Rome (Italy). On 27 and 28 June 2022, an Inter-sector meeting was held in Rome, in the Generalate of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, which saw the involvement of the General Councilors and collaborators of the various Sectors of the Institute. The theme of conversion to integral ecology, the heart of the Deliberation of the 24th General Chapter, accompanied all the reflections and stimulated the synodal research to live the mentality of change.

Studying and deepening the theme together, in order to reach shared meanings, was the main objective of the first workshop. With the “Cooperative learning” methodology, a learning method that is based on the interaction between the members of a group, the participants explored different aspects of the topic: conversion, education, community, economy focusing on some strong ideas on which the journey of ecological conversion rests.

In the second workshop, each Sector interpreted these strong ideas according to its own Program for the six-year period 2022-2027, identifying the significant processes already in place or foreseen.

The last workshop motivated the participants to outline concrete steps for a personal and inter-sector journey of ecological conversion, in comparison with the seven Laudato Si’ Goals, to be re-read in a typically Salesian key.

After reflection and dialogue, with the awareness that discernment on ecological conversion is a profound act of care lived in the animation of the Institute, the groups presented the concrete steps in view of the elaboration of a formative itinerary that involves the entire FMA Institute to enter the perspective of Conversion to Integral Ecology with the style of the Preventive System.

All the participants agreed in proposing the identification of an ad hoc Commission that clearly defines the formation path to be followed, the experiences to be proposed, the experts to use, in order to respond to the Chapter Deliberation by promoting the necessary change of mentality to take on new lifestyles, open up to world problems  not far from everyday life, and accompany the reflection and practices of ecological and political conversion, starting with the Laudato Si’ Initiatives Platform.

The two days, lived in a serene and fraternal atmosphere, in active and cooperative study, were an opportunity to study the ecological crisis with a humanistic and holistic approach to education: a workshop to experience a new anthropological paradigm based on the passage from ‘homo economicus to homo comunitarius’, one of the strong ideas on which the path of ecological conversion is based, through mutual trust, personal involvement, development of the different competences, the personal and relational skills of each participant.

A celebratory moment of reflection and prayer united hearts and made us listen to the cry of the young, the poor, and the earth, leading to asking forgiveness for the inability to treat Mother Earth differently and to praise the Lord for the many gifts that He bestows through it.

The experience ended with a moment of simple conviviality, but rich in the serenity that accompanied the research and further strengthened bonds in this work of synergy and collaboration in the animation of the FMA Institute.


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