have launched a national campaign to communicate what we do. With the national campaign we will deal with the crisis and coordinate national communication and donations for the most needy recipients. We have created a "solidarity map" on the website, where we show everything we do in the Country.

What do the Salesians do?

We Salesians have started to work to send food and items for personal and community hygiene. The Salesian communities are very committed as regards the authorities and people at the local level.

In addition to affecting the Salesian action in the short term, do you believe that the Salesian mission will be changed after the pandemic?

Traditional activities have been affected. And certainly many things we did before, we'll no longer be able to continue doing them. Things will change, and maybe forever. I have the impression that they will change, and by much ... However, there are communities, Salesians and lay animators of the communities, who have their eyes on the difficult and painful present and also look to a future that is provocative and yet to be written. Although it may be disturbing, the future will be more interesting than what has happened so far.

Do you think we have been quickly immersed in a new reality, little understood until now?

Everything went very quickly. We didn't have time to predict anything.

We used to plan pastoral spaces and institutional times for all time; we used to design strategies within an obsolete system, but one in use. However, those structures that appeared to be immune to change are now fully affected and suffering from it. Because what we are experiencing and what will come will be different from what we have known and experienced. The pandemic and the quarantine have highlighted the displacement in which many of our presences already found themselves.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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