In his presentation, Fr. Fabio Attard addressed the delegates by saying youth ministry is a heritage that we have received from Don Bosco. We need to go back to the preventive system and see how we could accompany the young towards Christ. He also said that we have to live our vocation in our cultures. In other words, the message of Jesus has to meet our cultures. There are many young people in our society who need to be accompanied but the question that lingers in us all is whether or not we are available to listen to them and accompany them.
The provincials also had one full session to reflect together and see the challenges that they find in the provinces in relation to the reflections shared these past four days.
In his concluding words the Rector Major thanked the CIVAM members for their fraternal welcome and genuine sharing in the team visit. He specially thanked the province of Eastern Africa for all the logistical work done for this visit. ‘The region is growing in fraternity,’ he said. ‘Despite the diversity in cultures, the spirit of fraternity in the region is remarkable,’ he added.
Though the challenge of redesigning the area is an uphill task, this does not just mean closing presences, but also opening new ones. He gently told members that provincials need to be prudently courageous in deciding on which missions to close and which ones to be left opened. Of course he also insisted once again on the Salesian identity of our consecrated calling which he called, ‘the beautiful Salesian identity.’ We have a challenge to seek ways to make the face of Don Bosco more and more present throughout the region. If we want to be credible we just cannot be carrying out our apostolate out of mere response to emergency situations. We need to reflect deeply to see what it means to give and bring the image of Don Bosco in the province.
He promised the CIVAM members his closeness in the animation of the provinces and that he and his council will always keep the region of Africa-Madagascar at his heart.