Italy – Rector Major to youth of Campobosco 2022: "Be missionary disciples of the Lord, with the genius of the Salesian charism"

08 August 2022

(ANS - Turin) - The 2022 edition of Campobosco, a pilgrimage to the Salesian Places and a journey of discernment and inner discovery for the young animators of the Salesian Youth Movement of Spain and Portugal, closes today with the return to Barcelona of the approximately 800 young participants. During these last few days, the participants experienced some of the most significant moments of their journey, with stops in Mornese, Turin, and Valdocco, and words of animation from the Mother General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Mother Chiara Cazzuola, and Don Bosco's 10th Successor, Rector Major, Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime.

On August 3, 2022, the SYM boys and girls filled the streets and charismatic sites of the small town of Mornese with joy and color. Arriving with 14 buses, the young people, divided into two large groups, visited in rotation the Valponasca, the parish, the houses of the village and the College, and celebrated the Eucharist at the Mazzarelli in the shrine.

In the evening, the common appointment for all, much awaited especially by the young people from the world of the FMA, for Mother Chiara Cazzuola's "Salesian Good Night." "I’m very happy to be able to meet you. I have been following you these days through the videos, interviews, listening to the hymn, and everything you have experienced in these first days. It is special to meet you in this courtyard desired by Don Bosco, in which echoes the consignment given by Mother Mazzarello, which is renewed for us seeing you here tonight: 'To you, I entrust them (the girls, tr.)'; and we can complete this, with an addition, thinking of all of you: To you, I entrust them (and boys, too)."

Using the words of Pope Francis on his recent trip to Canada, Mother Cazzuola then encouraged them to go forward, without losing hope, always pointing "upward" and being a team, to "be light": "You too, called to the heights of heaven and to shine on earth, are made to shine together." She then ended by assuring them of the prayer to Mary Help of Christians on her part and that of all the FMA.

After having spent the day of Thursday, August 4, again among reflections, meditations, spirituality and sharing, the SYM youth from the Iberian peninsula experienced on August 5 the long-awaited meeting with "Don Bosco," in the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians, and then had the opportunity to listen to the living voice of the "Don Bosco of today," Fr. Á.F. Artime.

As usual for the entire experience, the young people were divided into two groups: those in the first group had the opportunity to peruse the entire Salesian Motherhouse complex: the Casa Don Bosco House Museum, an authentic treasure trove of Salesian riches; the basilica, with its many chapels and figures of Salesian holiness; and the courtyard, the site of a thousand anecdotes related to the figure of the Saint of Youth and the many characters who populated the first Oratory. Those in the second group, accompanied by Fr. Alejandro Guevara, World Spiritual Animator of the Association of Mary Help of Christians, learned about some of the fundamental places of Don Bosco's Turin experience outside the Salesian citadel, such as the "Rondò della Forca" and the statue dedicated to Fr. Cafasso, confessor of those condemned to death; the Shrine of the Consolata, where Don Bosco used to go to pray; the Church of St. Francis, with its sacristy where Don Bosco met the first boy in the oratory, Bartolomeo Garelli...

At five o'clock in the afternoon, all together again, boys and girls had a chat with the Rector Major, in the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians. The Tenth Successor of Don Bosco answered in a friendly and easygoing tone some of the young people's questions on topics concerning Don Bosco today, the Salesian charism in the world, the Salesian response to the poorest young people (on which he spoke of the need to have "Salesian houses with open doors and affective and effective presences") on synodality (regarding which he spoke of a Church in which everyone has a place); and also on debated topics, such as the role of women in the Church and celibacy in the priesthood; or, again, on being a Christian in today's world, on the good and unpleasant moments of his eight and a half years as Rector Major and on the challenges facing young people today.

Then at 6:30 p.m. began the Mass - also broadcast on social networks - presided by the Rector Major and concelebrated by several other Salesians, including Fr. Miguel Angel García Morcuende, Councilor for Youth Ministry, and Fr. Juan Carlos Pérez Godoy, Councilor for the Mediterranean Region. In front of the entire basilica full of young people, Fr. Á.F. Artime presented the place where they were, explaining that from the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians the Salesian missionaries left from 1875 for all corners of the world, and also illustrated the Lorenzone altarpiece depicting Mary Help of Christians. He then took up the three verbs that guide Campobosco 2022 - "dare," "trust," and "live" - and said, "Dare to face life's challenges and put them in God's hands, for He will give you great peace; trust that God sustains us and live in fullness, being happy with your life project." "Be missionary disciples of the Lord, with the genius of the Salesian charism," was, finally, his consignment.

On Saturday, August 6, then saw the two groups of young people reverse their itineraries of visiting Salesian Turin and Valdocco from those of the previous day. In the afternoon, however, all gathered in the Cathedral of Turin, which houses the Shroud relic, the Campobosco youth participated in the Eucharist presided over by Fr. José Miguel Núñez Moreno, Director of the Salesian Center for Youth Ministry of Spain; who, for his part, exhorted the youth with these words, "Campobosco has put fire within us; we want it to be embodied in audacious young people capable of changing the world, as Don Bosco asked and achieved in his time." And then, with reference to the Shroud, he concluded, "We want to ask God that we too be able to carry his imprint among others, as the Shroud did with Jesus."

With the conclusion of the Sending Mass, the approximately 800 young people who participated in Campobosco 2022 were sent back to their Salesian presences of origin as witnesses of what they experienced during these intense days in Barcelona, Castelnuovo Don Bosco, Mornese, and Turin, bringing with them a renewed faith in Christ Jesus and a new enthusiasm to make themselves available to their peers.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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