Opening the seminar - coordinated by Sister Maike Loes, FMA, and Fr Gianni Rolandi, SDB - were the Provincial FMA and the SDB Provincial of Portugal, Sr. Rosa Candida Gomez and Fr. Jose Aníbal Mendonça, who welcomed with a reminder of the presence of Mary on that sacred land.
Sr. Alaíde Deretti, General Councilor for the Missions of the FMA, and Fr Guglielmo Basañes, her counterpart for the SDB Missions, then presented the path so far taken by the two congregations in the context of the Initial Proclamation and what has been shared and produced in previous seminars.
Speaking next were Sr. Runita Borja, FMA General Councilor for Youth Ministry, who concluded the opening remarks, and brought the word of Mother General to the participants, followed by Sr. Paola Battagliola, Visiting Councilor, whose missionary experience is accompanying the days of study and talks.
The moments of sharing the experiences of the Initial Proclamation in the various contexts were very significant and meaningful, highlighting a common feature: the conviction that the Initial Proclamation is a way of life. The care and pedagogy of the environment in the spirit of the family and of welcoming, behaviour and attitudes so dear to Don Bosco and Maria Domenica Mazzarello, are fundamental instruments for the Initial Proclamation and help ensure that young people who attend the realities of the Salesian Family can and do experience the Lord Jesus.
Each of the days are marked by community prayer and the spirituality proper to the Marian shrine. The speakers in turn propose working guidelines that then take shape in workshops to reflect and share the First Announcement in various areas of activity of the Salesian Family: schools, oratories, universities, social communication, reception centers for migrants.
The working days conclude with the Eucharist and the traditional "Good night" for what are, indeed, intense days of spirituality, of sharing experiences, of study and reflection, of fraternity and friendship.