Letter from Fr Filiberto
dear confreres and friends of SC,
We need to give ourselves a pat on the back!
We have now completed presenting SSCS 2.0 in all eight Regions of
the Congregation. The final presentation and study of SSCS 2.0 had two
features in particular: a brief presentation to Formation Delegates
from Africa-Madagascar, and similarly to the Provincials and SC
Delegates from the Region who had come together for the 10th CIVAM
meeting. So we can say that the document is known to all SC Delegates
and will soon be known by all Provincials and their Councils, as well as
the confreres in every Province; this is stage one of the process.
The next step, already under way with the Formation
Department, will be to apply the "Guidelines for formation of Salesian
in Social Communication", Part Two of the document, and both Formators
and SC Delegates will be equally involved in this step.
The third step will involve teamwork and better
coordination on behalf of the Mission in each Province with Sectors of
the Mission and Formation at the beginning of the year (pastoral,
education). I believe we are taking excellent and certain steps which
require support in the first place of constant reflection and
application of the document, and secondly a deep and growing
spirituality on the part of each Delegate. These will form the basis of
a change of mindset that will quickly begin to show results.
I invite you to continue with the steps taken
after each Regional meeting. And to all of you, congratulations for the
results thus far obtained; keep it going! In the name of Don
Bosco and with the Help of the Help of Christians Herself,
Best wishes to all,
Filiberto González, Councillor for SC
Information: How one Region has tackled Communications
may be of interest to see what happens when Provincials, SC Delegates
and the SC Department work together! Here is an excerpt from the
minutes of the 10th CIVAM meeting.
1. At Regional level
A regional coordinator and vice coordinator have
been appointed, assisted by a Provincial. They need to draw up a
working plan to put into place all that has been indicated during this
CIVAM. A Commission is not being set up, however it could be a good
move for the future. The coordinator will ordinarily
take part in annual meetings of the Youth Ministry Commission.
The Regional Councillor will set up a CIVAM section in AGORA in www.sdb.org
2. At Province level
1. Special attention will be given to socialisation of the SSCS (Salesian Social Communication System)
2. Team work amongst sectors of the Mission: The
three provincial delegates (Social Communication, Youth Ministry and
Formation) are invited to work together, meeting together particularly
at the beginning of the pastoral year. It is up to the Provincial to
appoint a coordinator for these three sectors.
3. At Delegate level
1. SSCS: The Formation Delegate will be in agreement with his team on study and application of the SSCS (Formation)
2. Filling out and updating data for the province whenever there is something new to add (in the www.sdb.org page for SC Data)
3. At the beginning of the educative and pastoral year there will be a meeting of sectors to foster teamwork and optimise coordination in favour of the Mission.
4 The “Salesians” Magazine: practical steps will be taken to collaborate in articles, translation … (distribution?)
5. World Salesian Social Communication Day
for formators and those in formation (SDB) and (FMA): from 24 January
when the Pope's letter is presented for the Church's World
6. Updating in formation and information: Monthly Newsletter from SC Dept.
Formation: from the Rector Major's Letter 411... inculturate the charism
The Christian classic spiritual tradition offers us a further image which can be helpful in this [leavening the digital continent]
context, to be found in St Teresa of Avila's Interior Castle, a text
which is timeless in its application: “I began to think of the soul as
if it were a castle, made of a single diamond or of very clear
crystal”, she says, and then leads us through seven 'mansions' or
rooms, each a place on the path to ultimate union with God at the
centre. It too can be a helpful image in the digital continent. Think
of the castle as the digital continent, with many 'rooms' and 'links'.
How do we find our way around? Are various rooms meaningfully
connected? Could we find certain paths to arrive at the centre? The
centre is still God, by the way, and Christ is the guide, but
“…the proclamation of Christ in the world of new technologies requires
a profound knowledge of this world if the technologies are to serve our
Or we might want to
bring our 21st century fascination with ecology to the task. Think of a
garden, maybe a bit overgrown but with paths and lots of vines and
creepers. We could follow those paths and creepers and find our way
around, but we can also imagine how things are just beneath the soil
where everything is thriving with the complex, messy, but eminently
ecosystemic stuff of life!
All three images, the
yeast, the castle, the ecosystem, help us appreciate more deeply what
it might mean to inculturate the charism in the digital continent. It
is one of the tasks of New Evangelization. In some ways it is a hidden
task but with recipes we can follow. There is a true Guide to the
virtual castle if we can but coax the technologies into serving our
mission. And we are invited into the complex, maybe messy, but
eminently ecosystemic stuff of life, conscious that Jesus wants us to
be there in His name! P. Chávez
to be continued
Production: Dati che chiedono solo di essere collegati!
the September issue of this Newsletter, we indicated we would give you
some practical direction regarding Linked Data. It has been a focus for
the last two months of work at www.sdb.org. We have done our part. The
data now needs to be linked with data in other Salesian web sites.
First of all take a look at:
(1) Statistics: our works
(2) Regions (you can choose your own region).
There are two important factors involved here: In
the first example you will find a 'vocabulary: sdbstats' link.
This is crucial to linked data production.
The second factor is that all the data now comes
from a single database. If the printed 'Dati statistici' or
annual FLASH is accurate, so will these statistics be accurate!
The tags in the source view (the html view) of these
pages will reveal a further factor - they make reference to the
'vocabulary: sdbstats'. Now, any computer in the world can know what a
term means, and if other web sites will link to this vocabulary when
describing their own data it means our Salesian data is linked on
the World Wide Web and makes us 'visible' on the semantic web.
There is a little more technical detail to it, but
this is not the place to go into that. Instead, just keep this in mind
as a 'production' process for linked data:
- a data framework needs to sit behind text, identifying people or
places or things, and defining relationships between them and document
- this is a framework that computers can understand and interpret.
- we create a whole series of points of connection, discovery and aggregation, all to the benefit of the Congregation.
- Linked Data takes the semantic web and turns it into collaboration via a shared vocabulary.
And now - our data is out there just begging to be linked!