More than 80 animators from various Salesian centers in Montevideo and Las Piedras, along with other Catholic education centers in Montevideo, participated in training workshops on: animation and leisure time, prayer and celebrations, church outreach, first aid, accompaniment, preparation and creation of events, and New Salesian Courtyards.
In the Salesian tradition, the courtyard is the designated place for meeting with young people, a space where children can share their lives and their concerns with an educator who is at their level, shows them that he or she loves what they love, and where there are also proposals that significant for and to life.
At the time of the oratory of Valdocco, in Turin, there was no Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram or Snapchat. Today, in the 21st century, social networks are part of the daily lives of young people, environments where relationships are forged and meetings are encouraged. It is in this context that the Salesian courtyard expands to fill a new space and also be a digital courtyard.
"When an educator and a young person share a friendship in a profile, they are bringing together a part of their lives that flows through these networks ... It generates a challenge in the way of being, of establishing that relationship, of maintaining the family spirit and that fondness that leads to appreciating others and creating a climate of trust”, explains Mr. Massimelli. “The challenge is to find ways, means and proposals to invite young people to join in to pursue a path that is a real breath of life, the fresh air of God, the presence of the Spirit in their lives."
For animators, educators, priests, nuns, the challenge of responding to this new reality in the best possible way remains, so that meetings on social networks are but a prolongation of the school's courtyard. How would Don Bosco use Snapchat, which story would he show on Instagram?