Passion for Christ, Passion for Youth
. There is a Salesian application of the phrase, coined by a few provinces and local communities, relative to the International Congress on Consecrated Life (November 2004) that seeks to express a priority commitment for religious life as a future prospect. And it configures a clear identity: that of predilection for the young.
It was the passion for Jesus Christ that urged Don Bosco and Mary Domenica Mazzarello to involve themselves passionately in the challenge to give concrete responses to the profound aspirations of the young people, especially the poorest. It continues to be a priority, an urgent entrustment for us, committed to carrying out from generation to generation the mandate assumed by Mary Domenica on the hill of Borgoalto: I entrust them to you!
The gift of predilection for the young gives the community in which we live and work its image, and we seek to create an educational environment in the family style, serene and simple.We are all on a journey to open ourselves up to authentic relationships which predispose young people to listening and affection.
Each of us is, by vocation, an educator. Ours is always an educational presence, no matter what the environment, role, service and responsibility entrusted to us and the community to which we belong.
The present issue of DMA intends to emphasize this truth.This is especially true of the Dossier, and it is expressed through the words of Don Bosco, Mary Domenica, and the limpid testimony of two extraordinary figures in the simplicity of their lives: Sr. Eusebia Palomino and Sr. Laura Strumia, who lived in different times, places and conditions, but who were sisters in their passion for Christ and for the young people.
Being Salesian educators means showing people a face that is credible and which mirrors evangelical values, acting in such a way that especially the young people-even non Christians-become aware of the fascination, guiding their growth in humanity and in the discovery of their life plan.
This commits us to a few educational attentions that are essential for us and that become journeys of accompaniment in every educational relationship.
Educating to self-awareness is one of the fundamental tasks, leading to self acceptance and to serenely accepting the resources and limitations of one’s own personality, discovering attitudes, values and their empowerment.
Educating to interiority is also a goal toward which we must lead young people, to gradually open them to the mystery, to the marvel, to the encounter with God in the person of Jesus.
Educating to choose, to maturing one’s own capacity to love, to live existence as a gift and a task, to the accompaniment of the discovery of one’s vocation. These are the indispensable steps to which the Salesian educator must train young people. In the certainty that only in this way will we realize the responsibility that has been entrusted to us. In placing ourselves on this journey we will find meaning and fullness of total self-giving to God for young people.
Sr. Giuseppina Teruggi