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27/11/2010 - RMG –European Provincials: Project for Europe, the present and future
(ANS – Rome) – The reception given to the Project for Europe, the interest shown and the difficulties met in the Provinces, the strategies, activities and procedures employed in the first two years 2009-2010, were the focus of attention in the reports by the Regional Councillors and those of the Departments. In the afternoon attention was turned to the second key issue of the PE: re-locating and re-dimensioning.

Coordinated by Fr Francesco Cereda, Councillor for Formation, the work on the second day of the III Meeting of European Provincials opened with an examination of the progress already made.

Fr Marek Chrzan, Fr José Miguel Nuñez, and Fr Pier Fausto Frisoli spoke about their respective Regions – North Europe, West Europe and Italy with the Middle East – and the way the European Provinces had reacted to and understood the  PE: a wide variety of responses reflecting the different situations and particular circumstances of  each Province and Region. Among the difficulties which emerged were the fall in the number of Salesians, the lack of clarity in the practical implications of the PE and a certain scepticism in some Provinces. On the other hand among the positive signs were the fact that the reception of the PE had been encouraged by interest in the appeal being made to the co-responsibility of an area of the Congregation, to the re-vitalisation of the charism, to the renewal of Salesian consecrated life and models of evangelisation.

The various contributions made in the hall by Provincials brought out  how the PE, in spite of its being presented in simple terms is, in fact, complex and complicated. The point was made repeatedly that fundamental to its understanding, implementation and success was the first key issue of the PE: the re-vitalisation from within of Salesian consecrated life, a point made on many occasions by the Rector Major, especially immediately after the 26th General Chapter.

The procedures followed in the first part of the morning were then repeated for the various Department of the Congregation. Fr Cereda, Fr Fabio Attard, Fr Filiberto González and Fr Václav Klement spoke about what had been done in their respective areas in the first two year period 2009-2010 and mentioned some plans for the future.

Fr Klement was given more time to speak about “The third area of the project: Europe, mission territory.”. He made the point that the first missionaries in Europe were the 6000 plus Salesians already living and working on the continent who in following their vocation, are called to go out and meet the young.

In the afternoon Fr Pier Fausto Frisoli, Councillor for the Region of Italy and the Middle East  developed the topics of the significance, re-dimensioning and re-location of the Salesian presences in the Provinces and in Europe. Clarifying the distinction between Salesian “presence” and “work”  Fr Frisoli made the point that the first is the based on the consecrated persons who live in community at the service of an area and open to net-working with others. Referring to Salesian official teaching  - in the Constitutions, Regulations,  General Chapters and the statements of some Rector Majors – he offered some common criteria for re-designing Salesian presences in Europe.

The second part of the afternoon was spent in group work; the Provincials meeting together in  their Regions discussed what needed to be done during the coming two-year period 2011-2012 at the level of the Province, the Region and the Departments.

The texts of the talks are available on, in the section Project for Europe.

Published 27/11/2010

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