Philippines - “Where are our Salesians in the Digital Courtyard?

09 January 2018

(ANS - Manila) – Faced with today's reality, modernity, Salesians all over the world try to be present among the young people in the "digital courtyard". But how to be present in an ambivalent place, where pornography and the Gospel both find space? Thus, the summary of the reflection Fr Armand Robleza, from the Province of the Philippines North (FIN), shared in Manila during a meeting with his Salesian coadjutor brothers.

The reflection is inspired by Don Bosco's famous question in his Letter from Rome dated 10 May 1884: "... Where are our Salesians?" The same question, updated, corresponds to today's young people, and aims to promote a realistic pastoral attitude and contemplates a profound vision of the cultural trends typical of our societies.

More specifically, three features of today's youth cultures must be taken into consideration, features each and every Salesian faces today: dealing with a world of contradictions, a world of disconnections and a world of rights.

This new reality is at ease with diversity, a diversity destined to persist: people get along, despite being different in terms of age, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, social status, beliefs... Of course, this means people are ever more tolerant, which the Salesians themselves need to cultivate.

In today's world – continues Fr Robleza – a world wherein God's plan unfolds before technology that has overwhelmingly taken hold of our lives, there is still a great need for the physical presence of the other, and to witness the truth, values. This determines the need for credible prophets, such as Don Bosco and his Salesians.

Because contradictions and disconnections also express a deep-felt search for integrity and honesty. In fact, in the extremely fast times of current societies, always looking for simple and economic solutions, the answer is to spend more time in relationships, cultivating ties to other people, and with God. Contemplation is the way forward, Fr Robleza suggests.

At the end of the reflection we are invited to become "destructive agents", prophets of a counter-cultural message in the wild nature of young people who live immersed in technology. Young people expect the Salesians to be tolerant, authentic and courageous. The necessary culture of the (personal) meeting can, in this way, be promoted.

The full text of the reflection is available.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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