The "face-to-face" is also experienced and lived with oneself, one's own self, to better understand who one is, and what the Lord calls us to. But "face-to-face" is especially between oneself and God, who shows and reveals Himself in prayer lived in and as a community, here on the occasion during the evening rosary in six different languages, in moments of recreation in the courtyard, in shared meals, in the fraternal evenings organized by the novitiates.
On the first day, after an introduction by Fr Francisco Santos, from the Dicastery for Formation, four novices, two from Pinerolo and two from Genzano, spoke of their personal experiences, described how much God's hand had acted providentially upon and throughout their lives.
On the second day, the real "face-to-face" took place; in groups, participants discussed topics such as: vocational journey, motivation, family, life of faith, Salesian charism, community life and difficulties, doubts, uncertainties, fears. After a few minutes, the groups changed, thus offering each prenovice the chance to speak and share with other novices.
Br Jess García, SDB, Economer of the Salesian Central Office, then discussed the theme of the figure of the Salesian Brother of yesterday and today. In the afternoon, the words of Fr Silvio Roggia, from the Dicastery for Formation, initiated the moment of retreat to reflect on what participants received in the morning and saw during the Eucharistic exposition.
The third day was entirely occupied by a visit to Rome: first, as guests of the Salesian community in the Vatican, then on a pilgrimage to some of the most emblematic places of Roman Christianity, finally to the Sacred Heart, where Dr. Renato Cursi, of the Dicastery for Youth Ministry, held a conference on the Youth Synod for them.
Thus the many moments of sharing, the many edifying experiences, days that passed in what seemed the briefest of time: a time of authentic communion.