Italy – Hope, faith and charity: the theological virtues at the centre of the Salesian Youth Movement Pastoral Proposal for the three-year period 2024/2027

19 April 2024

(ANS – Rome) – Hope, faith and charity: the theological virtues, in this order, are the heart of the pastoral proposal for the three-year period 2024/2027 for the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM). After the three-year period that is about to end, the SYM wants to remain close to young people, continuing to grow together as Salesian Italy. In the process that led to the drafting of this document, it was essential to share discernment with Salesians, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Salesian Cooperators and the associations promoted and co-promoted by the national centres, in particular the Sociocultural Youth Cinecircles (CGS) and Youth and Social Tourism (TGS).

The general path of the three-year period is organised according to the three theological virtues: hope, faith and charity. Three documents will be important to keep in the background: Spe Salvi by Benedict XVI, Lumen Fidei by Francis, Deus Caritas Est by Benedict XVI. Alongside this magisterial background, a biblical icon and possible ideas at the ecclesial level will then be taken up every year.

Then there are five specific points of attention which will resonate throughout the three-year period, and which will be dissected in the three workbooks, based on the virtue of the corresponding year. Therefore, the same five needs will be taken up every year, but with different registers:

1. First evangelisation;

2. Attention to the least;

3. Personal, group and environmental accompaniment;

4. Shared responsibility in educative and pastoral work;

5. Unification of life.

Starting from the central theme of the 2025 Jubilee "Pilgrims of hope", the virtue chosen to accompany the first year is hope. The themes and contents of the first pastoral proposal are:

- The invitation to prepare for and live the Jubilee of Hope of 2025 in the best possible way, keeping the same biblical reference text (Lk 4:16 -20);

- The introduction to the missionary spirit that has characterised Don Bosco's apostolic experience since its origins.

Hence the title of the proposal: "Waiting for Your Love".

Pastoral Proposal 2024/25 consists of a total of four interconnected elements:

1) Workbook: it is to be understood not as a practical aid for ready use, but as a tool for ecclesial, biblical and charismatic inspiration on the chosen themes;

2) QRcode materials: a space will be provided that is a sort of archive of material that will gradually be made available as a useful tool for the design and construction of provincial, territorial and local routes. These will mainly be references to in-depth pages from the website of the Note di Pastorale Giovanile (NPG) magazine:

A. Significant texts of magisterial or Salesian documents;

B. Thematic bibliography for further study;

3) Special issue of NPG: this aims to be on the one hand a deepening of some themes of the pastoral year, and on the other a proposal for the concretisation of the working method locally, punctuated by the three already experienced moments of recognising, interpreting, choosing. Thus, if the Workbook offers inspiration, the special issue of NPG may offer a methodology;

4) Finally, the formation aid for the communities of the Salesians of Don Bosco and the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians: this is the instrument that takes up the pastoral proposal for the spiritual journey of the Salesian communities and of some groups of the Salesian Family.

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