Italy – Fr Caiani: "Our heart beats where that of young people beats"

(ANS - Milan) - In his speech to the city of Milan, delivered on the occasion of the celebrations of its patron saint, Archbishop Mario Delpini publicly thanked "all those who dedicate themselves to education, formation, education in schools", and he invited the people of Milan to be "proud" of the education system offered to citizens. The Salesian schools, present for decades in the Ambrosian territory, also contribute to this model of excellence with their specific traits. Fr Paolo Caiani, head of youth ministry in the Lombardy-Emilian Province of Italy (ILE), explains the Salesian educational specialty in detail.

In what does the Salesian model consist?

Our educational system is called the "Preventive System" and re-proposes the educational experience of Don Bosco, which we try to live with fidelity. It is a way of understanding the need of young people to answer their educational and existential questions and form them as fully formed men. The Preventive System represents the condensation of Don Bosco's pedagogical wisdom and constitutes the prophetic message that he left us as heirs in the mission that the Lord entrusted to him. With our method we aim to form every young person to be an "upright citizen and good Christian".

In your schools, in addition to the teachers, educators flank the children

As Salesians of Don Bosco we do not want to desert the youth field. The knowledge of young people is vital for us. Our heart beats where that of young people beats. We work and live for them, we are committed to answering to their needs and problems. Young people are the meaning of our life. To do this we believe that a village is needed to educate young people. We need not only educators, but a "Pastoral Educational Community": Salesians, young people, families, teachers, volunteers, educators. The educators present in our schools become precious collaborators to carry out our mission. We try to convey this educational sensitivity not as a professional role, but as a lifestyle choice. The point of arrival should be: "I am an educator because I feel this as my vocation".

There is a nice alliance between school and family ...

Having a group of adults who take children's growth to heart gives more solidity to the training proposal. It is unthinkable today to do it yourself. Parents belong to the pastoral educational community because the first form of education is received in the family.

Creating a Youth Ministry in union with a Family Ministry is certainly a winning card to accompany young people to become protagonists in life.


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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