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3/10/2012 - Malta - PE: Salesian commitment for the young

(ANS – Sliema) – The archipelago of Malta, due to its geographical position, has always been a meeting point between different cultures. It is wholly part of the European reality, an EU Member State since 2004, and, in terms of the Salesians, participant of ‘Project Europe’. Starting from today and for the next few days, we will be publishing some elements to get to know the real situation of youth and the Salesian commitment in this country.

There has been a Salesian presence in Malta since 1903, in various locations and with different ministries, from the typical to the more innovative ones. The first work that was taken care of was "St. Patrick’s" in Sliema, followed by "Savio College" of Dingli. The two schools are quite different from each other: while the first meets the needs of troubled boys and needed a personally-based curriculum, the Savio College is a secondary school which offers high-level education and extra-curricular activities. The Salesian maltese community, however, also supports a school in Tunisia, which offers education to approximately 700 muslims.

For children and young people most in need – from the age of 8 and up to 26 years – there are also residential reception services, located in the structures of the Don Bosco House in Balzan, St. Patrick’s and Osanna Pia in Sliema – the latter in the process of opening a new branch.

As typical of their charism, the Salesians also reach young Maltese through the creation of places for informal education, such as Oratories and Youth Centres in Sliema, Dingli and Senglea. Here young people can gather and engage in lots of activities, develop their own personality and establish meaningful relationships. For the Maltese youth groups, the Salesian Youth pastoral service work constantly to provide courses in training and self-development, spiritual activities and opportunities to volunteer in Malta and abroad.

Religious and liturgical functions, of course, are the basis of spiritual life, addressed not only to young people. Salesian communities enliven the parishes St. Patrick and St. Alphonsus in Sliema and St. Philip in Senglea, and also organize catechetical programmes and retreats and opportunities for vocational discernment such as the weekend "Come and See".

Finally, the pride of Salesian Youth pastoral work are the activities carried out via the media, traditional and modern. Aware of the importance of communication for the new generations, the Salesians are using "", a service of counselling and psychological help online; the audiovisual productions of "BoscoCrew" and the publishing services of Salesian Printworks in Sliema.

Published 03/10/2012

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