Italy – Fr Coelho: "Forming Salesian priests (who are) humane, healthy, balanced, capable of a gaze (full of) love"

04 April 2019

(ANS - Turin) – From 18 to 26 March, as part of the Extraordinary Visitation conducted in the Italy-Piedmont and Valle d'Aosta district, Fr Ivo Coelho, General Councilor for Formation, stayed at the “Crocetta” Salesian formation community of Turin which, with its 27 permanent religious and 49 students of Theology, is currently Europe's most numerous. Here's how he sums up his visit.

by Antonio Carriero, SDB

What did you appreciate most in your individual talks with the 75 Salesians you met?

I got alone well with everyone, the elderly and the young. I found a certain serenity, a certain well-being in everyone's life. I feel good at the Crocetta!

What did you make of the community?

As said, the impression is very positive, but I also keep many reflections made by the young people, but also by the formators: on the way to live this phase, on the possibility of being more in contact with reality and with the young, more inserted in the mission ... It's a big challenge. I think the 28th General Chapter will be a favorable moment to bring these reflections to the attention of the Congregation.

We need to find new ways to bring forth a formation that is increasingly attentive to people, but also to the context in which we live. This is also the theme of the next General Chapter: "What type of Salesians for today's youth?"

On what aspects can the Crocetta community still improve?

There must be more attention to the human-affective-sexual dimension. We are also body; this cannot be put aside.

Another aspect is that of the pastoral order: it is not enough to do many activities without reflecting on what is being done. As the Constitutions wisely teach, "the Salesian strives to discern in events the voice of the Spirit, thus acquiring the capacity to learn from life" (No. 119).

Young Salesian priests will graduate and leave from Crocetta: how do the Church and, above all, young people want them?

One must exit this formation phase with great respect for people. People do not, first of all, ask for theological answers. At the Crocetta much theology is done – high level - but once you leave Crocetta, you musn't go around tossing these answers onto people! Salesian priests who are humane, healthy, balanced, who know how to respect the "burning bush" of other people, capable of a gaze of love of which Francis speaks in Evangelii Gaudium. If there is this, the children, the people ..., they immediately understand it!

This I wish and hope for: a humane and spiritual growth that progress together.


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.

This site also uses third-party cookies to improve user experience and for statistical purposes. By scrolling through this page or by clicking on any of its elements, you consent to the use of cookies. To learn more or to opt out, click "Further Information".