"The more we strive to secure a common good corresponding to the real needs of our neighbors, the more effectively we love them," it is written in the Encyclical Caritas in Veritate. "Every Christian is called to practice this charity, in a manner corresponding to his vocation and according to the degree of influence he wields in the pólis." For this reason, for 25 years the young people of the Salesian Institute of Sherbrooke have been carrying out this activity which benefits children at risk and which makes them grow as promoters of a more supportive and more humane world.
On Sunday 1st March, Sherbrooke's boys and girls, who belong to the Canadian Salesian Youth Movement (SYM), met at the "Juan Ponce de Leon" Salesian Institute. The first objective was to get to know one of the oldest houses in the MEM Province, which was once a Salesian aspirantate and is now a school.
The young Canadians were accompanied by Fr Alain Leonard, SDB, from the Province of the United States East and Canada (SUE), by the Salesian Moisés Rubén Illescas Morales, and Fr Noé Jorge Lara of the "Artesanado de Nazareth" community, directed by Fr Armando Morales Gutiérrez.
The experience that the youths of SYM Canada have been carrying out for 25 years takes place in the Salesian project "Artesanado de Nazareth", where street children are hosted.
Fr Leonard, together with Fr Gerardo Cayetano, Rector of the "St Michael Archangel" temple in Puebla and former formator of the "Artesanado de Nazareth", explained the characteristics of this experience: it is a 10-day stay in which the students of Sherbrooke live with the children and young people and with all the people served by the Salesian project "Chavos Don Bosco" of the Foundation "Déjame Ayudarte IAP", curated by the MEM Province.
Knowing the reality of young people at risk in Mexico, every year Fr Leonard encourages and supports the group of young people who wish to carry out this missionary experience, which allows young Canadians to live in an attitude of service and to reconsider their own life situation, and to the boys and girls of the "Artesanado de Nazareth" to discover other horizons and a better way of life, which they can access through school education and the commitment to be good Christians and upright citizens.