Spain – Formation of Salesians in digital world: theme for reflection for Provincial Delegates for Communication and Formation of Mediterranean/Central and Northern European Regions

28 October 2022

(ANS - Barcelona) - From October 24-29, the Salesian house of Martí Codolar, in Barcelona, will host the meeting of the Delegates for Formation and Delegates for Social Communication of the Salesian Provinces of the Mediterranean and Central and Northern European Regions. Coordinated by their respective General Councilors, Fr. Ivo Coelho, for Formation, and Fr. Gildasio Mendes, for Social Communication, the 60 or so participants are reflecting on the challenges of digital culture in the formation and educational-pastoral action of the Salesians.

Work began on Tuesday 25 with the Delegates for Social Communication. "I’m very happy to hold this meeting after two and a half years in which we have not been able to see each other in person," shared Fr. Mendes in the opening of his welcoming address, wherein he also recalled the work done during the pandemic and the "behind the screens" coordination to highlight the strength of teamwork. "You are doing an excellent job in your Provinces and you have all the support of the Congregation," he added, emphasizing the experience of qualified work carried out by the Delegates around the world. "You are messengers of the experience of Don Bosco the communicator in our time," he added further, illustrating the significance of a meeting that, for the Communication Sector, will be a prelude to the World Consultation to be held in Lisbon from Oct. 29 to 1 November.

The dynamics of the work revolved around three axes: getting to know each other, sharing and having a fraternal experience of deepening, and formation. The days were divided into two distinct moments: formation sessions in the morning and visits to Salesian sites in the afternoon. The topics: the review and update of the Instrumentum Laboris, the program of the Communication Sector 2020-2026, proposals for the Bicentennial celebration of the "9 Year Dream," the International Communication Congress of 2024, and the presentation of the Global Educational Pact. At the same time, issues specific to each province were also addressed, such as learning about the various communication contexts, the communication plan and baselines, and opportunities to improve the coordination of communication at the European level, with ANS, and with the Congregation’s central structures.

During this time, the participants also have the opportunity to visit the main places in Salesian Barcelona, such as the Edebé publishing house and the centers of Can Prats, Sarrià, the "EUSS" university school, Tibidabo and Martí Codolar.

The Delegates for Formation began their work sessions on Wednesday, 26, discussing the renewal process of the Ratio Fundamentalis as a Salesian formation manual, the "School of Accompaniment," the Congress on St. Francis de Sales in 2023, and on the directions for the elaboration of the Provincial Formation Project. During the different sessions, the formation of formators and the specific formation of Salesian coadjutors, among others, were also reflected upon.

Thursday's was a joint working session in which they started from a Salesian proposal for formation in a digital world, based on the interventions of both councilors. Fr. Coelho focused his reflection on educational ethics and pastoral aesthetics. "The Salesian is called to imitate our father and founder and to be ready to listen and respond to the signs of the times. Hence, we are invited to see God in the digital space of the human phenomenon as part of our Salesian spirituality," he explained.

During his talk, he reviewed several questions to which answers were provided, focusing on how to live in the digitized world or how to respond to the Salesian vocation in this world: "We must not forget the public consequences of our digital footprint. A professed Salesian confrere is not a private user of the web, even if he masquerades behind a digital avatar. We are all called to be authentic, transparent, and prudent. Our identity and image matter a lot because we are not just individuals, but individuals belonging to an institution and ambassadors of God's love. But sometimes it is not a matter of will. When there is dependence, another kind of attention is needed," he added.

The meeting concludes on the morning of Saturday 29. A joint visit to the Sagrada Familia, a Catholic basilica designed by architect Antoni Gaudí, the greatest exponent of modernist architecture, is scheduled for the afternoon of today, Friday, Oct. 28.


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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