The young Salesian missionaries on this adventure of Project Europe lived this experience in a concrete way by traveling the "Camino de Santiago" together.
Between 11 and 18 February, young Salesians from India, Vietnam, East Timor, Indonesia, Peru, Poland, Congo, Zambia, Nigeria and Guatemala, all sent as missionaries to France, Belgium, in Holland, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Hungary, Kosovo, Austria, Bulgaria and Italy, got together and began their pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Provincial supervisors and a team of the Dicastery for Missions were also present.
"The journey has been a paradigm on the mission in Europe," said Fr Martin Lasarte of the Missions Dicastery. "It was not easy in February to face the cold, the wind, the snow and even the constant rainfall in a verdant Galicia. Just as the evangelizing path is not easy in the cold winds of European secularism. But the experience of walking together offered a glance of hope towards the goal we reached, helped create communities among the 38 participants, gave strength and matured the participants in their Salesian and missionary choices."
"The apostle St. James the Greater, one of the Lord's favorite, helped us strengthen our vocations as disciples-missionaries, purify our motivations and manifest our dispositions even to martyrdom in his 'Name', as he lived and testified," concluded Fr Lasarte.
The permanent formation meeting with the young missionaries in Europe is held every two years. In these meetings the progress made is evaluated and the challenges analyzed. The journey that the Salesian Congregation is making in various European countries is truly bearing fruits of life and hope.
"I, Bishop of Rome and pastor of the Universal Church, cry out with love to you, ancient Europe: find yourself again!" These are the words that St. John Paul II pronounced in Santiago de Compostela and which today are inscribed at the sepulcher of the apostle.