Medellin (Colombia) From 14 to 16 February 2020, at “La Montañita” Spirituality Center in La Estrella, the meeting was held for Catholic Religion Teachers, Catechists, and Salesian Youth Pastoral Leaders of the various works of the Colombian Province of Mary Help of Christians of Medellin (CMA).
The theme of the meeting entitled “Making pastoral biblical narrative a pedagogy of life”, the Initial Proclamation or Kerigma with which God reveals Himself to humanity. By making the personal experience of a living and real God, everyone can narrate with their life and words the experience that becomes contagious for others.
About 60 lay people and Daughters of Mary Help of Christians were present who lived these days with the objective indicated in the opening speech by the CMA Provincial, Sister Maria Victoria Montoya, citing Strenna 2020 of the Rector Major of the Salesians of Don Bosco: “All that we do has the same goal: to do good for the most needy children and we do it like Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello, giving quality to catechesis so that it achieves its essential purpose, that of transmitting God’s saving love for every young person.”
Recalling Mother Mazzarello who lived her baptismal vocation by dedicating herself to pastoral care and catechesis, the Provincial added: “Main belonged to the youth group of her parish, just like the groups that many of you lead today. Catechesis means to understand life through the light of faith.”
The conference of Father Juan José Jiménez, Jesuit, Consultant of the Episcopal Conference of Colombia, helped us to study some paragraphs of the final Document of the Synod of Bishops “Young people, faith and vocational discernment” (3-28 October 2018), to strengthen the concepts regarding Salesian Catechetical Pastoral Care. In addition, the participants, together with Father Juan José Jiménez, re-read the ways in which the initial proclamation is made to the young people of the Province. All catechists and members of pastoral care present confirmed the urgency of narrating with their own lives the faith they profess, bringing a joyful and courageous initial proclamation of the person and the work of Jesus.
The meeting was coordinated by 10 young members of the Provincial Animation Group of Salesian Pastoral Care (GAPSI) who dealt with logistics, the care of the Liturgy, and animation.
At the end, some young participants expressed themselves as follows: “It was an excellent opportunity to renew ourselves in the common mission and learn to narrate the presence of God in our life, with a young and contagious language that strengthens the faith.”
To conclude, Sister Karen Gamarra FMA, provincial coordinator of Salesian Youth Pastoral, indicated to all those present the urgency of preparing a Formation Plan for the initial prolamation of the works of the Province to children and young people, with the narrative modality that Pope Francis proposed to the Church. This formation implies for all catechists, the care and celebration of their faith.