For a year now, the young people of the Salesian presences throughout Poland have been carrying out the formation program "Rise Up", proposed by the Holy Father Francis himself, who in his message for the 35th World Youth Day, celebrated last year, wrote: “The theme of the WYD in Lisbon will be: 'Mary arose and went quickly' (Lk 1:39). In the two previous years, I thought of reflecting together with you on two other biblical texts: 'Young man, I say to you, rise up!' (Cf. Lk 7:14), in 2020, and 'Rise up! For to this end have I appeared unto thee' (cf. Acts 26:16), in 2021."
Then, since the WYD in Lisbon was postponed from 2022 to 2023, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the two years of preparation proposed by Pope Francis began this year.
Specifically, the first year of the formative journey underway in Salesian Poland is aimed at the animators and leaders of the individual groups. These, together with the managers of each group, create contents that will then be proposed, next year, to all members of the group. These monthly meetings are an opportunity to strengthen faith, build love for others, and to create a community and a shared hope that, despite the pandemic, we can dream, grow and do good together.
Sunday 18 April was a central moment in this journey of preparation, as around 150 people from all over Poland met online, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. At the beginning of the meeting, each team had the opportunity to introduce themselves briefly and show others how their training program is being carried out.
The central moment of the day was an interview with Basia Turek, a young disabled educator, a woman full of passion, enthusiasm and joy. In her words, the interviewee was able to convey how physical limitations never stopped her, and, on the contrary, gave a testimony of faith by telling how in her life journey, being confined to a wheelchair, she has met Christ.
Moreover, the fact of being "Paralitus Celebritus" (as she says of herself) did not prevent her from hitchhiking twice to Europe, personally meeting Pope Francis, writing a book, dancing in a music video and animating with testimonies and reflections a retreat.
The dialogue animated by Basia Turek was considered by all present to be a great stimulus and a source of inspiration, and showed that, despite any difficulty, everything is possible with God and in the Salesian Family.
Thus continues the journey of preparation for "Salesians in Lisbon 2023", which aims to constitute a great initiative that unites the entire Salesian Family of Poland to go together, under a single Salesian banner, to the meeting of the Holy Father and to the young people of all the world.
More information on: https://lizbona.donbosco.pl/
Mirosław Kosiec, SDB