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25/8/2011 - Spain - World Youth Day’s part in Salesian Youth Ministry planning in Spain
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(ANS - Madrid) – Now that World Youth Day is over it is time for reflection on what was experienced during those days. The Salesian Family, particularly in Madrid, is very pleased with the way World Youth Day went and very much appreciated the participation of young people from the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) in this grand Church event.

According to Fr Rosendo Soler, National Salesian Youth Ministry Delegate: “After the experience of World Youth Day, we need to give ourselves sometime to digest what has happened; there was such a flow sensations coming from many quarters - we experienced so much that we need to let them settle a bit, but without forgetting about them”.

“It is time”, Fr Soler said, “to put lay all our bets on the table: the Pope's messages, what young people saw, what the SYM achieved ...”. These are conclusions we need in order to “fan the inward flame for young people and the Salesians and educative communities who took part, to throw light on new ideas for Youth Ministry, learning from everything we have seen and correcting any mistakes”.

Some 8,000 young people, of whom 6,500 were lodged with the 17 Youth Centres run by the Salesians and Sisters (FMA) in Madrid, were part of the SYM. This required significant input from volunteers, leaders, teachers, SDBs and FMAs and members of other Salesian Family Groups who took in and followed up such a large number of young people. It was an effort reflected in hundreds of details to be kept under control and, in addition, adequate financial outlay.

Pastoral work, meetings, work and financial management resulted in the Festival which was the culmination for the Salesian Youth Movement at Atocha. An estimated 8,000 young people were there. That day - Wednesday, August 17 – a youth festival began proceedings (5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.) and then, up to 11.00 p.m., a vigil of prayer and adoration which was also attended by the Rector Major and the Mother General FMA.

In view of the experience of World Youth Day, Fr Soler suggests “moving forward in relationship and cooperation with local and diocesan churches, the Salesian Family and other groups in the youth ministry field. It is necessary to “set up the SYM to be more effective and offer more. We have seen that its new image and the invitation to the Festival on 17 August went off well. We must not waste this investment of visibility, so that it can continue to be a Movement capable of uniting all SYM groups around Salesian youth spirituality“.

According to Fr Soler, the time for “reflecting on and integrating World Youth Day into Salesian pastoral planning in Spain has now arrived”.

Published 25/08/2011

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