Salesian Provincials also took part: Fr Justiniano Flores, Bolivia; Fr Natale Vitali, Belo Horizonte, Brazil; Fr Carlo Lira, Chile; Fr John Jairo Gómez Rúa, Bogotá, Colombia; Fr Francisco Sánchez, Ecuador; and Fr Ricardo Carlos, Campo Grande, Brazil.
The event’s opening Eucharist was presided over by Fr Natale Vitali. The celebration preceded the opening ceremony of the conference, which featured a presentation by the Director of Innovation and Networks of the Brazilian Union of Higher Education Providers, Fabio Reis. The challenges of Salesian higher education were highlighted by dwelling on the topics "Context of Uncertainty, Public Policy, and the Value of Higher Education," "Cooperate, Cooperate, and Cooperate," and "How is your academic model thought out?" After the presentation, participants were introduced to the facilities of UniSales.
For IUS General Coordinator Fr Oscar Lozano, the Continental Conference of the IUSs of America is the context in which "the IUSs of this continent read and adapt their reality to the policies, program, and guidelines issued by the VIII World Assembly of IUSs, which was held in Rome in January 2022. The event is crucial because it outlines the guidelines for the implementation of Salesian Presence policies for the period 2022-2026."
"Responding to the different challenges facing our Institutions, continuing the processes already started in previous years, accompanying people and educational-pastoral communities, and devising new projects for their growth, are the main objectives of this Conference," continued Fr Lozano. "We encourage and accompany this work to maintain the thread that unites the Network around the world and pushes it to walk together, respecting processes and contexts, to continue moving forward with the same evangelical and charismatic horizon: the Salesian one."
"We are convinced," he added, "that we must continue to bring to our peoples and nations and the Church the Christian richness and proclamation of salvation for all, especially for young people," concluded Fr Oscar Lozano.