RM Resources

Care of the migrants and salesian mission In the Multicultural Society of Europe (V.Orlando UPS)




          “SALESIANUM” - ROME
30 November - 2 December 2012


In the Multicultural Society of Europe


The choice made by CG 26 (n.401) of “Relaunching of the Salesian Charism in Europe” (n. 108) and had precisely outlined the strategy of actualising the Project Europe[1], the significant interventions in following areas: “Re-significance, re-collocation and re-dimensioning of the Salesian presences in Europe”, within the years 2011-2012.

For the "Sectors for the Salesian Mission" and had programmed an action of knowing the depth of the task at hand with regard to the migrants in each Salesian Province of Europe.

The proposed work involved the many departments of the Salesian Generalate (especially Youth Pastoral and Missions) and also many confreres were entrusted with the task of working with the migrants among the diverse context of Europe.

Together, we have now traced out many strategies: to make this field a shared option among the Salesian Provinces; to gather materials to sensitize the confreres; with the involvement of the migrants in the Salesian Mission; The ultimate motivations that should make us recognise how essential our commitment to the migrants is and the opportunity that we have for relaunching of our Salesian Educative Mission in Europe.

The happy insights of the Commission for the Project Europe have consented to give the right sense and strength to the selection of the search around the attention of Salesians towards the migrants in the European context.

“MISSION FOR THE MIGRANTS: Orienting Theme and Contribution to the New Evangelization

·         A Prophetic Field for becoming credible in front of the Church

·         A charismatic Field - constituted right from the foundation of the Congregation

·         A field of humanitarian testimony - visible to even the non-believers

·         A field of Vocations

·         A new field for growing synergy between the Salesians and the Secular State (a provocation!)

·         A field which can fully be realised with the laity: in line with the CG24 (n.35,38,183,186)

·         A field that facilitates a possible involvement

·         A field of formation and specific preparations of Salesians

The insights of the commissions have opened out horizons which always stimulate and recall us to attention, understanding, study and evaluation of their actual effectiveness brought about. It is necessary to establish the commitment to migrants as the generating theme and revitalizing resource (and this has led us to remember our origins: the care of Don Bosco for young immigrants at Turin), but it is also essential to be aware and equipped for proper implementation of the educational mission in a multicultural society today (hence the focus on young migrants in European societies).

These two aspects are the foundation and justification for this research and most importantly, can help us to understand the most fruitful perspective for the realization of the Project Europe.

Our work should contribute to two General areas:

a.      To address the new emerging paradigm of intercultural education with greater awareness, with a better understanding of the reality of a multicultural society and the conditions for effective education, and give prominence to the educational paradigm of intercultural education.

b.      To Identify, aided by a deep analysis, strategies and operational measures that can help us better understand the "how" we can acquire and implement operational strategies that do recognize the strength and value of diversity, making everyone builders of the new order.

The Tools for Research and the Data Collected

What has been accomplished so far, has helped us to outline four levels of analysis, resulting in the preparation of the Four Questionnaires that have been evaluated, verified and offered to the recipients for their compilation.


First Questionnaire : With regard to what you are doing for the Migrants in the Province

Second Questionnaire: Careful analysis at the level of the Ordinary Educative-Pastoral Community: (School, Parish, Oratories...) which cater to the immigrants in their activities

Third Questionnaire : Attention to the analysis at the level of Missions specific for the Immigrants present in the European Provinces.

Fourth Questionnaire : Attention to the analysis of the Care of the of Immigrants in the Salesian Mission in the Provinces of Europe

The Fourth Questionnaire is structured into two parts:

-          The First Part is oriented towards gathering information about the actual situation of the immigrants;

-          The Second Part is aimed at exploring ways to improving their situation.

The responses for each questionnaire are presented in the following table.

Casella di testo: Questionare	Q 1	Q 2	Q 3	Q 4	TOTALTOTAL	54	90	40	42	226



We have grouped the provinces according to the Provincial Conferences and brief outline is as follows.

Provincial Conferences


















The research, report and presentation to the Provincials of Europe

For each questionnaire, we made ​​a careful analysis of the results, highlighting the most significant developments and highlighting the significant differences of the individual Provincial Conferences.

In addition to the four chapters of analysis of individual questionnaires, the research report has a first chapter that is foundational search to recall the origins  and opens the prospects for achieving our present Educational System. The final chapter presents also the resulting analysis of factors, to which we have to follow some practical proposals for the active works on intercultural education at various levels of the fields of investigation.

Following the structure of the Research Report we shall carry out a a quick overview of the individual parts, and we focus especially on the last chapter, a more detailed presentation of the prospects that the action opens with migrants in the Salesian Mission in Europe.


We need to understand how to place our mission in today's society, how to live authentically our daily tasks and revitalize our Salesian Charism. For this reason it is important to recall to our minds our origin and learn what Don Bosco did with the young who arrived in Turin, from all over Piedmont.

“Don Bosco was sensitive to the processes of transformation and modernization of the society of his time, to which he preferred to be actively involved and not be a mere spectator”[2]. Don Bosco, as the protagonist in a society that was constantly changing, brought his focus and attention to the phenomenon of migration. The religious perspective and his focus on salvation of souls is what guided Don Bosco's actions, both in Turin and later, in Buenos Aires, but his originality was expressed in the search for strategies and methods to ensure choices of life and social inclusion for the migrant youth, making the most of the resources and capacity of each person, for the good of society.

From all of the experience and operational strategies of Don Bosco, and inspired by him, we can point out some elements that can be of great relevance today.

The anthropological fact, which is summarized in the basic objectives which Don Bosco expressed with the phrase "honest citizens and good Christians," by which he took his stand in adhering to concrete situations facing him; it resulted in starting of interventions that were primarily educational given in a humane way, which proved to be unquestionably effective, in different situations.

Though of Religious Objective but basically an educational method, with social awareness and promotion of leadership, carefull and cultural adaptations in the diversity of situations that resulted in a work that was "realistic and synchronised".

The close connection between education, culture and humanization was the real reason behind the successful operational strategy of Don Bosco. This connection is well understood and has included education which is integral, with openness to the transcendence and the realization of the highest good for man, which in the vocabulary of Don Bosco was expressed as "salvation of souls".

1.1.                       Centrality of Education and care of the young in missionary zeal of Don Bosco

Don Bosco placed educative mission with careful adaptation to the particular cultural situations of the young at the heart of every project, so that the Preventive System remains effective.

The centrality of education, the operational strategy involving young people as part of his missionary vision is certainly a challenge for us today. We are provoked by the experience of Don Bosco to be leaders in our world and in our history. We must learn to recognize the challenges and strategies to be activated in order to make our contribution to the humanization and the discovery of the horizons of truth and fullness of their life.

Today we are challenged by the multitude of young immigrants who seek from us, warm reception, education and vocational guidance for their lives. " We reach out to them to provide for them a home, a school, a parish and a place where the young can meet and share as friends "[3].

This presence, which is ever growing, requires of us to review and rethink our educational method and find the most effective strategies to help young immigrants to overcome marginalization and insecurity that they encounter, and train them to be the protagonists of the new social reality faced by them.

Keeping in mind the Intercultural paradigm and the centrality of education, the primacy of education must be realised in our Salesian mission by exploiting this multicultural situation that is present.

We need to come out with an Educative path that is effectively in line with the preventive system in its essential points of reference and do focus on young people as mediators. Thus, their families can effectively help them integrate themselves socially, succeeding, in turn, to offer their unique contribution which is specific to their cultural and religious identity.

1.1.            The need for a new paradigm for the Salesian Educational Mission: Intercultural Education

Towards arriving at a meaningful presence of the Salesian Mission in Europe, we need to bring in a fresh and new vision into our Educative Mission for an effective implementation of the Salesian Educative Mission in our times.

With our educational commitment we need to respond to this construction of the new world order by utilising to the maximum all the resources that can contribute to this project of God. We need to look differently at this reality, and must try to create a new paradigm concerning our educational mission and all those who are involved in this mission. We need to reflect and act with a new renewed logic at the renewal of the human condition and also in line with new vision available for strengthening resources of all, with the involvement of adult and young immigrants.

The new paradigm is that in which a multicultural society appears to be the most effective, because it seeks to involve the multiple resources of everyone: The inter-cultural education, cannot be activated if you do not work tirelessly to recognize the human dignity of each and everyone and make sure that together, we can become architects of this new humanity, collaborating in God's plan. It is this inspiration which should enable us to rethink our Preventive System today and of reinvigorating the Salesian Educative Mission in today's society.

At the level of Education and Culture, the Inter-cultural education appears to be a revolution to be carried out. It is an educational model that accompanies the subject to the realization of a specific identity, but at the same time open to diversity and able to relate to the international plane, an educational model in the light of universal principles of human rights, able to safeguard rights and prevent discrimination.

In this perspective, it is no longer a necessity dictated by the socio-cultural situation, but should be seen as a goal in itself of the formative process, as "the basic principle on which to base the entire educational process, according to the universal values ​​shared in view of a cultural and human enrichment"[4].

In the multi-cultural Europe, to carry out the Salesian Educational Mission, we must carefully consider how to actualise this new educational paradigm, taking into account local realities that emerge from research and our own dynamic fidelity to our educational system.



(some Results from the Research)

The purpose of collecting information and opinions at the provinces level was also to verify, in a more or less directly and explicitly, the perception of the involvement of Vision and Mission Salesian in the new European reality, to carefully assess anything that might help you to understand the future - short, medium and long term reality of the Salesian Mission in Europe.

An analysis of the current situation of the Salesian Mission towards the migrants has been directed primarily to verify the methods of realisation and those more involved in this mission.

·          Salesian Works in the presence of migrants : are more involved with the works that are in areas with a high number of immigrants (37%).

·         The protagonists and Provincial Level attention to migrants : the 46.3% stated that work together  Salesians and lay people. It is widespread, everywhere, the activity of some Salesians (25.9%).

·         Action at Provincial level :  for over 50% of the issue was cause for reflection in the provincial chapters. 33.3% said that the reflection is merged into the POI (Organic Provincial Plan) and the 22.2% that has become a part of the PEPS.

·         Awareness Creation and Formation initiatives : the confreres who work with migrants provide information on their mission (38.9%). Have been active in initiatives to raise awareness among confreres (27.8%) and tried to participate (29.6%) in the initiatives of the local church (20.4%).

·         The Formation Programme is aimed primarily at the Salesians, who are currently working with migrants (29.6%), but there are also initiatives involving lay collaborators (27.8%).

[Benefits that may come to the Salesians of Europe from their attention to migrants We speak on that below]

The indications that emerged for the growth of sensitivity and the strength of response to the migrants

Positive aspects and the more problematic ones, the challenges and provocations felt in engagement with migrants:

·         between what appears to be more problematic, an element is imposed on all others: the 48.1% mentioned the current difficulty of being able to make education truly Inter-cultural;

·         what is considered best suited to promote the Salesian Mission with migrants, are those activities that are Socially Educative (68.5%) and School Education (38.9%), and also the activities that seek to integrate the migrants and the locals (35.2%), those who manage to involve the parents (31.5%) and those that cooperate with local bodies and associations (37%).

·         The challenges for the future of activities of the Province with migrants:  the need to establish the necessary formation (57.4%), especially for the young Salesians (46.3 %). The province should take the work with migrants as its specific mission (46.3%);

·         for a greater involvement in the mission of the province for immigrants need to make courageous choices, begin and enhance centres for the Social integration of Migrants (35.2%);

You can emphasize two fundamental lines of thought:

·         The first is that of a greater integration of the pastoral care of migrants within the proper pastoral policy of every province. No longer, then a commitment alongside others, but a vocational rediscovery capable of illuminating the path of the whole Salesian Community;

·         The second is related to need to produce significant innovations, fixing our eyes on the future of Salesian vision with those of the local commune as a whole in which each work of the Province, assuming a stretch further of generosity that can be prophetic in the present context of globalization.


(Results of Research)

What is the response in ordinary presences of the provinces to the presence of migrants in Europe.

Salesian Initiatives for the Migrants in Europe

-          Presence of Migrants in Salesian presences: in the oratories and parishes; schools and vocational training centers, depending on the pastoral activities in different countries.

-          The attention aroused by the presence of migrants are expressed in different ways . Not only particular initiatives (40%). They are taken into account in design of Educative and Pastoral Plan (55.6%), all pastoral activity is redesigned to suit their presence (12.2%). We must create new sensitivity to cultural diversity (44.4%), with interaction between groups (36.7%).

-          Focussing attention on the Migrants : the first agent is the community (44.4%) Salesians and lay Collaborators will work together (54.4%). The Organisational bodies (the councils) take responsibility (21.1%). In some contexts migrants do everything like the others (22.3%).

-          Need to be specifically prepared for the various Salesian presences that care for Migrants : taking cue from the initiatives of individuals (43.3%); someone started and then the community is involved (27.8%). It also emphasizes the involvement of external stakeholders.

How can we assess the sensitivity levels that have been reached in Salesian Presences with regard to the attention to Migrants?

·         Availability of the Salesians (25.6% +46.7% pretty much agree), the new significance of the Salesian Charism (18.9% +51.1%) and involvement of the lay collaborators (22.2% +41.1%);

·         Care of Migrants and new operational capabilities: attention to cultural diversity in pastoral plans (24.4% +46.7%), the ability to value diversity as a resource overcoming tensions and conflicts (20% + 45.6%) to be become nucleus for the attention to migrants in the locality (22.2% +38.9%).

·         Levels of expertise in working with Migrants : the satisfaction acknowledged awareness about the link between what is done and the respect for and protection of human rights: True (30%) Agree somewhat (41.1 %) satisfactory.

Attention to the impact of Migrants on the Salesian Mission

The Salesian Community rising up to...

·         Open to the territory (33.3% + 47.8%) and enhancing structures (20% + 46.7%)

·         Human resource required (need new educational pastoral approach 24.4% + 40%) for work with Migrants (better availability collaboration 17.8% + 42.2%)

·         The value of inter-cultural education (28.9% + 40%) : you can not do without a proper training in inter-cultural education.

·         A coordinated approach to the service of migrants (10% + 31.1%) : need to improve the provincial level coordination to strengthen our response to the problems of migrants.

Improve sensitivity and the strength of response to the problems of migrants in the local commune

·         The Community and the future prospects of its Educational and Pastoral activities: Empower migrants to help themselves, a new mentality at the Provincial level and local responsibility, importance of Formation and growing awareness and availability of the Salesians.

·         Specifically selected areas of the Communities in their interventions for the Migrants: Fundamental interior conditions: respect, openness (24.4%); overcome prejudices (5.6%); Acknowledge the mission for the Migrants as a Significant Salesian Mission and build up positive efforts towards availability for it (21.1%).

·         Making multicultural Salesian communities in Europe: consider carefully if this is possible (36.7%), which is useful for the Salesian mission (27.8%), that all agree about its necessity (15.6%), and which is accepted by all the members present (5.6%).

What matters is that everyone is willing to live together (57.8%) and pastoral subject is of the whole community (28.9%).



(some results of the Research)

The commitment of the Salesians for the Migrants takes place some time in activities and works specifically undertaken for this motive.

Origin and Context of the Work for  the Migrants

Three out of four said that the work was a response to an emergency situation, and, often, it was an initiative of some Salesian pioneer. In almost all the works have not been interrupted. The changes did not close down the activity. The current characteristics are that were at the time of the origin (about one third), and renewed, continued to perform the service (45%).

Beneficiaries and the type of work carried out

The Beneficiaries are the young people and adults (45%). More direct beneficiaries of the activities are boys and young children of migrants (32.5%). In some situations, the recipients are of one nation, in some contexts, the activities are targeted at particular ethnic groups (15%).

The type of work being done in these works are mainly for migrants:

45% identified it as the most prevalent social work, but we can work on several more areas (40%). 35% noted that the most important initiatives of educational training, including those of religious pastoral animation (27.5%). We are trying to create new awareness of the cultural diversity (20%), and also focus on intercultural encounter (15%).

The participation of Migrants' in the activities carried out by the Salesians

The migrants are involved in everything you do (57.5%) and also seeks to involve the indigenous initiatives with migrants (32.2%). Migrants themselves are involved in educational planning ministry (25%) and try to create opportunities to enable interaction between the various groups.

Difficulties in working with migrants

The most important difficulties refer to the ability to field operational strategies that will open better prospects for the future and the awareness about the need for adequate training for the problems current situations. Let us not forget, however, that there are good results and satisfaction in working with migrants

The Salesian identity of the specific service to Migrants in Europe

The attention to the identity and the Salesian mission in the activity for the migrants helps us to check:

è The preservation of the Salesian identity and involvement in it

·        availability of shelter for all (67.5%), relationship style, a climate of family spirit within the mission (65%),

·        support to the poorest (57.5%),

·        attention to education (55%).

è make their a vision and a style of operation  which necessarily requires time and it is always a gradual process: three out of four have emphasized the care of a still ongoing process of understanding and sharing vision and mission Salesian by collaborators.

è Salesian mission specific works for migrants : significant features:

·        Significance of the Salesian charism (75%) , sensitivity of the members ( 60%) and collaboration with the laity : three out of four (75%) indicated highly (32.5%) or quite satisfactory (42.5%), the new significance that the Salesian charism is gaining in these works for the migrants, 60% recognize the maturation of a widespread availability of the confreres in attention to migrants, the satisfaction is also significant for the involvement of the laity in all that you do (15% + 57.5%).

·        Preparation and operational capacity reached in the service of migrants (17.5% + 42.5%) : The new significance of the Salesian charism and enhancement of the members are directly connected with the preparation has been reached to work effectively with migrants.

·         The contribution that people can make for better attention to cultural diversity: for 30% of this contribution is very satisfactory and for 37.5% it is enough.

Current challenges and growth prospects of specific works in the service of migrants

The challenge most identified (62.5%) is related to the ability to be able to understand properly the current changes to always be able to take it into account in the work that takes place.

This information is followed by the awareness of having to equip with appropriate training (45%) in order to operate effectively.

Although the specific focus on migrant recognized as a new perspective of the Salesian mission has found a remarkable convergence (45%).

40% also recognizes the importance of working with a true missionary spirit and to be able to find effective ways to involve themselves in activities that take place  to their advantage.

How to improve the work of intercultural education

The real future prospects for the Salesian mission in the context of a multicultural society is intercultural education.

About two-thirds of respondents (65%) have highlighted the need to help first to recognize the common values ​​and 57.5% said that this commitment can not be separated from respect that everyone has the right.

Diversity must be tested by capturing the validity of the contribution of people and different visions into concrete actions (50%).

Interculturalism is experienced and put in place enabling real workers (50%) where everyone can make a contribution and value for themselves and for others.

40% emphasizes the value of multiplying together different initiatives and also the interaction between migrants and locals (37.5%).

Service to Migrants and care of the vocational dimension

You must first create a welcoming atmosphere in our work (72.5%) and try to make room for young people by involving them in activities we do (60%).

We must try to give the work with migrants a true missionary spirit (42.5%), and bear the Christian formation of children and young people, helping them to discern the choices of their lives (32.5%).

Take particular care of children and young children of immigrants (40%) can elicit and develop guidelines and lifestyle choices among the children of immigrants, and that is why it is essential when choosing a specific action in this regard.

Specific works for migrants and possible improvement of the significant elements of the Salesian mission

From all emerge the two main things that will also be detailed later. One aspect is related to the enhancement of the Salesian Charism and involvement in the Salesian mission at socio-educational level and the other is linked to the aspect most pastoral and ecclesial authenticity of the testimony.

From specific works at the service to the migrants Project Europe

What matters to meet the new needs of the Salesian mission in the European context is the ability to be able to detect the changes and transformations, innovations that are taking place in different contexts.

One of the important aspects is certainly the new anthropological and cultural condition: the European nations are becoming increasingly multicultural societies, and this calls for rethinking the Salesian educative mission so that it can find the most effective paradigm for its realisation.

Intercultural education requires a new sensibility and attention to cultural diversity, to recognize, respect, values ​​anthropological common and specific to be able to activate a coexistence that is able to exploit them.


(Results of the Research)

Many Migrants have been collaborating together in the realisation of the Salesian mission and in the the ordinary and specific works.

What are the opportunities for participation in the different activities and roles that they have? What levels have been achieved in the sharing of the Salesian spirit? What are the difficulties and the good fruits of this collaboration?

Presence and roles of migrants in the Salesian mission in Europe

They range from the aid to what others are doing, sharing of responsibility: 35.7% of respondents said that they are involved in all activities and that migrants perform joint initiatives with indigenous and other groups through the mediation of the whole pastoral action (14.3%) and for designing the educative and pastoral project (23.8%).

Involvement and sharing in the mission of the Salesian spirit

More than half (52.4%) said that it had  reached a good level. Just under a third (31%), are still working to understand and accept the Salesian Educative pastoral vision.

This sharing of the mission and spirit, has resulted in climate and family style with the respect of all (66.7%) in the reception (50%) and availability relational attention to shared educational. The 57.1% recognizes this educational attention as the most significant aspect of a shared spirit.

Difficulties encountered and results achieved in the involvement and collaboration of Salesians and Migrants

è  Difficulties encountered and resistance to be overcome

It is not easy to integrate different views (54.8%) and implement a collaborative work between migrants and nationals (42.9%). Among the difficulties directly experience is the need for adequate training (28.6%), working with migrants and not only for migrants.

è  The good results of collaboration have been reached

Educational support to the children of immigrants (61.9%) and some collaborations between migrants and locals (33.3%), positive experiences of intercultural education (28.6%) and the activation of interreligious dialogue (23.8%).

è  Networking with other civil, ecclesiastical and Salesian entities

You can not work alone in the current complex social reality. We have sought the collaboration of other realities in the region (26.2%) and other structures in society (45.2%). They also coordinate efforts with other organizations (33.3%), trying to link together different groups of migrants (28.6%).

Networking at the ecclesial level was effected (38.1%), being involved in all initiatives of the local church for migrants.

Awareness of the 'Salesianity level' of cooperation between the Salesians and migrants

The value of the quality that working with migrants has given the Salesian presence is very high: the positive evaluation ranges from 59.5% to 88% (very + somewhat agree).

è  Attention, availability and awareness of shared goals in collaboration

·         The increased attention to migrants in the territory (42.9% strongly agree)

·         The work better for the Defence of Human Rights (m.d. 31%)

·         Willingness to work with migrants (M.D. 23.8%)

·         Attention to cultural diversity in educational and pastoral proposals (m.d. 19%)

è  Consequences of the Salesian charism and mission due to the intervention on behalf of Migrants:

·         Growing involvement of Salesians and lay specific initiatives (m.d. 26.2%)

·         The Salesian charism has found a significant mode of expression (m.d.31%)

·         We must improve the knowledge of the spirit and of the Salesian mission (m.d. 31%)

·        Salesians feel that they participate in Salesian Mission when there is more collaboration among migrants and locals (m.d. 50%)

Current challenges and prospects for the operational involvement of Salesian migrants in this Salesian work

è  Challenges arising from the prospective collaboration between Salesians and migrants

·         To recognize the work that takes place as a new perspective of construction of the Salesian mission (57.1%).

·        Mature, deep attitudes they can light up the value of diversity.

è  The collaboration of Salesians and migrants and intercultural educational work

·         Rethink the educational paradigm in the belief that the education of the future can only be intercultural: no intercultural education can be achieved without respect for every person with its culture (54.8%).

·         The need to commit to be open to all the common and shared values​​: multiplying initiatives for meeting (38.1%), also activating interactions with the local population (31%) and make the Salesian presence a real centre of collaboration (35.7%).

è  Collaboration between the Salesians the migrants and the attention to the vocational dimension

·        The attention to the vocational dimension in collaboration Salesians migrants requires first a climate of acceptance (64.3%), and the involvement of young volunteers  activities (47.6%),

·         It should take care of children of migrants (40.5%) to accompany them in their choices of life and support them in case of specific vocational choice.

Collaboration between the Salesians and the migrants and the prospects for the Salesian mission in Europe

[Let us take care of this later]

Expectations and contributions to the Project Europe from the collaboration of Migrants and Salesians in the Salesian mission

è  Expectations and contributions from the Project Europe from those who collaborate in the service to migrants

·         A new awareness among all the Salesians (50%) and a missionary spirit to operate effectively in the new multicultural reality (50%).

·        Adequate formation to those who are called to be leaders (35.7%), enhancing the opportunities for collaboration allowed by European resources (35.7%).

Project Europe requires that the Salesians feel challenged not only to give a new drive to provide proper facilities, but to become protagonists in the construction of the people (33.3%).

è  Contributions to the Project Europe by those who are working for the service to migrants

·        The need to activate a protagonism enlarged for the realization of Project Europe (33.3%),

·         Attention to cultural diversity (19%)

·         Collaboration and dissemination of the Salesian and missionary spirit (16.7%)

·        Focus on youth and prepare them to become protagonists of a Project Europe for the construction of the people of Europe (16.7%).



(Research results)

Enhancing the indications offered by the polls will try to take advantage of the availability and the expectations that are maturing in the activities of the Salesians from the current experience with migrants in the European territories.

6.1.            Attention to migrants and prospects for a new relevance of the Salesian charism in Europe

What can be more important to achieve something truly effective for the future of the Salesian mission in Europe? Where is the fruit, the positive consequence, and the benefit for the Salesian mission by our attention to the migrants?

In order to answer these questions, we have two levels of analysis on an application highly relevant and common to all four questionnaires.

We choose first to build a comparative table  by adding the percentages of levels "and pretty much agree" to a comparison between the responses to the four questionnaires refer to demand (common to the four surveys) about the relationship between attention to migrants and benefits for the Salesian mission in Europe .

More generally, a positive consequence immediately evident in the data in the table is undoubtedly the ability to offer the society a better contribution as Salesians, this contribution can be expressed as a collaborative entry into the territory to the objectives specifically religious and civil. Another aspect is related to the good opportunity that we have for the formation of Salesians intercultural education and also an incentive for interaction with non-European provinces.

The set of instructions that can be taken from Table can be exploited for a better understanding and assessment of current experience and, above all, the choices may be more effective for the future.

These choices will be even better illuminated by the results of factor analysis, on the set of variables (items) of the same question, which we did  to understand how the respondent perceives things and how to put them together in his mind. If elements that correlate the views expressed (factors) emerge from the analysis performed, these help us to understand the correlation that exists between the various aspects of which express their opinion (variables) according to the percentage of variance explained by the factors (the variation of opinions than the average), you can understand  the convergence between the views of the various respondents.

The opinions expressed are from the situation in which we operate, but all recognize the positive benefits and you can also better appreciate the diversity that express feelings, expectations, specific evaluations for the Salesian mission by the attention to migrants. According to the sectors and areas where you work you can begin a process of re-signification of the presence trying to discern what, in a particular situation or specific area, it may be possible to start.

Table n. 1: The attention to migrants and awareness of the benefits in some aspects of the Salesian mission

The attention to migrants and possible fruits for the Salesian mission in Europe

Percentage amounts of "VERY" and  "ENOUGH" agree


Quest. n. 1 Provinces

Quest. n. 2

Normal Works

Quest. n. 3

Specific Works

1.      Item referred to "attention to migrants, ecclesial collaboration and Christian witness"

Could enhance the contribution of the Salesians to the local church





It might make us more credible in front of non-believers





2.      Item referred to "the social consequences of attention to migrants'

Could enhance our contribution to society





Could make us more committed to the defense of human rights





This could be understood as a way to insertion and collaboration in the territory





3.      Item referred to "attention to migrants source of vocations, the discovery of an important aspect of the Salesian charism and mission"

It may also be a source of Salesian vocations among the migrants themselves who are Christians





It might help us find a relevant aspect of our charism





It could be an attempt to return to the young poorest and most abandoned




4.      Item relating to " attention to migrants and growth of sharing in community, collaboration with the laity, youth volunteering and availability in the name of Don Bosco"

Could enhance the spirit of sharing in the Salesian communities





Might lead us to find arrangements more consistent in collaboration with the laity





May stimulate the growth of volunteerism among young people



May make natural availability and relevant collaborations in the name of Don Bosco





5.      Item referred to "attention to migrants and push for education and intercultural collaboration"

Could be a boost to the formation of Salesians for intercultural education





Would make us better interact with the provinces outside Europe





With these present general considerations, we can now highlight certain features relating to various fields of research.

6.2.            Attention to migrants and possible consequences at provincial level

At provincial level more than 90% the number of those who think that by focussing the attention to the migrants, the Salesians can find a way to make a significant positive contribution to the society and thus also highlight an important element of our Salesian charism.

In five other similar assessments close to 90% highlight the positive consequences, as Salesians being a more credible witness, a increased commitment to the defense of the human rights and also suggest a boost for the formation of Salesians at intercultural education.

At the provincial level, therefore, increasingly underline the institutional benefits and the concrete possibility to trigger important features of the charismatic identity of the Salesian mission.

From the factor analysis (done on question no. 11 of the first questionnaire) emerged as factors with significant correlations with the various items that help to better understand the issues highlighted and linked [5] in the opinions of respondents.

The first factor , as can be seen in Table 2, can explain 33.47% of the variance [6] . Has a positive correlation with many variables and some of them is quite high.

Is perceived with great efficiency, the possibility that the attention to migrants can stimulate the Salesians intercultural training and better interaction with the provinces outside Europe.

Commitment to migrants will also be able to derive a better contribution to society by the Salesians, which could make them even more credible in the face of non-believers, or become a source of vocations in Christian migrants and increase the spirit of sharing in the same Salesian community.

The variables correlated most significantly with the first factor, clearly stressing the priorities, and interdependencies that can guide decisions more advantageous to the European provinces seeking to relaunch its mission.

As is clear, factor analysis confirms the priorities identified and also helps to grasp the conditions of viability: the contribution to society can come from an adequate intercultural formation.

The second factor explains 25.16% of the variance and correlation with other relevant matters.

The attention to migrants could increase the number of young who volunteer, push the Salesians to a return to the poorest young people, and be a way to enter and work in the localy milieu and thus find greaterconsistent in collaborators among the laity.

The combination of two factors explains 58.6% of the variance, thus has a considerable influence on the understanding of the views of respondents. This means that investing on these issues you may come across a willingness on the part of those who are involved and, by focusing on some of these elements, it is possible to activate a dynamism that can engage and pull the rest.

Table n. 2: Attention to migrants at the Provincial level and the awareness of various aspects of Salesian action [rotated matrix of question 11 of the first questionnaire and correlation of the two factors with variables that constitute]


Variables (ITEM)

Factor 1

Factor 2

2.      Could enhance the contribution of the Salesians to the local church



3.      Could enhance our contribution to society



4.      It might help us find a relevant aspect of our charism



5.      Could enhance the spirit of sharing in the Salesian communities



6.      It might make us more credible in front of non-believers



7.      Could make us more committed to the defense of human rights



8.      Might lead us to find arrangements more consistent in collaboration with the laity



9.      Would make us better interact with the provinces outside Europe



10.  Could be a boost to the formation of Salesians for intercultural education



11.  It may also be a source of Salesian vocations among the migrants themselves who are Christians



12.  This could be understood as a way to insertion and collaboration in the territory



13.  May stimulate the growth of volunteerism among young people



14.  It could be an attempt to return to the youth who are poor and abandoned








It is also interesting to note that some variables have a significant correlation of both factors. These include both growth and sharing in the community, that possibly could renew the relevant aspects of Salesian charism. Somewhat 'provocative we could say: if you are really aware that the attention to migrants helps to find a relevant aspect of the charism, you can bet on attention to migrants to really improve everything else.

6.3.          Attention to migrants and possible improvements of Salesian action at the local level

The answers given by those who are fulfilling their Salesian mission in ordinary works and said they were "strongly agree and somewhat agree" on the positive consequences for the attention to migrants' Salesian activity exceeds 80% in many aspects.


An indication of just under 90%, underlines the attention to migrants because of a possible return to the poorest young people, who are the privileged recipients of the Salesian mission. Other positive effects are related to the social and as a contribution as specific institutional commitment to justice and the defense of human rights.

Table n. 3: The attention to migrants at the local level and the improvement of some aspects of the Salesian mission [rotated matrix of second question 9 of the questionnaire and correlation of the two factors with the variables that constitute]


Variables (ITEM)

Factor 1

Factor 2

1.      Could enhance the contribution of the Salesians to the local church



2.      Could improve the contribution of the community to the society



3.      It might help us find a relevant aspect of our charism



4.      Could enhance the spirit of sharing in the Salesian communities



5.      It might make us more credible in front of non-believers



6.      Could make us more committed to the defense of human rights



7.      Might lead us to find arrangements more consistent in collaboration with the laity



8.      Would make us better interact with the provinces outside Europe



9.      Could be a boost to the formation of Salesians for intercultural education



10.  It may also be a source of Salesian vocations among the migrants themselves who are Christians



11.  This could be understood as a way to insertion and collaboration in the territory



12.  Could empower a matured availability and meaningful collaboration in the name of Don Bosco



13.  It could be an attempt to return to the youth who are poor and abandoned









The Factoral analysis applied to the same question of the second questionnaire revealed two factors that can explain 61.98% of the variance of opinions, a very significant percentage.

The first factor has a major impact, reaching up to explain 39.5% of the variance. In ordinary case, the attention to the migrants is seen primarily as a chance to return to the young who are poor and most abandoned and could also be a source of vocations among the same children of migrants  who are Christians. The analysis also highlights the possibility of interaction with the non-European provinces, the availability of collaboration in the name of Don Bosco and to collaborate in the area.

The second factor explains 22.5% of the variance. It weighs a little 'weaker, but the interrelationships that  shows between two variables is very high: the local Salesian work that attends to the migrants can find  the best way to make a contribution the local church and also to society. Although the agreement with the lay collaborators who partner in the ecclesial and civil levels may be higher.

The attention to migrants at the local level, therefore, is thought of as a useful strategy to identify it as a specific feature of the Salesian mission, to improve the contribution to the Church and society, through the migrants entering the territory. All this seen as a significant aspect of the charism, as humanizing educational efforts (advocacy).

Why it requires an adequate intercultural training of the Salesians -you might realise!

6.4.  Satisfactory aspects of the Salesian mission the following dedicated works for the migrants

The protagonists of the Salesian works in dedicated works for the service to migrants emphasize, how very important are the aspects of what could be achieved for the Salesian activities and their social contribution to insert the migrants into the territory, and the cooperation with the laity and the readiness to do so in the name of Don Bosco. It also emphasizes the greater involvement of the local church in the pastoral action and credibility towards non-Christians. All these aspects are connected with better re-signification of the Salesian charism.

In Salesian works where you work for a long time with a focus on migrants, there was no common underlying dimensions and to see how to improve what is already being done. It can be said that in these works there is already a fundamental orientation and shared the perspective that unites the work of all.

We decided to check out other variables that relate to the level of satisfaction on certain aspects of the Salesian mission. This is the question 12 of the first part of the third questionnaire. The factor analysis of these variables is positive; highlighted three factors which, taken together, can give reason of 54.67% of the variance.

The interrelation below, the ten variables demand indicated by thefirst factor is equal to 20,255% of the variance.

Satisfaction with the work related to the contribution that people can make for better attention to cultural diversity, the involvement of all the Salesians and lay people, and the fact that the presence of this attention to migrants is proactive in the area: a better attention to cultural diversity makes it able to be innovative in the proposed territory.

Another aspect which is quite significant, and is in positive correlation with the third factor, is the recognition and appreciation of cultural diversity that helps to create, such as presence of the Salesians, a contribution to the synergy of local networks.

The value of the second factor can explain 19,774% of the variance (has the same scope as the previous year).

There are two interrelated elements with this factor: the satisfaction is linked to the realization that what you do is real defense of human rights due to everyone. This could be understood as the motivational aspect that sustains the conviction to have acquired an ability to respond to the challenges that arise in the presence of migrants in their territory.

This second factor is also related to satisfaction with the new significance of the Salesian charism that this call is as if the charisma gave foundation to the motivation and the courage to face the challenges.

The third factor third factor, which helps to interpret the 14,642% of the variance, shows the depth of the preparation reached to work effectively with migrants and it is this that allows you to make a contribution, as Salesians, with the synergy of the territorial network.

Table n. 4: Level of satisfaction in work  with migrants in relation to aspects of the Salesian mission [rotated matrix of question 12 of the third questionnaire and correlation of the three factors with the variables that constitute]


Variables (ITEM)

Factor 1

Factor 2

Factor 3

1.      The availability of all the members in the attention to migrants




2.      The involvement of all the Salesians and lay people, in specific initiatives that they do




3.      Attention to cultural diversity in the Educational and Pastoral proposals




4.      The preparation reached to work effectively with migrants




5.      The capability acquired to meet the challenges posed by the the presence of migrants




6.      The knowledge that what you do is real defense of human rights which due to all




7.      The Satisfaction  for the new significance of the Salesian charism




8.      A proactive presence in the territory of the attention given to migrants




9.      The contribution that people can make for better attention to cultural diversity




10.  The emerging contribution which you can bring in as Salesians synergises with territorial networks











The ability to share our attention with cultural diversity can be proactive to propose for the local territory, the defense of rights gives courage to face challenges, but it is all due to  achieved competence in working with migrants. In this is expressed the significance of the new Salesian charism, which has been very satisfied.

6.5.            sharing of the mission between Salesians and lay collaborators -a perspective for the Salesian mission in Europe

The most significant data about the positive consequences of the action for migrants, we can highlight the responses of those who are already directly involved in the Salesian mission are as follows: the collaboration with the local church, the growth the spirit of sharing in the Salesian communities, collaboration with the laity and the opportunity to foster vocations even among the children of migrants, as well as a possibility of opening to the provinces outside Europe.

Factor analysis of the question 15 of the fourth questionnaire has been very significant. The two factors emerged fail to explain slightly less than 70% of the variance and have a almost equal weightage.

Table n. 4: Sharing of the Salesian Mission in Europe between Migrants and the Salesians [rotated matrix of question 15 of the fourth questionnaire and correlation of the three factors with the variables that constitute]


Variables (ITEM)

Factor 1

Factor 2

1.      Could enhance the contribution of the Salesians to the local church in welcoming migrants



2.      Could enhance the contribution of the Salesians in the education of a multicultural society



3.      Could enhance the spirit of sharing and co-responsibility in the Salesian communities



4.      It might make the Salesian Mission more credible to the non-Christians



5.      It could play a more effective work for the defense of human rights



6.      Could be understood in more substantial collaboration with the laity



7.      Could better interact with the provinces outside Europe



8.      Could be a boost to the formation of Salesians for intercultural education



9.      It may also be a source of Salesian vocations among the migrants themselves who are Christians



10.  This could be understood as a way to insertion and collaboration in the territory



11.  Could accrue availability and good cooperation in the name of Don Bosco








The first factor explains 35,878% of the variance and has the most significant bit of understanding that collaboration Salesians and migrants could be an effective way to enter and work in the territory and mature willingness to cooperate in the name Don Bosco. From this collaboration, the Salesian mission could become more credible infront of non-Christians, and become a source of vocations from the Christian migrants.

What helps to understand these correlations is seen as a factor in effective collaboration to become part of the territory in terms of making it a part of their lives, is a sort of coresponsibility that makes you appreciate even more the reason for this, is the name of Don Bosco.

The second factor explains 33,644% of the variance. A convergence of the positive views expressed (- .928) is first referred to indicate the possible improvement of the "contribution of the Salesians towards education in a multicultural society."

In this relationship you connect to another aspect which is very significant and high, which is the contribution that the Salesians could give to the local church in welcoming the migrants.

The Factors, as we have tried to say several times, expressing elements of convergence of opinions and bring out aspects that in the mind of the protagonists are recognized as significant and effective for the Salesian mission in Europe.

In light of all this, you have to be careful, but this can not hide the intrinsic importance that the factoral analysis has demonstrated.

6.6. For a new relevance of the Salesian Charism in Europe

Prospects and operational strategies that are present in the minds of those who live their own life experiences and of involvement in the actual Salesian Activities in Europe open out new horizons for the effectiveness and continuity of the Salesian charism and mission.

The choices with adequate conditions that could be rendered acceptable and efficacious must be made in institutional decision-making.

Taking into account together the results of the factorial analysis, we can draw some indications that emerge across the board that are common to different areas.

It is common the idea that attention of the Salesian mission to the migrants could be a significant contribution to society and an effective way of integration and territorial cooperation.

It is this newfound attention and inclusion in the local area which can stimulate the attention of the young who are poor and find better possibility of collaboration in the name of Don Bosco. This would be an enhancement of the Salesian Charism and to create the conditions for vocational choices.

The care of the poorest of the locality, the enhanced collaboration with the laity help us to make ourselves more credible especially infront of non-believers, and makes a significant contribution to the local church.

It also appears clearly that the attention to the migrants should stimulate an intercultural formation, and that the conditions for the quality of our contribution to the multicultural society and the possible collaboration with the provinces outside Europe.

From all of the analysis and reflections developed, however, the foundation on which every choice and operational strategy should take root is the "centrality of education", which is reflected in concrete context of life of the multicultural society today. The paradigm of this new commitment to education is intercultural education.

The "formation of the Salesians to an intercultural education and the contribution of the Salesians to this intercultural education" are the urgent needs and challenges that are highlighted in the research.

If the focus and the mission that the Salesians carry out in the service of migrants are recognized as "theme generator and as an endogenous resource of the Salesian charism" then we must find the courage and the way to actualise this responsibility.

Precisely in this perspective the enlightening words of the Rector Major, Fr Pascual Chavez Villanueva brings out, that it was important "to promote a renewal of the mind, so that the concern and action in favor of immigrants are present in all the Salesian community and an education which fosters a receptive openness and overcoming the natural resistance in the face of ethnic minorities. It is indeed a charismatic priority of our mission, that has set itself as a an all encopassing dimension in all of the Salesian presences. It is to renew our educative and pedagogical mentality making it anew - converting - capable of taking up the option of an intercultural pedagogy. It is modernizing our socio-political mindset to actively participate in the construction of the new European Community, which must be found in immigrants not so much as a problem but seen as a resource, and not just economic resource, but human resource. "[7]



(practical applications of the research)

The analysis that we have done has envisaged not only situations, needs, challenges and expectations ... but also concrete achievements, availability and prospective intelligent operations.

We need to rethink, with intelligence and creativity, the most effective way to put the Salesian charism at the service of the mission, by reunderstanding the significance these two dimensions of intelligence and creativity in the mission. If we are willing to learn more about the current situation and to listen more attentively, people are in a position to investigate the relationship between "inspiration and action", "charismatic inspiration and educational mission."

The new meaning of the presence and of the Salesian mission in Europe can only come from our focus and commitment to combine in new and fruitful "inspiration and mission." Basically, this means that we must learn to recognize the Spirit (which is on a mission in the heart of every person) which can help us to share the mission with all those who are in tune with this inspiration, in the name of Don Bosco, and become involved with us in the same mission.

The terms of operational effectiveness we must take into account what we have said about education in a multicultural society, the "new paradigm for education."

For its practical implementation we must imagine the "HOW" [8] : actions, attitudes , attention, availability, mediations, etc.., and implement it in the fields as strategically as possible, making it part of daily life.

The spaces of everyday life are not indifferent to the quality of life and if you really want the best social life must aim to change attitudes. In today's world, sharing life in the same context between migrants and natives, if you manage to overcome distances, distrust and enact the availability of reception of different collaborative ... if you can to promote a "culture of 'welcome "and make it more widespread and shared reality, the living space becomes human and humanizing.

In the light of this simple reminder of the reality, we can also think of "strategies of the possible" linking them to specific aspects of our educational system, which is the care of the environment, the style of relationships, collaboration, shared the leadership, promotion of initiatives and aggregate forms that may have an explicit intention education (sports events, theater, religious, cultural, etc.).

The initiatives are prepared and you can do together (migrants and natives, young people and adults) are realized by interacting together, we often met even after they have been made ... It's not trivial, but of life experiences that can be pedagogically exploited to learn and help learn.

Initiatives that can promote are the most diverse and quite a few are already in place. To help build the "best practices", we draw some attention that can ensure the quality and effectiveness of education.

7.1.            Recognize diversity, educate the difference:

Strictly part of the "HOW" the maturation of attitudes right, especially in reference to "diversity" and "difference."

Specifically intercultural education in multicultural societies, we must learn to recognize and value diversity as a resource that can contribute to the good of all in the area of real social life.

7.2.            Report and intercultural communication

The sharing of space and life experiences, the activation of processes "dynamic-evolutionary" for understanding the diversity and value of the difference is made ​​fertile by a relational skills and intercultural communication.

 To build the "' inter " between cultures, which necessarily tends intercultural education, we must take particular care with two abilities: the relational and the communicative, which will enable listening and dialogue between cultures.

Do not just learn the language in order to achieve an interaction between cultures. We must also do much to "develop interpersonal skills that allow actually understand diversity and to define and redefine spaces of coexistence and cooperation."[9]

Relational and communicative skills are educated activating concrete experiences of intercultural practice.

Relationship and communication, activated on the basis of practical needs and special situations of social and cultural context, help to overcome distance because they facilitate the understanding of the meanings and this gives human qualities to forms of approach not only formal or utilitarian.

7.3.            Enhancement of the mediation of the new generations

For Don Bosco the welcome and attention to children as "savages" was an important way to get in touch with their families and have the opportunity to engage with them to evangelize.

This strategy can be very fruitful for the social integration of migrants. The boys and young children of migrants, in the structures Salesian live, in fact, in many areas of life and experience many memberships.

"The sons and daughters of immigrants, being daily engaged in the negotiation of meanings, practices and ways of life in the family and outside the family, may in fact be seen as 'masters' in  to combine together a number of memberships and a critical and self-critical. "[10]

What becomes really important for us is to think carefully about what may be the actual role of migrants' children for the practical implementation of the report, interaction, intercultural communication.

I “nuovi cittadini” delle attuali società europee sono di fatto una opportunità preziosa per le “potenzialità insite nel loro fare da ‘ponte’ fra le generazioni e costituiscono in questa prospettiva una risorsa che le nostre società non dovrebbero permettersi di sprecare”[11].

In the logic of the "strategy of the possible" and "concrete", "it is important to start with the fact that pupils and students, children of migrant parents share with their peers whose parents [native] the need for spaces actual expression , recognition and participation, which allows them to experiment and consolidate within-a continuity of personal experience-is a plurality of membership is a membership shared common meaningful contexts " [12] .

If all this is experienced and implemented with awareness and intercultural educational capacity in our educational environments, helping more and to interpret the daily feeding and hopes for the future as possible, we will be able to make young people responsible citizens of the new European societies and migrant children also teachers mediators and the integration of their families.

It is not occasional attention and practice, nor temporary. It is a process to activate the logic of continuity of intercultural learning throughout life and in all places where life is lived. The effectiveness of this may also be guaranteed by the willingness and ability to check the route, to be able to guide choices according to the news of the change, we will learn to recognize.


[1] The General Council of the Congregation had approved the Project Europe during its session on Tuesday, 27 January 2009 and on 31st January, the Rector Major with his letter to the Salesian Confreres had outlined the proposal for its realisation. Prot.09/0107.

[2] ROSOLI G., L’assistenza religiosa agli emigranti in America Latina nella visione e nell’opera di Don Bosco, in SEMERARO C. (a cura), Don Bosco a Brasilia. Profezia, realtà sociale e Diritto, CEDAM-Padova, 1990, 181.

[3] DOMENECH A., The Salesian presence in the face of the immigration phenomenon in Europe, Intervention by the General Councillor for Youth Ministry at the Meeting on Immigration in Europe on 20th February, 2003 (pro manuscript).

[4] SILVA C., Inter-cultural Education: Patterns and Paths, Edizioni del Cerro, Tirrenia (Pisa) 2002, p. 146.

[5] The more the correlation with this factor approaches unity. the strong is the significance of that variable for the factor.

[6] The variance indicates the diversity of opinions than the overall average of the responses. The more the opinions are different so the larger the deviation from  media, ie they are dispersed according to the alternative answers.

[7]              P. Chavez Villanueva, Dare di più a chi ha avuto di meno, un ripensamento educativo per un cambio culturale, Atti del Seminario di Frascati 27-30 dicembre 2004, in CISI/Federazione SCS/CNOS, Roma 2005.

[8]              Our attention, keeps us occupied with the "HOW", and is oriented towards practical operations. Obviously we must not forget that there is no educational practice, without a point of reference and a foundation on "ethical anthropology" of which we spoken of in the paragraph 2.4 of the first chapter: Fundamentals and significance of intercultural education . Without a clear awareness of the anthropological vision that guides us, we risk seeing the role of education as operational technical skill.

[9] Passasseo A. M., Educare alla comunicazione interculturale, in Mariani A., 25 saggi di pedagogia, op. cit. 175.

[10] Zoletto D., Dall’intercultura ai contesti eterogenei, op. cit., 61.

[11] Ibidem, 63. On these aspects you may consult: Granata A., Una città in cui perdersi e ritrovarsi. Appunti sui percorsi dei ragazzi di origine immigrata, “Animazione Sociale” novembre 2007, 10-18; Ambrosini M. (a cura), Né stranieri, né ospiti: cittadini al futuro, Roma, Federazione SCS/CNOS, 2009.

[12] Ibidem, 70.