"My dear confreres, dear friends, dear Salesian Family members.
Here I am, in this completely empty hall, at the conclusion of the General Council sessions because the members of the General Council have already left for their various services, and I have the opportunity to address you all through this “Cari Confratelli”, my last greeting of the present six-year term, as on Christmas there will be the Strenna.
I do this with great pleasure because I feel that it is an opportunity to meet, interact, and acknowledge each other.
I am also very grateful to the Social Communication Department, as they have tried their best to translate these messages into 43 languages. It is rare to find an institution doing so.
Today I would like to say two simple things. The first: I want to tell you that the responses from the Provincial Chapters from all over have already reached us. And there is a constant element that fascinates me which is: listening to what the young people tell us, what we would call “the cry of the young”.
What do young people tell us today?
They simply tell us: “Dear Salesians, we need you, we need your presence, we need you to be with us, to accompany us on the journey of life.
We don't need you to be administrators and managers. We love you as Don Bosco, being at our side”.
And I wonder: confreres, what can be more meaningful than a call of the young, with this intensity, to show us what should be the way in this 21st century, for the Congregation and without doubt for the whole Salesian Family.
There is a second theme that I wanted to share with you today, Which I want to tell you, after a dialogue with those close to me, that is why I chose the theme for Strenna 2020, which bears the title: «Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven» the gospel phrase; “Good Christians and Upright Citizens” Ultimately, what is the real spirit of the Our Father of Don Bosco?
Simply because they are two beautiful realities: the first, we are born to be educators of the young people in the faith to accompany them to encounter Jesus.
Don Bosco lived with this passion throughout his life. And the second is that we can educate our young people to remain quiet, without getting involved in social problems… No! No!
Rather we have to prepare them for life!
We must teach them and journey together, seeing what it means to serve and to commit ourselves to others, Not being indifferent to the great challenges of today's world, having a great sensitivity for the defence of all human rights but above all those of children, girls and adolescents, being sensitive to a possible engagement in the world of politics, with one’s own sensitivity and faith. That is what it’s all about.
These are the two aspects that I wanted to share with you and I encourage you, dear Salesians, to follow this call and these signs of the times with an open heart.
See you soon!