Rome (Italy). On 2 June 2023, the World Councilor of the Youth Ministry Sector of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Sr. Runita Borja, together with Sr. Ivone Goulart Lopes, collaborator of the Sector, held an online meeting with the Provincial Youth Ministry Coordinators of the Interprovincial Conference of Brazil (CIB): Sr. Teresa Cristina Domiciano, Our Lady Aparecida Province (BAP); Sr. Ana Maria Cordeiro, Mother Mazzarello Province (BMM); Sr. Claudiane Cavalcante da Silva, Mary Help of Christians Province (BRE); and Sr. Nádia Caetano dos Santos, Our Lady of Amazonia Province (BRM).
The theme of the meeting was: “The educational mission of the FMA – A synodal youth ministry for the life of all – Key points for the animation of the Youth Ministry Sector 2022-2027”.
In her presentation, Sr. Runita underlined that the experience of General Chapter XXIV, in its content and process, contains three characteristic guidelines of the FMA’s YM: synodality, discernment, and being at the service of life, keeping hope alive.
She then resumed the priority choices of GC XXIV – ongoing formation for a renewed vocational impulse, missionary synodality, and conversion to integral ecology – to be included in the educational mission. She said, “In all expressions (places, modalities), in fidelity to the Charism and the needs of the youth reality, we must create real Educating Communities that promote the integral formation of young people, which favor their insertion in society and in the Church (cf. Const. 129)”.
She also underlined that the focus of animation must be placed on the Conversion to Integral Ecology, on Global Citizenship, with particular attention to the female reality and the style of missiological synodality. We must look for young people where they are; listen to them and involve them; get involved with them. She continued that there are many transversal themes such as: Generative leadership – search for inclusive organizational models, participatory management; Global Citizenship in the Light of Christian Anthropology; Knowledge of youth reality; Integral ecology and global educational pact in the style of the Salesian Preventive System. There is also the Evangelizing mission: the ministry of the catechist; the first proclamation, catechesis, the teaching of religion; missionary synodality and shared mission. There is dialogue: ecumenical and interreligious; intergenerational; intercultural and inter-congregational; the reception, protection, promotion, and integration of the poorest and most vulnerable, especially women and young people; educational innovation and sustainability (community, ecological and economic), and many others.
The Provincial Coordinators then shared the contents and reflections on the meetings held during this first semester: on 17 February, online, and on 18-20 April, in person, together with the Provincial Delegates of the Salesians of Don Bosco in Brazil.
Finally, after the presentation of the organization of Youth Ministry in each Province, the meeting concluded by celebrating the birthday of Sr. Runita Borja.