(ANS – Turin) – After the presentations of the General Councilors, the Rector Major took the floor yesterday afternoon, 18 February. For the first time in the Cingregation’s history, the Report was broadcast live via social media, namely on Facebook: a useful communication method to reach many lay people and members of the Salesian Family as well. Words, the Rector Major’s, which are also the result of the multiple experiences lived in his personal meetings throughout his six-year term: over 13,000 confreres reached and met. “What is the status of our beloved Congregation?”: The question presented at the beginning of the Report found answers where the lights outnumbered the shadows.
“The visibility and credibility of our consecrated life has diminished: it is a weakness and also a permanent challenge, which is faced with faith and courage: the more than 400 novices who begin Salesian life every year are a gift that confirm that our Congregation has not lost its loyalty,” said the Rector Major.
It must be said that the tasks entrusted by the 27th General Chapter at its conclusion (belonging more to God, to the confreres, to the young) are tasks that have been taken on and have made their inroads.
The Congregation continues to be a missionary congregation in the multiple contexts in which it is present: where Christianity is a minority, for example in an Islamic or Buddhist context, or where a consolidated presence continues, as in the Amazon where there are 47 communities and 245 Salesian confreres. This missionary vocation can only but grow in its availability to solidarity between the Provinces through the exchange of confreres.
“As Salesians we continue to be educators and evangelizers of young people”: we privilege evangelization, there is more attention to accompaniment, we involve families more.
“As a Congregation we feel an active part in the Church, in union with Pope Francis, always ready to accept his indications as highlighted in the recent Synods on the family and young people.”
Manifold and numerous are our efforts where the migration phenomenon or the reality of refugees and migrants is strong.
All this acquires more consistency, as Salesians animate increasingly more educational communities with the laity and other members of the Salesian Family.
There is no shortage of challenges and appeals.
First of all that of formation, to strengthen and give greater Salesian charismatic identity in the years of initial formation, without forgetting all the years or stages of life.
It is always necessary to continue to accept the appeal of young people, who first of all ask for presence and accompaniment: “Take the journey with us, we need your presence,” the reminder.
We must continue to accompany those who are engaged in government duties, first of all Provincials and their Vicars.
Words of encouragement are offered by the Rector Major to continue in fidelity after even difficult and painful moments, and today the Congregation is more purified, more robust, more serene.
A Congregation that grows continuously also in economic solidarity, especially in coping with the many situations where the effort to live the ordinary and to provide for the costs for formation falter. Providence and many benefactors are not lacking.
The poorest young people, sharing the mission with the laity, being actively present in the digital reality, are still other challenges that the CG28 must study.
The study, in fact, continues over the next days with moments of reflection, prayer, comparison in the regional groups.