Over 125 Spanish Salesian pastoral agents, including religious and lay people, took part in the national congress of Salesian parishes. Among them: Fr Cristóbal López, Provincial of the "Spain-Mary Help of Christians" Province; Fr Juan Carlos Pérez Godoy, Provincial of the "Spain-St James Major" Province; Fr Stefano Martoglio, Councilor for the Salesian Mediterranean region, presided over the concluding Eucharist.
During the three days of the congress, topics such as formation, reception, expanding to inner cities or peripheral areas, and the shared mission between religious and lay people were addressed, within the framework of today's ecclesial reflection, between the Synods on the Family and the next Synod on Youth.
In the first report, Fr Antonio Jiménez presented the parish mission in a social context of profound changes, emphasizing the coherence the parish community must show between the religious and the ethical. The speaker underlined how it was necessary to personalize the transmission of faith and, in the case of children and young people, that the evangelizing proposal went beyond the mere offering of a good environment.
For his part, Fr Jesús Rojano offered some clues in the light of Pope Francis' Apostolic Exhortation "Evangelii Gaudium." He spoke of a Salesian parish close to people, one that is outreaching and in missionary conversion, centered on the Gospel of Jesus. He also stressed that it should be capable of welcoming and listening to young people, especially the most disadvantaged, through education to the faith and personal attention.
Finally, Fr Miguel Ángel Calavia clarified how the Preventive System can be applied to the activities of the Salesian parish, making sure that the parish pastoral project took into account the sociocultural and religious reality of the area and, specifically, young people and their world.
The Church in Spain has entrusted the Salesian Congregation with 65 parishes. Of these, 52 are urban parishes and 13 rural parishes; 34 parishes are connected to a school, 25 to a social project and 42 have a youth center.