Rome (Italy). From 2 to 4 November 2018 the formation weekend for animators and managers was held in Rome, organized in collaboration between the CGS associations (Youth Sociocultural Cine-circles) and TGS (Youth and Social Tourism), on the theme “Calls to animate to transFORM” – #iltuofuturoassociativo”.

About fifty participants from all over Italy, of which over half under 30, reflected together on the associative identity and cultural issues related to the specific proposal of the two Associations, with moments in common and thematic workshops in areas of interest.

After the greetings of the Presidents of the CNOS Promoters Fr. Roberto Dal Molin, and CIOFS Sr. Anna Razionale, and a video message from Sister Runita Borja, General Councilor for Youth Pastoral of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, the work was opened with the intervention of Fr. Fabio Attard, General Councilor for Youth Pastoral of the Salesians of Don Bosco, who presented the theme “I am Mission: responsible service from an associative perspective within the Salesian Youth Movement “, in the light of the recent Youth Synod.

In particular, Fr. Fabio reaffirmed that the horizon of the Salesian Youth Movement is represented by all the young people who move or live in the different environments and sectors of pastoral animation of Salesian works, with different levels and rhythms of involvement and commitment, in which even the Associations are fully recognized. In particular, they are privileged places of youthful protagonism because through the associative experience, young people go from being simple recipients of the activities to assume increasing responsibilities, becoming more and more points of reference for the young people who are beginning their journey.

In the evening organized by the TGS Association, the participants were led to the discovery of some places in the city of Rome significant for the life of Don Bosco: Termini Station, Saint Mary Major, and St. Peter in Chains.

In the separate sessions, the TGS Association met Fr. Gionatan De Marco (Director of the National Office for the Pastoral Care of Leisure, Tourism and Sport of CEI), who presented a new concept of Religious Tourism that aims to make the pilgrim live an experience of life, beauty, welcome, and hospitality; and Veronica D’Ortenzio, creator of Art-Oratory, who demonstrated and made them live ways in which animation can be done through art.

The CGS Association was involved with a round table entitled “Form to criticize the messages of communication and cinema“, with the intervention of prof. Fabio Pasqualetti (Dean of the Faculty of Communication Sciences of the Salesian Pontifical University), and Giovanni Ottone (writer and film critic), and the national President Cristiano Tanas who presented ” Salesian style educational theater”, starting from the origins to the daily reality of the CGS companies and groups, offering a fundamental educational service.

On the practical side, a theater workshop was proposed, coordinated by the “Volti dal Kaos” Theater Company of CGS Don Bosco Ranchibile of Palermo, in which the participants were able to engage with the figure of the actor, learning to stage a very short show, and getting personally involved. The performances were criticized and evaluated by the ‘public’ present during the evening shared with the TGS Association, which then ‘reciprocated’ the gift, offering the young CGS an interesting guided tour of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, built by Don Bosco in Rome.

The two Associations met together with Prof. Francesca Busnelli, a lecturer at the Salesian Pontifical University, on the theme “Dynamics in associative life and indications for good coordination”, which proposed to the participants some suggestions to face consciously and effectively the management of their local associations: definition of objectives, roles and responsibilities, organizational culture, and space for the young generations.

On Sunday, after the Holy Mass celebrated in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, the experience ended with a moment of evaluation, in which the participants promoted the formation weekend with full marks, underlining the competence of the speakers, the validity of the proposed topics, and above all, the climate of friendship that was created thanks to the collaboration of all, young animators and older managers, as well as to the positive synergy between the two Salesian Associations.


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