Argentina - Miguel Raviolo: "I go to the parish priest to tell him that I'm a carpenter. And he replies: 'I'm a priest, what do we want to do?'"

09 October 2018

(ANS - Cordoba) - Miguel Raviolo, 55, is the manager of the carpentry workshop at the "House of the Don Bosco Oratory" in Cordoba. Eight years ago he decided to consecrate his hands and his heart to this service. It was 2010 and Miguel attended catechism classes at the time. "I felt challenged by catechesis, by the Word and by Jesus himself who asked me to do something for the vulnerable. I go to the parish priest to tell him that I was a carpenter. And he answers me: 'good, much pleased, I am a priest, what do we want to do?'"

"A few months later we had already obtained some tools and we were working with some young people. This is where it all began, with a door that doubled as a work table … Today, thank God, we have a well-assembled workshop in the Oratory of the Don Bosco parish of Cordoba."

What is the workshop's objective?

What we want to do is the same thing that the oratory wanted to do when Don Bosco started it, to seek souls for Christ. We do it through what he himself thought: the courtyard, the school, the chapel ... Well, in all this, to me this part, a mixture of school and courtyard, because woodworking is a bit like this.

What methodology do you use in workshop planning?

Many times we wanted to plan a module and the students always said no, that they would be the ones to set the module. Over time I learned that what you need to do is talk to them, see what they need and what they want to do at that moment.

And what intention does this module have for you?

We must never lose sight of the objective. The oratory is a religious space. Even if you can find a woodworking or cooking workshop or children playing football, it is a fundamentally religious space. We must never forget that we are alone with them only for a while, two or three years. Then the children leave the oratory and depart with their tools and must remember that we have spent our time indicating Jesus, and not ourselves. When they leave, it must be clear who is the Master or Teacher to follow, that it is not us, that we are just fingers pointing towards Someone, nothing more.


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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