Panama City. Everyday life, dreams, and growth. On the occasion of the Solemnity of St. John Bosco, Founder of the Congregations of the Salesians and of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, TV2000 will broadcast on Thursday, January 31st 2019 at 9.05 PM the first documentary film on the oratories “Here it is now”.
The Oratory is the Salesian educational intuition, left as a legacy by Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello, which values all youthful potential. On different continents, it reveals itself as a welcoming, joyful place, open to the expressions of the life of young people, capable of educating to faith and social life.
In the various geographical areas, the oratory offers a great variety of educative paths, activities, and types of gatherings in which children, teenagers, young people can insert themselves according to their interests: spontaneous groups where natural leaders and immediate interests prevail, more structured groups with a precise formative journey (sports and cultural groups, social involvement groups, study of the faith, vocational search, missionary awareness).
The oratory is a bridge between the street and the Church, a place of gathering and formation that accompanies the young in their growth process. For many young people, the oratory environment is a second home, a place where they can go and return.
The oratories are spread throughout the Salesian world and are a living and fruitful reality. The documentary Here it is now is set precisely in five oratories of Lombardy (Clusone, Gonzaga a Milano, San Faustino, e San Giovanni in Brescia, Lomazzo). It is now directed by Giorgo Horn and produced by the Oratories of Lombardy and the Entertainment Agency Foundation.
A choral story, which involves 5 parishes of Lombardy and studies the social fabric that revolves around them from a perspective different than the one usually proposed by the media. We follow a young city priest, a Senegalese educator, an elderly nun, a group of teenagers, and the parish priest of a mountain town.
These apparently separate stories are destined to intertwine with each other. As the director, Giorgio Horn explains, the proposal that led to the realization was that of telling of “A world, that of the oratories, always in movement, with numerous activities, ideas, reflections, and thousands of colors. It is a universe made up of young people who build their future and their personality with the help of priests, educators, and volunteers”.
Here it is Now speaks of young people from a point of view that differs from what we are used to hearing, as for example, of the group of teenagers of San Siro Oratory (Lomazzo) who decided to undertake a journey of community life in a parish apartment. These young people, between their school commitments, encounters with their friends, and the disco on Saturday nights, question themselves on the meaning of their life and dream of their future amid a thousand question marks. In the docufilm, there are also stories of real integration, as for example the story of Akon, a young Senegalese who arrived in Brescia ten years ago and works as an educator at San Faustino Oratory, situated in the center of the old city crowded with many children who are almost all second generation immigrants.
Then there is Fr. Mattia Bernasconi, a thirty year old who, after a degree in aerospace engineering and an important job offer in China, decides to enter the seminary. Fr. Mattia follows the oratory activities with dynamism and conviction, thus involving many young people. Analyzing deeply the most important aspects of contemporary society in a great metropolis like Milan, Fr. Mattia is committed to helping the weakest with lunches that are more than just a meal for the poor, but more importantly, opportunities to spend time with them.
If life were a film, the oratory would be represented by that precise moment: a return home for anyone who visits it, a moment of serenity isolated from the logic of the world but, above all, a set of experiences, life, and human relationships . Each oratory is a small film in itself: a community experience that often impacts the lives of those who attend it in a tenderly unpredictable way.