Initially scheduled for last May, but then postponed due to the pandemic and finally carried out in digital mode, the meeting was attended by 25 local coordinators of the Platforms ministry - people in charge of animating pastoral care with the educational team of each platform and who are part of the local work teams; also participating, Fr Xabier Camino, Provincial Delegate for SSM Youth Ministry.
The work began with the statement contained in the Framework Plan for the Social Platforms Ministry which reads: “When we talk about pastoral action, we are talking about a way of living and taking care of others. It is the pedagogy used by the 'Good Shepherd' in the Gospel, who is none other than Jesus of Nazareth. This way of living and accompanying people is the model that all Salesian educators have, whatever our field of action.”
Fr Camino, from the SSM Province, pointed out: “The proposal is to accompany the pastoral dimension in social platforms, a nuclear and transversal dimension that crosses all that we are and do, all that, in the style of Don Bosco, we offer to the most vulnerable children and young people, as well as to their families, and to guarantee their integration into the organic ministry of each House and Province.”
Subsequently, Fr Blanco indicated how each Platform is called to implement, starting from the Framework Plan for the Social Platforms Ministry, its own Local Plan, “which guarantees the care of this dimension, through simple but significant proposals.”
Some of the good pastoral practices already started in some local delegations were then illustrated: the "Dar por dar" experience carried out in some residential structures in Zuen Etxea, or that of "Chalak", carried out in Burgos; the methodology for applying one's own pastoral plan implemented by the “Pan Bendito” Platform in Madrid; or the inter-religious celebrations of the Social Platform of Ourense.
“This step we are taking is important,” added Fr Blanco, explaining that the focus this year, as always, is “to pay particular attention to the care and accompaniment of people. This is the fundamental objective of pastoral care.”
“The members of the teams,” he concluded, “not only need professional qualifications, resources ... but also to take care of their interiority, of reasons for hope, of roots for their commitment, of spaces to share their faith with other people ... and this pastoral plan tries to make it a reality on all our platforms.”