Letter from Fr Filiberto
dear confreres and friends of SC,
November we have been engaged in the priority and ongoing task of
making the SSCS known, situating and applying it within the OPP, always
according to the circumstances and processes of each Province.
We were present at two meetings with the Formation Department, one in
Bratislava the other in Cebu; we visited the SC Delegates and their
teams in all Provinces of Italy and Spain, where it was possible to do
so, and we met up with Provincials and sometimes their Councils, as
well as with formators and those in formation in various houses,
local Delegates, various groups of Salesians and lay people. One could
say that it is becoming a normal thing for Provinces to be talking
about SSCS and its updating in the new digital era.
I very much appreciate the intelligent, zealous
efforts of the teams and integration of lay people carried out by
each of the Provincials and their Delegates, keeping the Salesian
mission as the point of departure and arrival. This way we will achieve
the change of mentality required in the Congregation regarding SC,
where each Salesian, lay persona and young person becomes a
“communicator” of God's love, and not just a media for their own
I am working away at encouraging teamwork amongst
the sectors on behalf of the one mission, growth in dialogue and
creativity to arrive at better coordination overall.
I conclude by announcing that the magazine
“Salesians 2012” is being sent to each Province, and that promoting it
within and beyond the Province is one of the tasks of the Delegate with
his/her team, so that everyone can see the good being achieved by the
Congregation for the young and the poor around the world. Thanks to
everyone who has helped out with articles, photos, translations,
revision, promotion and distribution. Thanks especially to Julian Fox
and Hilario Seo.
Greetings from all our SC team here at the Department, Salesians and lay people who make it up.
Best wishes to all,
Filiberto González, Councillor for SC
Information: Twittered ideas
19 November, Fr Filiberto González Plasencia, General Councillor Social
Communication, addressed a group of Salesians and Salesian
Cooperators. The Salesians at Deusto (SBI) hosted the event, two
hours of challenging but attractive presentation. But also very
clear. Here are some of the ideas as later picked up by participants in
twitter, as ideas that are now 'in the cloud' and remained in their
Some of the
ideas that Fr Filiberto spoke of were passed on to other Salesians who
were unable to be present phyiscally, but took part virtually .
Interesting to note that one of the most 'twittered' ideas was:
- “We have to be where young people are”,
“Salesians are into communication not for ourselves or because we like
it, but we are there for the young”.
- Reason, religion and Loving kindess are the basis of the SSCS
- Four areas: animation, formation, information and production.
- We need to create an ecology of communication.
- And when we play ball with young people?
- Filiberto: “The Mission itself necessarily involves communication”.
- Filiberto: “Technology is a cultural, social and pastoral field”.
Filiberto told us that whoever does not love, risks nothing; without
love we cannot go in search of the young.
- “The medium is the message. We are the medium”
“When we are with them (youngsters), they begin to change. We have to
be there in every playground, real, virtual.
- The cornerstone is “where the Salesians are”.
What makes me a Salesian is God who leads me to the young.
Fr Filiberto completed his visit by meeting with the Provincial and the
Social COmmu7nication Commission where they discussed the Salesian
Social Communication System.
Formation: from the Rector Major's Letter 411... inculturate the charism
cannot avoid living, or at least partly living in the digital continent
today. As Manuel Castells has sagely said: “One might say, 'Why don't
you leave me alone? I want no part of your Internet, of your
technological civilization, of your network society. I just want to
live my life'. ...If this is your position, I have bad news for you. If
you do not care about the networks, the networks will care about you,
anyway. For as long as you want to live in this society, at this time
and in this place, you will have to deal with the network society.”
Instead of being dragged unwillingly
into the digital continent, we have a duty to be there effectively and
efficiently. Today this means, amongst other things, taking care of
meaningful structure, introducing meaningful connections into our
documents and data. We can guide search technologies, for example, with
documents focused more on semantic structure than how 'pretty' they
might need to look, and especially with semantically prepared data. The
former task belongs to every Salesian who 'tweets', emails, or writes!
The latter, to those who have responsibility for the thousands of
Salesian websites around the world.
This latter group is no minor cohort of
the Congregation! Very few communities, centres, works are without a
website. Those responsible, ultimately we hope a Salesian SDB or lay
partner, play an increasingly significant role in how the charism is to
be understood and inculturated in the digital continent. They can, in
fact, determine how 'charism' becomes an important search word today,
leading to contexts which we wish to determine rather than leaving it
to the search engines to guess, and guess wrongly.
to be continued
Production: Two new African products
recent efforts from Africa-Madagascar Region deserve a mention, as they
demonstrate the growth of Salesian communications across the Region. It
is not only a question of instruments such as these, a website and a
province newsletter, but the emerging image of Salesian Africa and the
growing involvement of Salesian communicators.
We could add to this another project which is still in its initial stages: 'Don Bosco Youth Africa’.
It will be a web portal that links provinces, countries,
communities and individuals in Africa. The intention is that it be by
Youth, for Youth. Of course, Salesian Family members will be their
mentors. Instead of multiple, province-wise fragmented websites in the
region, a common youth portal is envisaged that will showcase the brand
DON BOSCO and authenticate Salesian Missions spread over 42 countries.
In this way, the resources, expertise and finance can be pooled
together to create a synergy of Youth Services for the Integral
well-being of boys and girls of Africa. While networking the entire
mission activities in the region, it will address the local needs of
each province and community,. The latest Content Management System and
social networking concepts deployed will guarantee its relevance in the
world of media. The idea, still in its initial stages, is the
brainchild of Fr Augustine Sellam AFE, with support from Fr P.T. Joseph