"The oratory is an educational environment with a strong missionary slant, and open to all boys and young men," say the Salesian Regulations (n° 11).
The educational and evangelizing power of this typical Salesian presence continues to be, today as it did yesterday, a lively and current missionary proposal for European youth. It is an outgoing Oratorian church, that opens up to the local youth world, loving what young people love, so that young people can love the one whom the Salesians love above all else, the Lord Jesus.
This Missionary Day also wants to stimulate all the Provinces of the five continents to take this original presence of Don Bosco to heart, as a fundamental way of meeting with children, adolescents and young people, where in the gratuitousness, freedom, sense of family of a creative ministry, the Salesian educative-pastoral community has the opportunity to approach, accompany, educate and proclaim the Good News of Jesus to those whom the Lord allows to meet.
“Don Bosco lived a pastoral experience in his first Oratory which serves as a model; it was for the youngsters a home that welcomed, a parish that evangelized, a school that prepared them for life and a playground where friends could meet and enjoy themselves. As we carry out our mission today, the Valdocco experience is still the lasting criterion for discernment and renewal in all our activities and works.” (Const. 40)
The launch of SMD 2020 took place on the day of the Epiphany, although to keep the missionary flame of the Congregation alive, it is celebrated around the 11th of November, the date of the First Salesian Missionary Expedition.
"May the Lord grant the Salesians and lay people of the Salesian Family an oratorian-missionary heart for today's young people," concludes the Councilor General for the Missions, Fr Guillermo Basañes.
On the www.sdb.org website it is already possible to view and download the SMD poster in the six most spoken languages in the Congregation. In the coming weeks, additional textual and audio-visual materials will also be made available for the animation of SMD in the various local communities.