RMG – On the way to the Salesian Synod of Young People

03 June 2024

(ANS – Rome) – On the occasion of the Bicentenary of Don Bosco's Childhood Dream, the Salesian Youth Ministry Sector has convened young people from all over the Salesian world for a meeting, to be held from 11 to 16 August in Valdocco, Turin and at Colle Don Bosco. It is not a simple meeting of young people: it is rather a process that has already begun for some time in the Provinces, in which young people have been invited to walk together, listening, speaking and praying with the aim of discerning their future and that of the Church together. It is about listening to each other, learning from each other and projecting the Gospel onto the situations they are discovering in their lives.

The methodology of the Salesian Synod of Youth is all designed to give value to the active role of young people, not adult educators. "We want them to be active in social transformation, and witnesses of the mercy of Jesus and the Father" explained Fr Miguel Angel García Morcuende, General Councillor for Salesian Youth Ministry.

As Pope Francis says, "Although it is never easy to approach young people, two things have become increasingly evident: the realization that the entire community has to be involved in evangelizing them, and the urgent requirement that young people take on a greater role in pastoral outreach" (Christus Vivit, 202).

"The Salesians and the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians are called to walk with young people, to grow together in fidelity to the proposal of life that the Gospel puts forward" said Fr García Morcuende. "More than theories or knowledge, young people seek life experiences, they need to act. It is necessary to give them the opportunity at the Synod to commit themselves in faith to concrete initiatives of service to others, especially the weakest. No one like them will be able to offer a living testimony of the meaning that the Gospel has for the sensitivity, concerns and problems of today's young people."

To better organise the structure and activities of the Synod, as well as the procedures of the various assemblies, a Core Group – the Secretariat of the Synod – composed of 14 young people was established.

The Salesian Synod of Young People will be attended by 373 people; 293 are young people (including members of the Core Group and 22 pre-novices), who have the right to vote in the Assembly.

Other participants in the Synod, without the right to vote, are the Rector Major, Cardinal Ángel Fernández Artime; 41 other Salesians (representatives of the Regions, responsible for content and performances, logistics, social communication, translators and organisational staff); 18 Daughters of Mary Help of Christians; 15 musicians and 5 lay members of the technical staff.

In the development of the synodal debate, Minors Groups are being formed on a linguistic basis. Each young person will participate in the Club according to the language they know best (Spanish, Portuguese, French, English, Italian) and each individual Group will look at the entire Instrumentum Laboris (Work Instrument), divided into three parts.

The purpose of these Minor Groups is to give young people the opportunity to express their opinions and to compare them, so that in the end there is an indication of which opinions there is consensus or dissent on. In each group, the Moderator will lead the discussion and the Rapporteur will summarise the opinions expressed.

The  Instrumentum laboris, which will serve as a basis and reference point during the synodal discussion, has already been drafted. This "working document" is the result of the suggestions and observations of young people from the various Provinces.

The Synod will be attended by people from 83 countries – 187 women and 185 men. The most widely spoken languages are English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and French. Then, in order, Polish, Hindi, German and Arabic. Finally, there are participants who speak Cantonese, Croatian, Mandarin, Korean, Tamil, Amharic, Belarusian, Dutch, Swahili, Konkan, Marathi, Slovenian, Telugu, Thai, Filipino, Croatian, Hungarian, Albanian, Lingala, Nepali, Bengali, Sinhala, Urdu and Creole.

"Personal preparation through prayer is very important" the General Councilor for Youth Ministry says. "We want to do this accompanied by four spiritual attitudes: a strong sense of belonging to the Church and the Salesian Family; with gratitude for the gift of the Salesian charism; allowing ourselves to be challenged by the concrete situation of Salesian houses, young people and the world today; and thinking about the future, open and confident in the action of the Lord, aware that it is He who guides and supports us."


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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