Albania – Joint formation experience for Salesians in five-year term

20 October 2022

(ANS - Tirana) -  From October 18 to 23, twenty-two Salesians in the phase of the quinquennium, belonging to the Southern Italy Province (IME) and the Central Italy Circumscription (ICC), with their respective Provincials and Provincial Vicars, are living a joint formation experience in Albania and Kosovo, visiting the Salesian communities present in those lands: Pristina, Gjlan, Shkodra and Tirana, where they meet with confreres, lay people and young people.

The objective of the meeting is to observe and review the Salesian presence in a religious and social context with an Islamic majority, to see how the Salesians work in education and what style of evangelization they carry out, to learn about the history of communist persecution, the vitality of the Christian community and the challenges it faces.

Extremely interesting were the meetings with several neophytes in Kosovo, who described the reasons for their conversion, the joy of being baptized in adulthood, the richness of Christian life in a territory with a Muslim majority.

Truly challenging, too, the visit to the community of Gjilan where four Salesians work in a school with 350 students and the Catholics in the whole town being only 18 in number. The Rector, Fr. Bledar Huba, told us about the work of education and heroic testimony that the Salesians offer to young people. In the face of an initial prejudice of going to school at and with "those with the cross," initial misgivings are overcome through closeness, serious teaching, affection, and presence among the children.

"We noticed a nice relational atmosphere between the Salesians and the youngsters, and the joy of our presence among them was evident in their eyes and in approaching us Salesians who came from another country," commented Fr. Francesco Marcoccio, ICC Vicar.

Now the Salesian team proceeds its journey to Shkodra, where, in addition to the visit to the Salesian community, they are scheduled to meet with and hear several Christians who experienced persecution during the communist regime of Enver Hoxha.

The atmosphere of joy and fraternity, the spiritual depth in the celebrations and sharing, and the beauty of the realities visited are making this experience of the Salesian coadjutors and priests of the quinquennium unique and formative.


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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