Cordoba (Argentina). From 3 to 5 May 2023, at Villa Don Bosco in Cabana, Cordoba, the annual meeting of the Directors of Schools of the SEPSUR Scholastic Sector of the CICSAL Interprovincial Conference of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and of the CONO SUR Region of the Salesians of Don Bosco was held, made up of 9 Provinces from four countries: Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay, in which 13 participants were present.

The objectives of the meeting were to share the most significant aspects of the ESA evaluation, highlighting the results and challenges, to define and plan together the ways forward as a Conference, and to deepen the theme of pedagogical innovation in post-pandemic times.

At the opening via video, the General Councilor for Youth Ministry of the FMA Institute, Sr. Runita Borja, and the Provincial of Laura Vicuña Province (ARG), Sr. Silvia Boullosa, welcomed the participants and the Provincial of St. Artemide Zatti Province (ARN), Fr. Horacio Barbieri. He spoke of the “indisputable role of the educating community”. “Communities have taken action in different ways to reach all students in the time of the pandemic. After the pandemic, a new link has been established between family and school and there is concern about the effects on children. An impact is also on the economic situation. It is important to have a School that listens to reality and this motivates us in our work.”

The representatives of the Sector and of the Youth Ministry Department for the American Continent, Sr. Ivone Goulart Lopes, FMA, and Fr. Claudio Cartes, SDB, also gave their greetings, as did Sr. Cecilia Poublete and Juan Pablo Vásquez, representatives of the Region.

In her intervention, Sr. Runita Borja underlined the importance of a common formation in view of the shared mission and the need to create alliances inside and outside Salesian schools, as an expression of the Global Educational Pact.

Sr. Ivone Goulart recalled that the prophecy of education lies in the commitment to humanization, made possible by online action, with a proposal rich in spirituality. “We must learn from young people: how to live the crisis and how to live it together. The school has three roles: boat, compass, and buoy. Don Bosco and Mary Mazzarello help us to ‘go forward with a big and generous heart’ (C 47,12)”.

Fr. Claudio Cartes highlighted the broad vision of the Charism in education, undertaken through a common vision with which contingent situations are faced, within a systematic formation.

Juan Pablo Vásquez, of Chile, representative of the Southern Cone (SEPSUR), introduced the days by reminding the participants of the objectives of the meeting and reading the minutes of 2022. He also presented the “Model of guaranteed significance”.

Sr. Cecilia Poblete, of St. Gabriel Archangel Province (CIL), CICSAL Referent, spoke about the planning of the ESA 2020-2022 evaluation, after which each Province presented the results of the province evaluation.

On May 4, the main speaker was Prof. Alejandra Canales Tapia, who spoke of “Educational innovation”. Sr. Cecilia then coordinated the presentations of good practices presented by the Provinces.

The Formative Moment was led by Sr. Ivone Goulart, who spoke on “The strength of Salesian identity to respond to the challenges of the current context” and by Fr. Claudio Cartes on the theme, “Synergy and co-responsibility in the Salesian educational proposal (consecrated and lay at the service of the Educational Pastoral Project)”.

The meeting, which included moments of fraternity and culture on the streets of Cordoba, ended on May 5 with the 2023-2024 Projection and evaluation, curated by Juan Pablo and Sr. Cecilia, and with the Eucharistic Celebration presided over by Fr. Claudio Cartes.


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