Having landed in Catania at mid-morning, Fr Á.F. Artime was received at the "San Tommaso" of Messina around noon, greeted with enthusiasm by his brothers, by students and by the auxiliary staff of the Institute. After a fraternal agape, also attended by the auxiliary bishop of Messina, mgr. Cesare Di Pietro, and from various Superiors of the Salesian Provinces and Vice Provinces, the Rector Major experienced a first moment of sharing and talks with the representatives of the Salesian Family of Sicily, which he defined as a stable and significant reality.
At 4.30 pm, in the institute's “Don Conti Grand Hall”, the solemn Academic Prolongation began, with the greetings of the Provincial of Sicily, Fr Giuseppe Ruta, of Msgr. Guglielmo Giombanco, bishop of Patti, and of various academic authorities.
Then it was the Rector Major's turn to present his lectio magistralis on the theme "The Synod on the young: a Church with realism and hope". He spoke of the experience of the Church and synodality that he felt from during the Synod sessions that took place from October 8 to 28, expressing several powerful concepts: "our young people cannot just be the young people who attend our environments; the young people of the Church and for the Church must be all the young people of the entire world, knowing that sometimes some want nothing to do with the Church. But the Church must be ready to walk with all the young people because the first great danger is that of being self-referential. We cannot only address the young people who come to our ecclesial environments, but we need to go out to meet young people who are distant and strangers to our way of being Church."
At the end of his speech he answered questions from the assembly. After the final musical interlude, performed by the young musicians of the academic choir, he presided over the unveiling ceremony of a commemorative plaque bearing the fifty-year epitaph of "Saint Thomas".