Italy - "A stage of reflection and concrete help to the world of youth": International Congress "Youth and Life Choices: Educational Perspectives"

21 September 2018

(ANS - Rome) - It is Pope Francis who translates the request that animates the International Congress "Youth and Life Choices: Educational Perspectives", which opened yesterday, September 20, 2018. In the message sent to participants, the Pope wishes that the event, "starting from the original contribution of the Salesian educational charism, may represent a significant stage of reflection and concrete help for the various problems linked to the world of youth, taking into account the most diverse and profound needs connected to their human and spiritual growth."

To the fore during these three days is the reflection on the original contribution of the Salesian charism, spoken of during the greeting of the Rector Magnificus, Fr Mauro Mantovani, who on the words of the Pontiff, reiterated the urgency "not to lose the train of young people and to feed dreams and their hope." 

Likewise, Sister Pina Del Core, Dean of the Auxilium Faculty of Education Sciences wished to underline the complexity in which young people today find themselves choosing, which inevitably obliges us "to let ourselves be provoked by listening to them, to compare our experiences and help them discover the educational vocation that is in them."

The inaugural conference was held by Msgr. Raúl Biord Castillo, Salesian bishop of La Guaira (Venezuela) who, after retracing the themes and methodology with which the Instrumentum Laboris of the Synod was drawn up, spoke of a "Synod with a Salesian flavor". Mons. Biord Castillo also recalled the great novelty introduced by the Pope in this Synod, which indicated "'young people as an authentic ecclesial subject.' They are carriers of great possibilities, they have not turned away from the Church, but rather the Church has turned away from them. For this reason it is essential to stay among them to ensure that we really accompany them to make great choices in life, in social and in politics."

Today's work is divided into two sessions "In listening to the young" and "In dialogue to discern", and was introduced by the Eucharist presided over by Msgr. Vincenzo Zani. Following were the speeches by prof. Franco Garelli of the University of Turin, prof. Gennaro Cicchese, of the Pontifical Lateran University, and of Professor Laura Nota, of the University of Padua. The conclusion will be entrusted to Msgr. Michele Falabretti, Director of the Youth Ministry Service of the Italian Episcopal Conference.

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