RMG – “Formation to be Salesian Pastors Today”: fourth video of "It's time for Chapter 28 "

08 October 2021

(ANS - Rome) - - Formation in order to be SALESIAN PASTORS TODAY" is not only the title of the fourth Programmatic Line that the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, has delivered to the Congregation for the sexennium 2020-2026; rather, it is a fundamental element in defining the Salesian of Don Bosco for the young people of today. This is why, a few weeks after the online publication of the fourth video of the feature series "It's time for Chapter 28", it seems opportune to go back to deepen, with the contribution of those responsible for Salesian Formation, some of the numerous ideas that the Rector Major disseminates in that video.

Just the video’s set, or backdrop, speaks! The chapel of St Frances de Sales, in the heart of Valdocco, where Don Bosco prayed with his first boys, where he raised, humanly, pedagogically and spiritually the team of young people -Dominic Savio, Michael Magone, Frances Besucco, Michael Rua, John Cagliero ...

It is thus no coincidence that it is in that very location that the man who is the 10th Successor of Don Bosco decides to talk about formation. While surrounded by many young people in initial formation, Fr Á.F. Artime affirms that "the true key player of formation is the Holy Spirit". A key player, however, that does not cancel the individual’s freedom, but requires, instead, convinced adherence so as to help the subject be wholly fulfilled. Because the Holy Spirit can be the key player “as long as our docility allows the Spirit to make a real journey,” notes Fr Á.F. Artime.

He joyfully highlights that God loves the Congregation and poor young people very much "because it is in loving young people, he calls us, and dreams of us in their midst" - and in fact today one in every four Salesians worldwide is a young person in initial formation. But he also clarifies that formation "is not just movement across some of our houses". Simply because formation cannot be a path defined in time, which takes place in the first years of religious life and is completed once and for all. On the contrary, says the 10th Successor of Don Bosco, it is "a long process", which "lasts a lifetime"; a process characterized by two fundamental elements: love for God and love for poor young people. "If this love, this fascination for God, and this generosity for young people is lacking, we will be doing other things, but it won’t be Salesian formation," he adds.

In the light of the Rector Major's video, the Councilor for Formation, Fr Ivo Coelho, is also keen to underline a fact: "the formative path does not serve to standardize the religious by having them conform to a single ideal, but rather enhances those traits in each individual that God has given him to better serve his brothers and sisters. In this sense, formation is a process of great personalization that requires processes of true authenticity and intense craftsmanship. And it is a gradual and delicate work, which is not done in solitude and which is not limited even to specifically appointed formators, because it is the community itself that which forms, with those confreres whom God places on our path.”

Salesian brother Raymond Callo, collaborator of the Formation Sector, focuses his attention on some final passages of the video, where the Rector Major speaks of the international scope of the Congregation - something extremely clear to anyone who visits any Salesian house around the world, and especially initial formation houses. "The Rector Major - he says - offers us the right approach: it is not a phenomenon to be suffered, it must be taken for what it is, that is, an opportunity to bear witness. In a world so complex and with so many divisions, the reality of our life in communities from all parts of the world is a true prophecy.

The fourth video of "It's time for Chapter 28" is intended to be a resource for animation, reflection and debate among young Salesians in formation, as well as among all the Sons of Don Bosco around the world. It has already been viewed several thousand times and is continuously downloaded and shown in many communities as an aid for the deepening of the 28th General Chapter of the Salesian Congregation.

The video is available in Italian and Spanish and subtitled in English, French and Portuguese, in the respective language channels of ANSChannel.


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