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18/1/2012 - RMG - Project for Europe: an enquiry concerning the migration situation

(ANS – Rome) – Recently an enquiry has been launched which will throw light on the migration situation  in Europe with special reference to Salesian centres and their pastoral activities. The results of the enquiry which is being carried out in the context of the Project for Europe, will be examined late in the year at the next meeting of the Provincials of Europe planned for 29 November to 1° December 2012.

Three years after the introduction of the  Project for Europe and subsequent developments, Fr Francesco Cereda, Councillor for Formation and the Coordinator of the Commission for the Project for Europe (PE),  has sent to the Provincials of the Old Continent, a letter explaining the enquiry. Quoting from the programme of events for 2011-2012, he explains: ““The Sectors for the Salesian mission, …, coordinated by the Councillor for the Missions, will carry out an assessment of our European commitment on behalf of immigrants  in the individual Provinces, collecting examples of good practice, the main opportunities and challenges found in this commitment in view of a subsequent set of European procedures.”

Fr Cereda adds: “The Commission for the Project for Europe has noted that the presence among immigrants is a “new frontier” for our charism, in addition to being a work place for “missionaries” and a fruitful field for future vocations. It takes us back to the origins of the Congregation and to the courageous choices Don Bosco made on behalf of immigrants”.

The enquiry, coordinated by  Fr Vito Orlando, lecturer in the Faculty of Education at the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome, will help us to know the situation of immigration on four different levels: among the Province animators, in the ordinary educative pastoral communities, in works specifically dedicated to immigrants, among the immigrants themselves who are co-involved in the  Salesian mission.

It is now almost 10 years since the first Salesian European meeting on immigration held in February 2003 at Barcelona, with representatives from 15 European countries.

The 4 questionnaires, to be completed and returned before 30 April, are available in Italian, Spanish, English, French, German and Slovak on

According to the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People  there are  40 million ‘Migrants’ in Europe, about  20 million of whom are from outside the European community, 10 million are European citizens who are living in another country and 10 millions are Gypsies; the majority of these are young people.

In Europe at present there are about 6200 Salesians working in 36 countries. In the  29 European Provinces there are about a hundred Salesian centres, in some way engaged in pastoral work with  immigrants.

Published 18/01/2012

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