RMG - "Don Bosco is alive in the hearts of many young people": interview with Fr Gabriel Romero, Regional Councilor for America South Cone

21 August 2020

(ANS - Rome) - Fr Gabriel Romero was elected by the GC28 as the new Councilor for the America South Cone Region. Below is an interview with him, released to ANS.

What prompted you to become a Salesian?

I entered the Salesian school in my hometown, in San Miguel de Tucumán, and attended junior high school there. I believe that the school environment, the diversity of the proposals and the daily presence of the Salesians among us, I liked from the very first day. In those years I had the opportunity to participate in a group of young people and to be their animator; there I made the best friends, took advantage of all the formative proposals and retreats. We carried out various missionary experiences in the nearby villages, summer camps, theater groups and Don Bosco's musical on the occasion of the centenary of 1988. It all made an impression on me. I felt deeply in my heart that the Lord was asking me to enlarge my heart and to give it to many. I had the grace that my family would always accompany me in my every decision.

What do you bring with you from the GC28 experience?

The beauty of a worldwide, plural, missionary, fraternal Congregation committed to young people and working-class environments. Listening to so many stories and experiences of my Salesian brothers who, in different parts of the world, give their lives day by day for young people, moved me and makes me thank God for all He works through these children of His. Being in Valdocco every day and at every moment, next to Don Bosco, looking at him and talking with him, praying at the feet of the Help of Christians and presenting the life of so many, was a wonderful gift. They were days of fraternity and hope. We know that there are many challenges to be faced in the mission and we are accompanied by the certainty that Don Bosco is alive in the hearts of many young people, adults and Salesian brothers who continue to proclaim Jesus Christ with audacity and creativity. And this encourages us, opens up horizons and allows us to continue dreaming.

In these first weeks, marked by the restrictions for Covid-19, what have you been able to see, know and learn about the new assignment? What do you expect for the future?

There is very little I could do at this time. In Argentina and throughout America the borders are quite closed. We were able to have several virtual meetings to share, to form together and resume some processes of discernment already underway. As soon as I can, I hope to be able to visit my Salesian brothers and to be able to learn about the wealth and beauty of our Region.

In six years, what do you dream of for your region?

I am aware that it is a Region with a lot of life, many young people, a lot of work and a lot of commitment towards the poorest. May we continue to be more faithful every day to the Lord who has called us to give Him all our energy to be among the poorest young people. Without a doubt, the recent Synod of the Amazon and of Laudato Sì will put us to the test. The presence of so many lay people, young people and adults, well engaged in all our works, is a great fortress that we want to take care of with respect and dedication. There is a lot to walk and learn.


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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