The work sessions then opened with the presentation of the theme: "The journey of the Congregation and of the Church", which was deepened by Fr Fabio Attard, General Councilor for Youth Ministry. In his speech, Fr Attard recalled the priorities of the 27th General Chapter and referred them to the identity of the Salesians as "servants of the young."
Later, Fr Daniel García, of the same Dicastery, presented the process, the objectives and the methodology of the World Council. "This meeting is the fruit of a process that brings together the experiences of our Provinces and Regions. We recognized the challenges, the answers, the opportunities and the processes that we must activate in the Salesian mission, in the works and in the social services in favor of young people at risk."
The participants then met in linguistic groups, listened and shared the challenges experienced by each one, the opportunities and processes, then produced a summary of the different realities and shared them in the general assembly.
Ms Nele Louauge, from Belgium, emphasized "the richness of Salesian work among young people at risk." While Giovanni d'Andrea pointed out that what struck him most on the first day was "the worldwide sharing of the work of Salesians with the poorest... The hope of being able to serve, as Don Bosco did, the poorest, and the process of achieving this project with greater awareness in all our works."
Fr Juan Carlos Quirarte, from Guadalajara, Mexico, said that in all the Provinces "we have challenges, opportunities and processes to activate and among our Salesians we find the strength to achieve these goals ... It is important to recover our charism of being in the midst of the most needy.”
Fr Thomas Padinjarayil, from Bangalore, India, underscored the importance of this meeting's reflection on working as a network and on the issue of child protection.
"During this day I experienced the richness of a Congregation that is alive in the service of the poorest," Fr García finally concluded, "and I noticed that all over the world there are thousands of Salesians and lay people who dedicate their lives to saving young people."