Purpose of the Project: Formation of Young Leaders in Salesian Centres
(Schools, Camps, Parishes, Youth Clubs, Youth Centres)
Type of Youth benefiting: All in the above mentioned centres
How Many: Over 10 000 from all over Australia and Samoa
Unlike the usual FOCUS presentation, ‘Look up and act with courage’ is a programme developed not for one Salesian setting, but a variety of them, wherever there is scope for the community to develop young leaders. It is characterised, too, by the fact that so much of the programme is the result of the efforts of lay people working in close partnership with the Salesians in Australia.
‘Look up and act with courage’ was developed as a programme by the Australian Province Pastoral Animation Team, the equivalent to the Youth Pastoral Ministry Commission in many provinces.
It was decided that to take the Rector Major’s 2004 Strenna seriously, time was needed, in the different settings for Salesian activity: schools, parishes, Youth Centres, Camps, to name just a few. The programme therefore envisages a two year period to develop young leaders.
The core of the programme is the threefold ‘programme’ contained in the Letter that the Rector Major wrote to young people at the beginning of 2004: (1) accept life (2) find the source in friendship with Jesus and harmony with God (3) be open to society, service.
The Pastoral Animation Team has provided each Salesian centre with a CD containing a variety of resources. These resources are for the most part actual resources used in the different settings - presented now as examples for the other settings. Part 1, for example, offers ideas for setting up leadership programmes in a school setting. Part 2 focuses on prayer, meditation and Lectio Divina such that these are to be seen as an essential aspect of any Christian, Catholic and Salesian leadership style. Part 3 draws on examples of people who have been motivated by their faith to serve others - young people, and Australia’s first Saint, Mary McKillop are amongst those chosen as models.
The programme also envisages moments where leaders come together from across the various settings. One of these took place at the time of the Rector major’s visit. The programme aims to show young Australian leaders the possibilities not only of local action but communal action - a Salesian youth movement that links the many actions in place already and in development too around the Province.