Salesian Youth Synod to discern their future and that of the Church

Cardinal Ángel Fernández Artime The 10th successor of St. Don Bosco to the Salesians, Cardinal Ángel Fernández Artime, along with young people from the Salesians. | | Credit: ANS-Salesians

As part of commemorating the 200th anniversary of St. John Bosco’s first prophetic dream, the Salesian Youth Ministry has invited nearly 300 young people from all over the world to participate in the Salesian Youth Synod, which will be held in the places where the patron saint of youth lived.

The Salesian News Agency (ANS) announced in an article that the event will begin Aug. 11 and will conclude on Aug. 16 — St. John Bosco’s birthday. The activities will take place in Italy at Valdocco, where the saint began his work, and at Colle Don Bosco where he was born.

This is a process that began in the Salesian provinces where “young people have been invited to journey together, listening, speaking, and praying with the aim of discerning their future and that of the Church together,” the Salesians explained.

According to ANS, “the methodology of the Salesian Synod of Youth is all designed to give value to the active role of young people, not adult educators.” A core group, the Secretariat of the Synod, has been established, made up of 14 young people. Of the 373 participants, only 293 young people will have the right to vote, including those from the core group and 22 pre-novices preparing for the novitiate.

The 10th successor of Don Bosco, Cardinal Fernández Artime; 41 Salesians; 18 Daughters of Mary Help of Christians; 15 musicians; and five lay technical staff will not be able to vote.

Similar to the arrangement at the Synod of Bishops at the Vatican, the participants will be grouped in small circles established by language so that the young people can freely express their opinions and consensus. Each group will have a moderator to guide the discussions and a relator who will summarize what is said.

The Instrumentum Laboris, or working document, which is the basis for the synodal discussion, has been prepared by priests, religious, and laypeople of the Salesian family, with contributions sent by the provinces.

The participants, of which 187 are women and 185 are men, come from 83 countries. Among the languages ​​spoken are English, Spanish, Italian, French, Portuguese, Hindi, Arabic, Cantonese, Belarusian, and Nepali.

Father Miguel Angel García Morcuende, general councillor for Salesian Youth Ministry, stressed that “personal preparation through prayer is very important” and that the participants need to let themselves “be challenged by the concrete situation of Salesian houses, young people, and the world today; and, thinking about the future, open and confident in the action of the Lord, aware that it is he who guides and supports us.”

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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