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27/9/2010 - Italy - Harambée, a Salesian missionary celebration
(ANS – Colle Don Bosco) – This year too  the Harambée brought together young people and religious engaged in missionary promotion and Salesian voluntary service. At this Salesian celebration young people who, during the summer had spent time in various Salesian missions in Latin America, East Europe, Africa and Asia were able to meet together and share their experiences.

370 young people and  adults, between 17 and 35 years of age from 6 Italian Provinces and other countries were at Colle Don Bosco with the missionaries, religious and lay people  due to leave with the 141st Salesian Missionary Expedition. Also present were young Salesians in formation from the Post-novitiate of San Tarcisio in Roma and the Theological Institute of the Crocetta in Turin.

Prayer, discussion, friendship, reflection, singing and dancing with a missionary dimension filled the afternoon and evening. The various groups also had interesting discussions as young people, volunteers who had spent the summer in the missions and the new-missionaries ready to leave, divided into 15 groups spoke about their own experiences, impressions and expectations. “It’s very difficult coming home! Even without intending to you bring home something of Africa with you something of the  situation of poverty!”; “Leaving Kosovo has been difficult. The youngsters still ask you questions on Facebook every day!”; “When you return you enjoy your home comforts, but then you realise the next day that they don’t satisfy you!”, were some of the things the young people said. The new missionaries, enthusiastic about what they had chosen to do: “I want to sing the Love of God to the whole world;” “I want to respond to the gift of faith received from the Italian missionaries who came to Vietnam...”; “It’s a call to be totally available for the mission. I’m not going to Austria for a few years but for my whole life!”

The presence of the missionaries from Asia and Africa and going to destinations in Europe was a reminder of how de-Christianisation is one of the problems facing the old continent. The loss of the Christian roots and of values are undermining the lives  of future generations. The  “Project for Europe” is a challenge which the Salesian Congregation took up after the 26th General Chapter in 2008.

The evening ended with the traditional Salesian “Good Night” given by Mother Yvonne Reungoat, Superior General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.

On ANSchannel there is a short video summary of the Harambeé and on the Salesian missionary commissioning ceremony.

Published 27/09/2010

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