Rome (Italy). The International Congress “Youth and Life Choices: Prospects for Education” promoted by the Pontifical Salesian University (UPS) and the Pontifical Faculty of Educational Sciences “Auxilium” is being held from 20 to 23 September 2018.

About 500 participants are expected at the Pontifical Salesian University (UPS), home to the Congress, including 185 Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and Laity representing the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.

The Mother General of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Sr. Yvonne Reungoat; the Councilor for Youth Pastoral, Sr. Runita Borjia; and the General Secretary, Sr. Piera Cavaglià will attend the conference together with other General Councilors and some Sector collaborators.

“Youth is characterized as a privileged time when individuals make choices that determine their identity and the course of their existence…Therefore, youth is not just a transition phase between the first steps towards autonomy we took in our teens and the responsibilities of adulthood, it is also a time to make a qualitative leap forward in terms of our personal commitment to our relationships and duties, and in our ability to be in touch with our inner selves and deal with loneliness. Of course, it is a time of experimentation, of ups and downs, of hope alternated with fear, and unavoidable tension between positive and negative aspects, through which we learn to express and integrate our affective, sexual, intellectual, spiritual, bodily, relational, and social dimensions. This journey, which unfolds through our small daily choices and more consequential decisions, allows each one of us to discover our singularity and the originality of our vocation. (“Instrumentum laboris” of the XV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Nos. 16.18)

The International Congress Youth and Choices of Life: Prospects for Education, has three intense days of study and debate, discussion and listening, to offer a contribution to the study of the youth world in relation to life choices starting from the specific point of view that qualifies university research in the field of education sciences and in the more general perspective of Christian pedagogical humanism which is the foundation of the educational system of St. John Bosco.

The invited speakers and experts come from 18 different countries, 8 from Europe and 10 from outside Europe.

The event opens Thursday, September 20 at Paul VI Hall of the Salesian Pontifical University with an introductory Conference presenting and framing the theme of the Synod of Youth by Msgr. Raúl Biord Castillo, Bishop of La Guaira (Venezuela), Vice-President of the Venezuelan Episcopal Conference.

The sessions of Friday 21 September are dedicated respectively to: Listen to the young and discern in dialog, interventions on the condition of youth and on how the world of adult educators considers it in relation to various cultural contexts.

The Panel entitled: The life of young people: models, styles, values, ??and choices, organized by the International Youth Observatory of the Salesian Pontifical University (UPS) and the Pontifical Faculty of Educational Sciences Auxilium, has the participation of scholars from the European, American, African, and Asian continents.

In the afternoon there are the parallel sessions on the themes: “For an anthropological re-reading of the dynamics of the free choice of young people”; “The psychological dynamisms involved in the choices of young people”; “How to form young people to make free and responsible choices: motivational, affective, and volitional dynamics”; “The challenges of Youth Ministry today”. The day ends with a session of “Communications” ( animated by FMA, SDB, and lay people.

The first part of the program on Saturday 22 September is dedicated to the educational prospects in an ecclesial and Salesian key, first in comparison with the formative experience of St. John Bosco and of St. Mary Domenica Mazzarello and then developing proposals for education today on the horizon of the Salesian educational system. In the afternoon there will be a presentation of 18 “good practices” of paths to educate young people about choices in diversified areas of life, with reference to experiences in progress in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Philippines, France, Italy, Madagascar, Slovakia, Spain, and Switzerland.

The last session of the Congress on Sunday 23 September is dedicated to the Conclusions and ends with a Eucharistic Celebration presided over by Fr. Fabio Attard (General Councilor for Salesian Youth Ministry).

Other moments: A Concert of the Academy of Ostinati, a Show (“Artem fallendi discere.” Berlicche in a pre-Synod conference) written and presented by the students of Auxilium; a musical intervention by the “Scape” Group.

To follow:

Site of the Congress




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