"The course," the organizers explain, "is not only for 'missionaries' but for all those who animate the missionary apostolate: this is because the missionary spirit is not given only to some special confreres; in fact, it brings life and involves the whole province. We believe that the renewal of our consecrated life and vocations in our Provinces depend on the missionary spirit."
This year the course also pays special attention to the Mission as communication, and - because of the Synod of Bishops on 'Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment' - on missions aimed specifically at young people.
Formation activities, held by teachers from UPS and other international universities, largely take place at UPS facilities, but two trips are also foreseen: a one-week pilgrimage to Turin and the Holy Salesian Places; and another to the Holy Land, in the holy places of Jesus.
Through the course, participants, whether Salesians with missionary experiences, or simply engaged in Provincial ministry missions, will be able to experience a personal path of Salesian growth, deepen the full sense of the Christian message, and acquire new elements to revitalize their missionary zeal and animation. To this end, each participant takes part in talks, lessons, moments of sharing experiences, meetings with groups and associations, reflections, prayer experiences, visits, travels ...
Those in the past who have benefited from this course testify to its effectiveness. The Salesian Coadjutor Jomar Castillo, originally from the Philippines, now in service in Manicoré, Amazonia, in the Province of Brazil-Manaus, says, "The course has complemented the orientation for new missionaries. Moreover, it widened and deepened my understanding of a mission, and is currently helping me cope with many of the challenges and demands in my first missionary experiences. The interaction with long-time or experienced missionaries has helped me deepen my motivation, learn from their experiences, and affirmed more the centrality of God in the mission."