- Message of the Salesian Youth Movement at the conclusion of the SYM World Salesian Day 2016 that took place in Krakow, Poland during the World Youth Day 2016.
- Over 2.5 mln of Christian young people from all continents gathered for the World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland. The Cambodian Catholic Church was also represented by young people from different parishes, including recent ordained Fr. Ruas from the Battambang Apostoloc Prefecture and Don Bosco past pupil.
- “We feel and are convinced of the need to let the spirit of forgiveness grow within our hearts, overcoming barriers, favoring the culture of encounter and hope,” wrote the Salesian youth at the summit in Poland.
Read it in Khmer:
Krakow (Poland) – We, young people of the Salesian Youth Movement gathered here in Krakow for the Symdonbosco forum, would like to share with all people of good will our renewed faith commitment. In union with Pope Francis, in this Jubilee Year of Mercy, we are determined to strengthen the roots of our faith which are found in the gospel of Jesus Christ. The charisma of Don Bosco is the way through which these roots flourish and blossom.
We recognize the signs of God’s mercy which are constantly touching our lives.
We experience mercy in our families and through those who lovingly care for us; when we celebrate the Sacraments, especially Holy Eucharist and Confession; when we are being listened to and receiving guidance for our life; when we live and share our journey together with brothers and sisters of different religions and beliefs.
We also feel blessed by God’s mercy when people accompany us with their prayers; when we are unconditionally loved by our parents; when those around us are patient with our mistakes; when so many people, young and old, welcome us in their homes and hearts.
As we recognize all this, we acknowledge the challenges that we have to face.
In many of our societies, progressively marked by individualism and secularization, where the pursuit of success, wealth and power is portrayed so prominently, we are challenged to uphold and to witness the Christian values of love, forgiveness and mercy.
We are aware that the call to be merciful and forgiving is being challenged by prejudice, negativity, injustice, criticism from society at large, sometimes even from youth themselves. Violence, especially that in the name of religion, further weakens the prophecy of charity and mercy, while rendering it hard to give voice to the gospel message of forgiveness and compassion.
We feel and are convinced of the need to let the spirit of forgiveness grow within our hearts, overcoming barriers, favoring the culture of encounter and hope. All these need to be rooted in and nurtured by a renewed experience of Jesus Christ in our lives.
Only out of this Christ-centered experience can we fully embrace the challenge to go out of our comfort zone, acting out of new mind sets inspired by the gospel, building bridges of peace and fraternity. Only out of this sacred space of meaning, can we overcome the power of fear and the lack of courage.
This journey is a challenge that once accepted will truly help us share with others what we let flourish within our hearts.
Therefore, as members of the Salesian Youth Movement, guided by the Salesian Youth Spirituality, we are committed to respond to the challenge of the Gospel that is being offered to us today through the call of Pope Francis.
We commit ourselves to receive God’s mercy for each one of us as a gift, living it out daily with joy and optimism. God’s mercy becomes day after day the source of our hope and a shared experience with other young people.
We commit ourselves in our groups and associations to strengthen the moments of spiritual growth which will help us see others with the eyes of God. Spiritual moments, like prayer, contemplation of the Word, silent adoration, give reason to our faith, vision to overcome our fears, and pastoral creativity to give voice to the young.
We commit ourselves to live the acts of mercy in our pastoral commitments, especially welcoming the foreigner, helping young people in need. We offer compassion and patience in our educational and pastoral experiences towards all irrespective of creed and color, religion and political belief.
We commit ourselves in our houses and ministry to strengthen the ‘family spirit’ which is so dear to Don Bosco’s charismatic vision, rendered a living reality in Mornese by Mother Mazzarello, and so central in our Salesian Youth Spirituality. ‘Salesian family spirit’ that will help us become real builders of bridges, authentic agents of fraternity, living and credible examples of hope for a better world today.
In 1884, in his Letter from Rome, Don Bosco writes: “The youngsters should not only be loved, but that they themselves should know that they are loved.” Today we listen again to these words of love in the light of the Jubilee Year of Mercy. We pray and promise that our actions and our words will help young people to experience merciful love – love full of mercy.