During work sessions, the participants deepened the document "Economics in the Service of Charism and Mission" drawn up by the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life (CIVCSVA), along with other contributions, also from the Holy See, such as "Guidelines for the Management of Goods in the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life", also CIVCSVA; and "Considerations for an ethical discernment regarding several aspects of the current economic-financial system" of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and of the Dicastery for the Promoting Integral Human Development.
The first speaker was Msgr. José Rodríguez Carballo, OFM, former Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor and 119th Successor of Saint Francis of Assisi and, today, Secretary of the CIVCSVA. In this capacity, he was therefore asked to illustrate the "mens" of the document and its essential features, to indicate to those working in the sector how to work in fidelity to the mission of the Church and to the specific charism of the Congregation.
The Rector Major spoke of the importance of the shared mission between Salesians and lay people - also explained by the numerical equality between the two groups - and stressed the role of the economy in supporting the mission. Also making use of a number of personal experiences, he indicated what it means to be faithful to Don Bosco in the exercise of economic activities and offered guidelines for makng effective choices on the matter.
Then, through the interventions of numerous experts from the Salesian Family and beyond, some aspects were then addressed in detail, such as planning and control instruments; the relationship between ecclesiastical bodies and the third sector; people management, and responsibility at all levels.
In the homily of the concluding Mass, finally, Fr Igino Biffi, Provincial of North East Italy, who coordinated the work sessions, recalled: "We find ourselves in Assisi next to St. Francis. We are in a holy place because sanctified by a man who made the Gospel his rule of life ... And Don Bosco appreciated poverty. With regard to the economic field we must ask ourselves: what would Don Bosco do today in our place? We must also ask ourselves this question regarding the management of our works."
He then concluded: "Saint Francis help us to ensure that the Salesian economy is the art of preserving poverty, to be able to dress us and the young of the only true wealth: Jesus. He, Jesus, is the essential One."