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2/12/2011 - Italy - European Seminar of Provincial Delegates for Missionary Animation
Photograph available in Image Bank

(ANS – Turin) – The Provincial Delegates for Missionary Animation (DIAM) in  Europe met together in Turin at Valdocco the Mother House of the Salesian Congregation, between  28 November and 1 December to share their experiences and projects. It was the first meeting of the DIAM in Europe for 14 years.

Valdocco was chosen “as a result of the desire to ‘return to Don Bosco,’ to his missionary heart and to feel the spirit which urged his first young men to leave for new countries to proclaim the Gospel,” as Fr Vaclav Klement, Councillor for the Missions and the person behind the meeting, explained.

The main theme was the “Project for Europe” which was examined by three speakers.  The Dominican Fr Ulrich Engel, Director of the “M. Dominique Chenu – Espaces Berlin” Institute commented on some passages from the Post-synodal Exhortation “The Church in Europe” by  John Paul II, and using some statistical information the situation of the faith in the Old Continent. Fr Klement described the Salesian situation during the past 25 years, some conclusions which emerged in the previous meetings of  DIAM in Europe during the decade 1987-1997 and the models of missionary animation adopted by some of the Provinces. Fr Stefano Martoglio, Provincial of Piedmont and the Val d’Aosta and a member of the Commission for the Project for Europe shared some reflections on what the Salesian Congregation is doing in the Old Continent which provides a great opportunity offered to every Province in Europe to recover its spiritual and charismatic identity, to find new pastoral and cultural prospects and at the same time a capacity to welcome missionaries who come to Europe as well as the various immigrant communities growing in the cities.

Representatives of the Departments for Social Communication and Youth Ministry explained what the combined efforts of the three Departments for the Salesian Mission have achieved in recent years. Also speaking at the meeting were the Councillor for the North Europe Region, Fr Marek Chrzan and the Economer General, Bro Jean Paul Muller.

In several sessions of group work those present discussed the issues and shared experiences. The location of the meeting was also of considerable assistance in reflecting on the Salesian charism from a missionary point of view with Mass and daily prayer being celebrated in different places within Valdocco. A visit to Colle Don Bosco also made it own contribution.

At the end of the meeting Fr Klement gave a letter to each DIAM for the Provincials, which in addition to providing a summary of the event contained some practical proposals to be implemented:

  • The drawing up and putting into effect of the Plan for Missionary Animation in line with the Provincial Structural Plan which considers the resources and the challenges to the Provinces and the guidelines of the Department for the Missions.
  • Starting and pursuing a process of synergy with the other two areas in the Salesian mission: Youth Ministry and Social Communication. Encouraging the formation and the support of local and inter-Province missionary groups.
  • In collaboration with the Vice Provincial and the Provincial Formation  Commission to provide for the confreres courses in missionary formation both initial and ongoing.

The Turin meeting was part of the plan of the Department for the Salesian Missions for the formation and animation of the DIAM. At the beginning of November in Quito, Ecuador, there was one for the DIAM of the two Regions of America.

Published 02/12/2011 

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