The theme chosen is linked to the call of the Church through the Synod on young people, which says that: "The digital environment presents a challenge to the Church on various levels; it is essential, therefore, to deepen knowledge of its dynamics and its range of possibilities from the anthropological and ethical point of view. This requires not only entering into it and promoting its communicative potential with a view to the Christian proclamation, but also giving a Gospel flavour to its culture and its dynamics.” (Final Document, n. 145).
Furthermore, this meeting is a response to the appeal of the Rector Major, who speaks of "the inculturation of the Salesian mission in the digital habitat, where young people live, involving our universities, networking with other centers and agencies that follow and study more closely the transformations that the digital world is bringing among the new generations." (Program Proposal of the Rector Major, n. 3).
“Today social media are part of our life and our culture. They allow us to communicate with thousands of people with a click. Moreover, the challenge for every Salesian educator, for every youth worker is to use social media offering young people contents that help them to meet Jesus personally in some way. Obviously, today social media offer us a unique opportunity to favor the initial proclamation and evangelize people, especially the young. I sincerely hope that these meetings will help us in this direction,” affirmed Fr Maravilla, General Councilor for the Missions.
"I am happy with these meetings because they will offer us many opportunities to work with a spirit of synergy and collaboration, and they will offer us many ideas to find new ways to inculturate the Gospel, where young people live, around social networks," added Fr Gildasio Mendes, General Councilor for Social Communication.
During the meetings, which will be divided by Region, two reports will be presented:
1. “Communicating Christ Today. A dialogue on the inculturation of the Gospel in the digital habitat” - Fr Gildasio Mendes;
2. “Connecting with the Generation Z mentality" - Fr Alfred Maravilla.
The meetings will be divided by Region and, with the exception of the one concerning the Central and Northern Europe Region, they will take place online. They will be held according to the following calendar:
- America South Cone Region: 17-18 August 2021 from 3 to 6 pm;
- Inter-America Region: 24-25 August from 4 to 7 pm;
- Africa-Madagascar Region: 13-14 October from 10am to 1pm;
- Mediterranean Region: 27-28 October from 10 to 13;
- South Asia Region: 15-16 November from 12 to 15;
- East Asia Region - Oceania: November 16-17 from 8 to 11;
- Central and Northern Europe Region: 22-25 November, this in person in Prague.