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4/9/2015 - RMG - Communication on the Meeting of SDB-FMA General Councils


casa generalizia salesiana

Via della Pisana 1111 - 00163 Roma

Il Vicario del Rettor Maggiore



Rome, September 1, 2015

Prot. 15/0360

Most Reverend

Fr. Provincial

and the Members of the Provincial Council


Communication on the Meeting of SDB-FMA General Councils


Dear Father Provincial and Dear Confrères of the Provincial Council,


                                                                                        On July 7, 2015, our two General Councils SDB and FMA met in the House of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians in Castel Gandolfo, with Mother Yvonne and the Rector Major, Fr. Angel.

In the meeting we dealt with a theme that we, SDB and FMA, consider a priority of our educative and pastoral work: it is the commitment to the care of apostolic vocations and in particular of vocations to Salesian consecrated life.

We aimed at finding together the “converging aspects in vocational animation of SDB and FMA”. Since we often work together, especially with the young of the Salesian Youth Movement, it is important to have a shared vision of our commitment to vocational animation. This will also help us have a communal action.

Pope Francis, in the speech he addressed to the Salesian Family in Valdocco last June 21st, invited us to be concrete. He told us: “I thank you for your concrete perception of things … The Salesian is a concrete person, he sees the problem, thinks about it and handles it”.

We are therefore invited to “handle” together as SDB and FMA and then also as Salesian Family the care for vocations. Like Don Bosco we work in favour of vocations for the Church, for the Salesian Family and for our Congregations.

May this communication, which is addressed to the confrères, educative pastoral communities with the young, lay people and families, help us to walk together. The Bicentenary, and in particular the successful SYM meeting in Turin and at Colle, will thus have a continuity and bear vocational fruits.

With cordial greetings. In Don Bosco


                                                                                                 Don Francesco Cereda




Castel Gandolfo, July 7


“Converging Aspects of SDB and FMA Vocational Animation”

Communication to the Provinces


In the meeting of the two SDB and FMA General Councils held in Castelgandolfo on July 7th, 2015, liturgical memory of Blessed Sr. Maria Romero, a reflection and sharing was made on the following theme: Converging aspects of vocational animation of Salesians and Daughters of Mary Help of Christians. A text prepared by a working group comprised of the General Councillor for SDB Youth Ministry, Fr. Fabio Attard, and of the General Councillor for FMA Youth Ministry, Sr. Runita Borja, with their respective teams, had previously been distributed to all participants.



After the greeting of Mother Yvonne, reflection commenced with the presentation of the text that had been offered as a starting point. We reasserted the commitment to be educators like Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello, capable to act with a realistic and confident knowledge of the world of the young, to help them discern God’s plan on each of them. The main points have been the following:

1. Starting line convictions. Vocation is accepting life as a gift and living it as a gift. It is God’s call that develops in the history of life and which requires that the person be constantly available. Vocation to consecrated life is possible; we must orient and accompany the young to the encounter with Jesus through significant experiences.

2. The pastoral vision is one of an integral youth ministry that takes into account the various dimensions of the human person and the different perspectives from which we look at the human person. The vocational dimension must be present throughout the entire process of youth ministry; it is the peak of an integral youth ministry.

3. Among the qualifying choices, we highlight the need to develop vocational culture and some attitudes of availability and responsibility; to build up communities of faith and of joyful Salesian life; to make the vocational proposal intentionally inserted in the path of education to faith and of personal accompaniment; to diversify proposals of vocational orientation according to the vocational signs manifested during the journey of growth.

4 The goal is helping each young person discover and fulfil God’s project in order to make it become their own project of life as a human and Christian vocation, as an apostolic vocation, as a Salesian religious vocation.

5 Among opportunities and challenges we list:the care of the processes of accompaniment of young animators to live their Christian life; the gradual and progressive growth in faith; the awareness that life is a vocation in all the members of the educating community, “the mirror of all vocations”; the proposal of service and education to gratuity in educative, missionary and social voluntary work; the presence among the young and not only among pre-adolescents and adolescents; the personalization of educative relationship with the young in complex structures; the work with all the Salesian Family and with other ecclesial movements.



After an exchange in the groups, some suggestions emerged during the dialogue were presented to the assembly. These must become the operational points of reference for SDB and FMA.

1. First of all we are aware that vocational animation, before being a source of concern, is a sign of hope, because vocations come from God who continues to call. For ourselves, we must educate to faith through various meditations and express that we are happy in our vocation, living it with joy and richness in humanity, creating in our environments a welcoming family atmosphere.

2. We note that Don Bosco exerted an appeal among the young with his own life, We therefore ask ourselves why today we are lacking in this appeal and this capability of attraction. The young see that we work hard, but perhaps they do not see the beauty of our consecrated life and the joyful personal and community witness of a life totally lived for Christ.

3. Among the challenges we highlight the importance of:

  • favouring in communities the vocational culture so that all feel responsible for vocations, witness to the joy of their own vocation and of proximity in relationships: in this way we overcome the gap between youth ministry and vocational animation; we still find it hard to live the culture of donation and to promote an environment pedagogy;
  • ensuring the personal accompaniment of the young;
  • having the courage to make strong proposals at the level of apostolic commitment and of Christian life;
  • involving the family as the cradle of vocations;
  • taking into consideration the affective frailty of the young and taking care of their growth;
  • witnessing to the fullness of humanity of our personal life, of community life lived with the energy of love, and to the joy of our vocation.

4. We indicate here below some priority choices:

  • guaranteeing the accompaniment of the young in every community and youth ministry project, not only in “proposal communities”, to help them discover God’s project in their lives;;
  • favouring the growth in faith, centred in the love for Jesus Christ;
  • offering the young strong commitments in voluntary work or in solidarity groups in contact with the poor, to cultivate in the young the passion of giving their lives for a great ideal;
  • staying with the young, delegating administrative tasks to lay people, so as to live like Don Bosco among them, with the certainty that faith and vocation are transmitted by contagion;
  • being present among university students; they seriously question themselves about their future;
  • giving more visibility to the Salesian religious life lived in the community; we are lacking the appeal Don Bosco exerted on the young to bring them to God;
  • giving witness to moments of life and work together between SDB and FMA; the young do not see us praying together, working together, planning together, rejoicing together;
  • strengthening vocational work together between SDB and FMA and with the Salesian Family;
  • ensuring the presence in SDB and FMA provinces of a provincial vocational animator in contact with all the youth ministry and in dialogue among themselves.
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