Fr. Gabriel Romero visited the pastoral educational community of the Salesian Institute of Valdivia on March 13 and 14. The Regional Councilor met with various entities of the Institute: the students, during the traditional "Salesian Good Morning," the Coordinating Council, the Student Council, the educators, the Parent Council, and the Evangelization Department.
At the end of the visit, Fr. Romero said, "I'm very happy to feel the presence of Don Bosco in this Salesian House, since for seven years there has been no permanent Religious Community to accompany the journey of the Institute."
"I'm grateful for the work, effort and witness of the committed laity who have carried forward the history, legacy and charism of our Holy Founder," he continued. "To see how this joyful seal is deeply rooted in the hearts of parents, students and certainly the new generations, along with educators, is something that fills us with hope in educating to form good Christians and upright citizens."
The Regional Councilor stressed as a strong value the fact that the school has become a free school, "because this brings us back to the origins of the Congregation, which was and always has been to provide free and quality education to vulnerable children and youth. This was Don Bosco's great dream, which he managed to achieve with great faith, hope, prayer and effort, and it is the same energy that I see in all the professionals who today give their best for every student, especially those with special educational needs."
Thus, he concluded, "This house is truly a home that welcomes as students, parents, alumni and families feel part of the Educational-Pastoral Community of the Institute. It is a beautiful thing!"
On March 15, Fr. Gabriel Romero met with several members of the UCSH community to explore five key themes: the formation of people, contribution to knowledge, identity, ties to the environment and sustainability.
"It was a very nice opportunity to get to know the reality of the Salesian University here in Chile, to be able to connect and compare with other university institutions of the Congregation. I thought it was a nice atmosphere because it is influenced by the whole social context of the country, by the student inclusion law that allowed us to welcome other students, other families...," Father Romero said in the circumstance.
The Regional Counselor highlighted the development of UCSH, which in recent years has opened up at the level of research with the Institutes and Schools; the growth of the Pastoral Care and its role in linking and accompanying students; the work of the Department of Student Affairs and its ability to accommodate and manage the situations and needs that arise based on the experience of young people at the socio-emotional, intellectual and learning levels.
Father Romero evaluated all these meetings positively because they allowed him to know the reality of the situation and visualize the challenges for the future. "I perceive as an opportunity to give continuity to these new processes that have been started and that have a lot of potential, such as research, student support, the possibilities we have on the Lo Cañas Campus - with all the prospects for growth that can be offered from there - the academic quality, which I felt was good... I think there is a good core of professors and I feel that the students feel part of this institution. The challenge is to continue to grow," he concluded.