Articles For Teachers

India – Meeting of South Asia Region Youth Ministry Delegates concludes

  • 06 November 2023

(ABS - Dimapur) – A meeting of South Asia Region Youth Ministry Delegates was held in Dimapur from 1 to 4 November 2023, convened by Fr Miguel Angel García Morcuende, General Councillor for Youth Ministry (YM).

Four main points were offered to reflect on during the meeting. First, the presentation of the renewed text on the YM Frame of Reference’s “Oratory-Youth Centre” soon to be published in several languages. Regarding this, Delegates shared the novelty and relevance of the reflection for their Provinces; in addition, the meaning of the Oratory of St Francis de Sales in Valdocco and the personal imprint of Don Bosco were also recalled as well as the and the various operational models of the Oratory-Youth Centre today. Other topics addressed were the Educative and Pastoral Community and the Educative and Pastoral Proposal of the Oratory-Youth Centre as an evangelising, preventive, transforming and vocational and missionary experience.

Secondly, the reflection focused on joint Salesian and lay formation. The situation of the Provinces was shared and it was concluded that it is urgent to strengthen the Salesian identity of the Educative and Pastoral Communities (EPCs) through integral, joint and shared responsibility for formation between religious and lay people which leads to a credible and effective response to our preferential target group in India and the local Church. Thirdly, a motivating document on the "role of the Salesian in the educative and pastoral community", written by Fr García Morcuende himself, was addressed. Today it is necessary to change the way of governing, especially with the new generations who do not work under a controlling leadership style, but through connection, empathy and closeness. “We need Salesians with the ability to inspire energy, pastoral passion, enthusiasm and a positive attitude. This is the only way to get in touch with the laity and young people", explained the General Councillor.

The fourth topic addressed was a broad and open debate on the identity and accompaniment of the Salesian Youth Movement. It was recalled that the SYM is a communion of different youth groups and associations that, while maintaining their own characteristics, coincide and unite in the same educational and evangelising proposal inspired by the spirit and style of Don Bosco. It is therefore considered an educative and pastoral movement of reference which offers all young people the possibility of different levels of identification and involvement and flexible coordination.

In the morning, the Youth Ministry Delegates met with Salesian Family Delegates to share the various initiatives of the groups and to get to know each other better. Fr García Morcuende in his initial conference for the gathering insisted that the unity of the Salesian Family grows only with the understanding of the common mission and starting from the specific vocation of each Group.

Led by Fr Miguel Angel and Fr Jobeth Vivo, a member of the Youth Ministry Sector, the Dimapur meeting began with a Lectio Divina following the text of Mk 3:13 -19, which guides the convening of the 29th General Chapter of the Salesian Congregation. And among other things, the implementation of the issues addressed last year was evaluated and various Best Practices developed in the Region’s Provinces were shared.

Finally, other topics of dialogue and reflection concerned the Salesian Youth Synod – one of the initiatives organised to celebrate Don Bosco's dream at 9 years of age, in 2024; some information was provided on processes that will accompany the "A Salesian youth ministry that educates to love" text; and there was discussion on World Youth Day in Lisbon 2023 and the initiatives that the Youth Ministry Sector is promoting with reference to Integral Ecology.