A first objective of the meeting was to gather the essential guidelines that emerged from the International Congress "Youth and Family Ministry" (Madrid, 27 November-1 December 2017), promoted by the Salesian Youth Ministry Dicastery. At the Congress, celebrated amidst the two Synods of the Bishops on the Family, the promulgation of the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia of Pope Francis, and the Synod of Bishops on "Youth, faith and vocational discernment", about 300 delegates came together from the Salesian Provinces of the whole world.
In addition to evaluating the Congress and sharing current challenges in the sector, members of the International Commission were asked to draw up a proposal that could help the Youth Ministry Dicastery to plan pastoral initiatives for the near future.
Specifically, the participants offered ideas and suggestions for the preparation of a document on Salesian Youth and Family Ministry which can offer motivations and criteria for discernment for the reflection and future actions of pastoral operators.
The themes at the heart of the Commission's reflection took inspiration from some central chapters of the Salesian Youth Ministry Framework of Reference, the third edition of which was published in 2014. By alternating group and assembly sessions, international experts studied how the family questions Salesian charism, the mission and history; asked themselves how the Salesian "family spirit" dialogues with the Preventive System and the Pastoral Educational Community; and how Salesian educational planning for pastoral care can be or become a true family experience.
At the end of the meeting, a Drafting Group was formed which, starting from the ideas gathered during the meeting of the Commission, shall work on a document on "Salesian Youth Ministry and Family" that could represent a support for pastoral workers in the Provinces, a tool to integrate with the most recent Magisterium of the Church in this field and to enrich the patrimony of the Congregation's own ideas and thoughts - not only, but also - in view of a future edition of the Framework of Salesian Youth Ministry.