SDB Resources

GC27 – Goodnight Argentina: ARN –ARS 8 Aprile 2014

                                                       8 Aprile 2014     

There are three formation initiatives involving Salesians and laity together in Argentina as part of the “reshaping of Salesian geography” begun in 2007, which saw the five previous Provinces become 2 new ones: ARN and ARS. This took place on 31 January 2010.

  • Objectives:
  • To make this “reshaping” a powerful opportunity for personal and community renewal.
  • Beginning with ongoing formation, to offer a thread that would bind the various projects begun, together.
  • Time involved:
  • This took place during the three years of preparation for the “reshaping” and continues today.
  • Brought about by:
  • A team which coordinated contributions from various groups (SDB, FMA and lay) on the daily readings.

“Return to our origins and young people’s playgrounds with an oratorian heart”

  • Motivation:
  • An initiative of SDB and FMA as part of the preparations for the Bicentenary of Don Bosco’s birth.
  • Formation plan to revitalise communities as the usual place for ongoing formation.
  • Gratitude of Salesianity teachers who were formed at the Ongoing Formation Centre, Quito (Ecuador). The first stage involved around 40, and the second around 60.
  • Putting into practice guidelines from General Chapters: SDB (GC26) and FMA (GC22).
  • As a “school” it encourages acquisition of know-how, but especially so every community can take a look at its educational and pastoral praxis according to the important features laid down by Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello.
  • Objective:
  • Helping local communities to improve their awareness of and development in Salesianity, to improve their educative and pastoral practice, recovering and strengthening the Gospel and charismatic values of preventive love.
  • Methodology:
  • Ideas spelt out as: historical, spiritual, experiential, communitarian.
  • Aimed at:
  • Rectors/FMA Superiors/lay Directors of Works, those in charge of sectors and anyone with responsibility for management and leadership, (consecrated and lay); local community delegates.
  • The main addresses are a “community”  which is set up involving around 9 to 12 people in a Work.
  • People involved:
  • Every Salesian work in Argentina (SDB and FMA), according to zones.
  • Each zone has 5 to 7 Works, with around 60 – 70 participants.
  • The Provincials decided on the zones.

2012-2013 cycle. 8 zones: 4 in the north and 4 in the south -  51 Works – around 500 individuals.
2014-2015 cycle. 11 zones: 4 in the north and 7 in the south -  108 Works – around 1,000 individuals.

  • Duration:
  • Two years of instruction, divided into 4 semesters. Plus two additional years of replication as a School.
  • First complete cycle: 2012-2013 for instruction, and 2014-2015 for the replication in School.
  • Second cycle: begins 2014-2015 for instruction, and 2016-2017 to be practised in the Works.
  • Replication of the School in each Work:
  • At the end of two years instruction, the team for each Work is to replicate the School in their own community over the two years following, with members of various areas: teachers, catechists, youth leaders, parents…, providing the same experience they have had, and using the same material prepared by the National Team.
  • The approach:
    • Presence: The semester begins in each zone by having everyone attend one day (8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and this is coordinated by two student leaders from Quito.

During this one of the key themes is presented and they are given a booklet and a DVD with reading materials and indications of work to complete.

    • Community study and work team: after the first attendance participants from each House form into study and work communities. Each one appoints its own coordinator.

During the semester each participant must do the readings suggested (2 per month prior to each meeting) and take part in community meetings as indicated and explained in the material they were given (4 meetings a semester, of 2 to 2½ ours each).
At the end of each meeting the community should send its work (via Internet) to an assigned tutor, for correction.

  • Content:
  • The richness of the Salesian charism as experienced and communicated by Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello.
  • The content is divided into four major topics, based on the 4 types of people involved in the dream at 9 years of age and vision (Mazzarello’s) at Borgoalto:
    • Young people, their situation and context.
    • Don Bosco – Maín (Mazzarello’s nickname at home), as educators.
    • Jesus – the Salesian mission (oratory).
    • Mary – charismatic style (preventive system).
  • Essential conditions:
  • That the Rector/Superior (FMA - SDB - Lay) of a Work is committed to accompanying this process. The proposal requires this person, if possible, to attend the school together with those running it, including back in their Work.
  • Commitment on the part of those who are setting out on this formation path, that once they have completed and passed their two years of study, they will replicate the experience with their educative community, supported and assessed by the National Team.
  • Those in charge:
  • Provincial Council team, made up of five councillors: two SDB and 3 FMA.
  • National Team: coordinated by a lay woman (Ms Analía Jara) and made up of coordinators from various school teams. Fr Luis Timossi is the ‘examiner’.
  • Team:
  • For content, attendance, tutorials, secretariat.
  • Services:
  • Finance: Buenos Aires Economer’s Office.
  • Communications: National Social Communications Service.
  • Financial resources:
  • Personal contributions from participants, from each Work, and from the Provinces (plus a plan for international aid).
  • Evaluation:
  • At the end of the process participants receive a certificate or diploma with institutional value.
  • Duration: An initiative organised by the two SDB Provinces. Involves a 3 year formation plan.
  • Three main topics: 1. Identity of the Rector/lay Director, 2. Role and functions, 3. Accompaniment.
  • They receive 8 sets of materials per year, drawn up by a team of Rectors to encourage reflection, and above all study of their own praxis. Each Rector or lay Director notes his reflections, evaluations, tasks, prayers, etc.
  • At the end of the year meeting there is a day’s reflection, conclusions and reflections shared, and it becomes an experience of formation together.
  • The programme includes a retreat for Rectors, Superiors, lay Directors, and there will be a retreat for all leadership in Argentina in 2015.