Italy - "Dreams in pastoral care do not live forever: either they touch the ground and become projects, or they stay in the sky and become illusions": Fr. García Morcuende at ISI Provincial Assembly for start of pastoral year

31 August 2022

(ANS - Catania) - The new pastoral year began in the Salesian Province of Sicily (ISI) August 28-30. The first two days were animated by Fr. Miguel Angel García Morcuende, General Councilor for Youth Ministry. Also present were Rectors, Parish Priests, Oratory Charges, Pastoral Animators, lay people and youth. The presence of Salesians and lay people was essential because these days signify the start of a formative journey that will see them committed together for the coming years. 

The themes expounded by Fr. García Morcuende and the reflection shared by all focused, first, on educational-pastoral planning and, afterwards, on some operational indications to accompany the process of elaboration of the local Salesian Pastoral Educational Plan (PEPS), a tool for orientation and guidance, growth and support in the fireplace of the Pastoral Educational Community (CEP).

The days helped in understanding the need for educational-pastoral planning, overcoming mistrust, recognizing some of the benefits, and acquiring the essential tools for the concrete drafting of a plan. Fr. García Morcuende made a warm invitation to cultivate the project mentality, that is, the ability to think and design Salesian youth ministry. He insisted on the urgency of this mentality for several reasons: to avoid improvisation, fragmentariness and episodicity; to have precise, concrete, targeted, verifiable objectives; to understand where we are starting from and the goals to which we must tend and achieve; to identify itineraries that respect gradualness with young people; and to offer paths that in an integral way foster the growth of the people who form part of the Salesian presence.

The method of pastoral planning must have some basic attentions: to involve the whole CEP in a style of communion and co-responsibility; to propose attitudes of listening, confrontation and discernment; to be docile to the creativity of the Spirit by learning to translate the common thought into the concreteness of the life of every Salesian presence. Dreams in pastoral ministry do not live forever: either they touch the ground and become projects, or they stay in the sky and become illusions.

The drafting of the local PEPS is an important and significant fulfillment because, albeit in an essential and synthetic way, it describes not only the foundation of the community life of a concrete CEP, but also its historical contextualization, the current situation, and the choices and perspectives toward which to strive. Thus, it is a kind of "moving" snapshot of CEPs.

After the presentation moment, the meeting continued with the working group moment of each house.

In addition to these themes, there was a presentation of the joint SDB and Laity formation course and the Provincial Organic Project. There was reflection on the proposed accompaniment of the CEP Councils and some issues regarding the life of the communities, which were addressed in the meeting between the Rectors and the Provincial and with his Council.


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