America – Preventive system in harmony with global educational pact

15 November 2022

(ANS) - On Nov. 10 and 11, about 1,500 educators from the American continent participated in the webinar organized by the Salesian School of America (ESA, in Spanish) with the collaboration of the Chilean provincial communication team. This formative moment took place in the 4 languages spoken on the continent - Spanish, Portuguese, English, French - and reflected on the charismatic legacy of the Preventive System in harmony with the Global Compact on Education advocated by Pope Francis.

The meeting included brief opening greetings from Fr. Miguel Ángel García, General Councilor for Salesian Youth Ministry, Sr. Runita Borja, General Councilor for Youth Ministry of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA), FMA Mother General, Mother Chiara Cazzuola, and Fr. Gabriel Romero, Regional Councilor for South Cone America. It then continued with two significant presentations by Sr. Yvonne Rengouat, Mother General Emerita of the FMA, and Fr. Fabio Attard, SDB, Head of Formation of Salesians and Laity in Europe.

In her presentation, Mother Rengouat elaborated on the seven pillars of the Global Educational Pact and the three fundamental principles of the Preventive System, also quoting the Pope's words in his address to the World Congress on "Educating Today and Tomorrow. A Passion Renewed" (Nov. 15), where the Holy Father refers to the fact that “The greatest crisis in education, in order that it be [truly, authentically] Christian, is this closure to transcendence. We need to prepare hearts, that the Lord might manifest Himself… but in totality; that is, in the totality of humanity, which also has this dimension of transcendence. Educate humanly, but with open horizons.”

Thus, after underscoring the many convergences between the Preventive System and the Global Educational Pact, in her conclusions, Mother Reungoat said, "The Preventive System has as its fundamental objective the integral education of young people, starting from the family and in an educational environment of closeness and trust, where young people feel loved and accepted. His motto: 'Good Christians and upright citizens' implies fundamental aspects also contemplated in Pope Francis' Educational Compact."  

Fr. Attard presented an overview of the Global Compact on Education, taking up its objectives and challenges, to offer several specific proposals in this process of attuning to the Preventive System. From here he launched some options, such as putting the person at the center, investing in creativity and responsibility, forming people willing to make themselves available... To then develop an incisive section on the Preventive System, in which he emphasized, "The organic unity that Pope Francis indicates to us reflects the same organic unity that the three pillars of the Preventive System have among themselves (...) Pope Francis' call, in short, is a call to adults to assume and propose transcendence. It is a proposal that is not communicated simply as content, but above all as a testimony shared with young people: 'We cannot hide from the new generations the truths that give meaning to life.'"

Fr. Attard concluded his presentation by recalling a thought of the late Professor Fr. Carlo Nanni, SDB: "If the preventive system is an idea and a soul, it is also a story. Today and always it requires inventiveness and creativity so that it can be updated and adapted to times, places, cultures, and concrete situations. It is entrusted to educators, as individuals, as groups, as communities, and as educational movements: it must be dreamed, planned, fulfilled: with a sense of measure and limit (...) It requires reflection, study, preparation, competence, asceticism, a sense of community, discussion, abandonment of one's own narcissism (...) For every educator who wants to implement the preventive system, it is necessary to make what Don Bosco said about himself his own: ‘For you I study, for you I work, for you I am ready even to give my life.’ But, day by day, we must also seek what Jesus said to his disciples: 'For them I consecrate myself.'"

During the webinar, several good pedagogical-related practices implemented in some countries on the American continent were also shared, which can be replicated in different contexts.

The texts used during the webinar are available at the bottom of the page.

The webinar sessions, each lasting an hour and a half, remain viewable here:






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