DIREZIONE GENERALE OPERE DON BOSCO
Via della Pisana 1111 – 00163 ROMA
General Councillor for Formation
Rome, 15th June 2009
To the Reverend
Provincial Formation Delegates, and
Provincial Youth Ministry Delegates
By way of information:
To the Rev. Fr. Provincial
at his address
Dear Provincial Delegates,
In the first place, we send you our cordial greetings in the hope that you are well and that your formation and pastoral work too is proceeding smoothly.
Way back in April 2006 our Departments for formation and youth ministry embarked on a path of dialogue and collaboration, particularly with regard to vocation animation. We now intend to tread the same path by holding in 2009 / 2010, as you well know, a joint meeting of the Regional Formation and Youth Ministry Commissions.
Our intention in writing to you is to set before you the purpose of the meeting, the preparatory work to be done in the Provinces, and the programme of the meeting itself.
Through this meeting we wish, in the first place, to continue along the path begun three years ago of discussion, common reflection and collaboration between formation and youth ministry at provincial, regional and central levels. It is a decision that has turned out to be valid and fruitful.
We also intend to examine “together” the third key issue of the GC26 on the “need for vocation ministry” and ensure its implementation by studying the objectives to be proposed, the processes to be initiated and the experiences to be launched at provincial level; the topic of vocation animation and the care of candidates to Salesian consecrated life has in fact some pastoral and formation implications needing a common approach and methodology.
Furthermore, we want to give an opportunity to become acquainted with and exchange ideas about “best practices” in vocation animation and useful aspirantate experiences; what is done in the Provinces actually offers an interesting panorama for interpretation and evaluation.
Finally, there can emerge in the meeting further steps to enhance collaboration in the future. No doubt, the main topic of discussion will have to be carried forward, but other aspects could also emerge, for example, in connection with pastoral formation and personal accompaniment.
The two Provincial Formation and Youth Ministry Commissions should hold joint meetings to reflect together on the third key issue of the GC26 and to put down in writing their answers to the following two questions:
1. How is vocation animation carried out in the Province at local and provincial levels? What are the changes required of vocation animation by the main ideas of the third key issue of the GC26 regarding: “Our witness as the first vocational invitation” and “Apostolic vocations”?
2. What are the experiences found in the Province for accompanying candidates to Salesian consecrated life? What are the changes required of the care of aspirants and the aspirantate by the main ideas of the third key issue of the GC26 regarding the “Accompaniment of candidates to Salesian consecrated life “and “The two forms of the Salesian consecrated vocation”?
The answers to each of the questions 1 and 2 should be in the form of a synthesis and should not exceed a page and a half (A4 size) in “Times New Roman”, size 12. The answers are to be sent to Fr. Francis Cereda and Fr. Fabio Attard before the regional meeting.
The meeting foresees the participation of the Regional Formation and Youth Ministry Commissions. In places where the Commissions constitute a restricted number of participants or where there is need, the Regional Councillor will decide whether or not to invite the Provincial Vocation Animator as well.We foresee two working days using the same methodology. In the attachment to this letter, you will find a detailed programme of the meeting.
The first day will deal with the topic of: “Vocation animation”; particular attention will be paid to the parts of the third key issue of the GC26 regarding: Our witness as the first vocational invitation: 52, 56, 61-64; Apostolic vocations: 53, 57, 65-68.
The second day will deal with the topic: “The care of candidates to Salesian consecrated life”; attention will be paid to the parts of the same key issue regarding: Accompaniment of candidates to Salesian consecrated life: 54, 58, 69-73; The two forms of the Salesian consecrated vocation: 55, 59, 74-78.
In his letter proclaiming this a year of grace in which we recall the founding of the Congregation, the Rector Major wrote: “Let us have the courage to propose to the young the consecrated Salesian vocation. It is my hope that this six-year period, starting from this occasion of the 150th anniversary of our Society, may really be a period of great vocational fruitfulness.” May this regional meeting be animated by the same spirit and the same vocational courage.
We thank you for your kind attention. We offer you our wishes for a fruitful
preparatory work and an effective regional meeting. In Don Bosco
Fr Francesco Cereda, General Councillor for Formation
Fr. Fabio Attard, General Councillor for Youth Ministry