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Ecuador - Fr Basañes: the challenge of missionary work is to walk with young migrants

08 August 2018

(ANS - Quito) - For Fr Guillermo Basañes, General Councilor for the Missions, one of the great challenges of missionary work is to walk with young migrants from all over the world, putting into practice the wealth of Salesian identity and charism. While he was in Ecuador, he gave an interview to accompany the course on Missionary Formation taking place at the Salesian Center for Continuing Formation in America (CSFPA).

What are the reasons for your presence?

I am here to accompany the missionary formation and animation course ... For the first time, two regional coordinators for missionary animation have been appointed: Fr Miguel Ángel Lezama, for the Interamerica region, and Fr Antonio Sánchez and Fr Tiago Eliomar, for the region America-South Cone.

Why is it important for Salesians to talk about human mobility?

The theme of mobility, of immigrants, was a theme that much attracted Don Bosco and it is interesting to see how the missionary aspect for him was closely linked to migration ... I think the great challenge is to be able to give an answer that has a Salesian identity in those places where young people are present, such as the large refugee camps in Africa, where it is necessary to strengthen the action with refugees from northern Kenya, Somalia ...

How do you evaluate the missionary dimension in the Americas?

When one looks at America, especially Latin America, one is evidently attracted by the high number of Catholics present, who make it the Christian continent. The Catholic Church in Latin America holds a wealth of reflection and knowledge on missions ... It is indeed correct to continue to call America as the "continent of hope", for the presence of young people and the power of the Gospel that is in them, and that should also bear its vocational fruits ... The Rector Major continues to send missionaries to Latin America, answering to the significance of a missionary Church ... It is nice to see missionary volunteer service in the Province of Ecuador, which has developed solid roots and has been fruitful.

How to develop the missionary dimension in volunteering?

Volunteering is missionary and is Salesian. And when one says it is "missionary", it means that it involves faith in the Gospel, and it is "Salesian", because in carrying it out we work with all the values of Don Bosco's Christian experience. So the great challenge is to propose this type of volunteering service to young people.

Source: Comunicación Salesianos Ecuador

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