Argentina – Team Visit to America Southern Cone Region concludes. From reflection to action toward poorest young people

27 March 2023

(ANS - Pilar) - The Team Visit to the Salesian Region of America Southern Cone concluded on Friday, March 24, at the retreat house "El Cenáculo-La Montonera," led by the Rector Major, Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, with the participation of his Vicar, Fr. Stefano Martoglio, Sector Councilors (Formation, Youth Ministry, Social Communication, Missions, and Economy), Regional Councilor, Fr. Gabriel Romero, and the Councils of the Provinces of Don Bosco Salesians in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

Opened, as always, by the communal recitation of Lauds, the day's first session included the greeting of Fr. Mario Villalba, Provincial of Paraguay, who acted as moderator of the day. In his speech, he thanked the host province of South Argentina for its hospitality and for the gift to the participants of two books on St. Artemide Zatti, published by "Ediciones Don Bosco Argentina" (EDBA): Artémides Zatti. A Dios hay que darle lo mejor, by Fr. Néstor Zubeldía, and Creí. Prometí. Sané, by Fr. Eduardo Meana Laporte.

Father Gildasio Mendes, General Councilor for Social Communication, then offered the "good morning" thought. His talk focused on consecrated identity and presence in virtual courtyards; he also spoke about dreaming as the art of communication, relating this to Don Bosco's 9-year dream and the vision he had at the end of his life in the one Mass he celebrated in the Church of the Sacred Heart in Rome. Finally, regarding new forms of communication, Fr. Mendes said, "The challenges of communication are knowing how to listen, knowing how to discern, and being able to dialogue."

This was followed by the work of the groups inherent to the previous day's presentations - on Missionary Animation, Salesian Family, Salesian Youth Ministry, and Vocational Animation. Afterward, the Rector Major had the opportunity to speak about some specific situations in the Congregation. In this regard, he spoke, for example, about the Salesian presence in Nicaragua, which, despite the complex situation the country is going through, remains firmly in place and carries on its work in its houses.

The moderator then gave the floor to the secretaries of each group to present their responses in the plenary assembly.

The first afternoon session began with a talk by Fr. Stefano Martoglio, Vicar of the Rector Major, who emphasized the theme of interprovincial collaboration with the Generalate. He also thanked everyone for the spirit of collaboration and institution-building in the face of so many forms of synergy and requests coming to the Generalate through his office. Then, he insisted on three aspects:

- The establishment of the Generalate, in the key of sobriety, which offers a service to the entire Congregation through the availability of so many Salesians who work there for a period of 3 to 6 years. He reiterated, in this sense, the importance of the participation of all regions, a factor that brings the richness of each place and culture into the community of the Generalate.

- The great Salesian places and other services carried out by the Generalate for the Holy See.

- Finally, he highlighted the service of the Salesian Pontifical University (UPS) in Rome for teachers, students, and proposals for all the Provinces in the Region and the world.

It was then the turn of Fr. Romero who, as Regional Councilor, introduced the subsequent work by Provinces, in which each Provincial Council shared certainties, dreams, and challenges of their ministry, in the light of the objective of the Team Visit: "To probe the theme of our identity as consecrated persons (fraternal life, prayer, mission) in the new contexts of consecrated life in Latin America and before the challenges of shared mission with the laity."

At the end of the afternoon, in the fourth and final session of the day and the Team Visit, the Rector Major presented the General Council's evaluations and suggestions to be shared and discussed at the regional level. This was the occasion when Fr. Á.F. Artime, among other things, noted, "As Salesians, our mission is for the poorest young people."

The day ended with the closing Mass of the Team Visit.


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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