The event, taking place from 10 to 15 February at the retreat house of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA) in Sampran, is attended by 47 people, representing eight different groups of the Salesian Family and 10 circumscriptions.
During the course of the seminar, various important Salesian figures are being presented and studied, such as, among others, those of Msgr. Ignazio Canazei, prelate in China, and Msgr. Gaetano Pasotti, bishop in Thailand; those of the missionary pioneers Sister Carmela Solari, FMA, and Fr Fortunato Giacomin, respectively engaged in Japan and Myanmar; or, again, those of Fr Antonio Cavoli, founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of Jesus, and of the Servant of God Fr Carlo della Torre.
In total there are 18 study papers presented: 14 on the region's figures of holiness, and the remaining of a methodological nature, by the association's directors: "The different literal genres and the critical approaches to Salesian sources", curated by Fr Francesco Motto; an "Introduction to critical studies on Salesian figures" by Sr. Grazia Loparco (FMA); "Preserving and transmitting memory in the Salesian tradition", by Fr Thomas Anchukandam; and "About the Salesian Historical Institute and the publications of the ACSSA on Salesian history", edited by Fr Stanislaw Zimniak.
During the opening ceremony of the congress several messages were read by a number of Majors Superior of the Salesian Family. For his part, the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, said: "History is an essential part of our identity as a Congregation and as a Salesian Family today. Since the GC28 asks us to know 'the profile of the Salesians' today, it is also essential to know the profile of the Salesians of the past, as well as that profile of the other groups of the Salesian Family."
In the inaugural Eucharist the Regional Councilor, Fr Václav Klement, thanked all the historians of the Salesian Family and underlined how the centenarians of Salesian presence, which will be celebrated in the various countries of the region in the coming years, constitute a further reason to deepen the knowledge of the origins.