(Rome Italy). After having lived the intense and exciting experience of World Youth Day 2023 in Lisbon, Portugal, the young people of the Salesian Youth Movement, who on 2 August in Lisbon and Estoril met in around 8,000 at the SYM Day, for a day of spirituality and Salesian celebration, they share in a letter the reflections and commitment they wish to carry forward after the world meeting with Pope Francis.

“The WYD 2023 has been an inspiring moment for us, the representatives of the Salesian Youth Movement, because through this encounter we have come to know more deeply the prophetic lives of Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello that has brought each one of us to Jesus. In our reflections each of us has been able to realize that despite the sheer volume of people in attendance at WYD, still, we were reminded of Christ being fully alive among us, and the way in which He was able to strengthen us throughout periods of physical, mental, and spiritual challenge during the pilgrimage. We too have been inspired by our Salesian charism, and the experience of WYD heightened our awareness of both our universality and the need to accompany one another and contribute to our communities as positive agents of change.

As Salesian youth, we commit ourselves to live out the gift of our Salesian identity together with our identity in Christ more fully in all communities we encounter. This WYD experience has motivated each one of us to commit ourselves to giving time and space to converse together about the many realities young people find themselves in, in the spirit of accompaniment. We too take motivation from Christ’s great love and sacrifice for us, so that we too can learn to live a life where we are willing to make sacrifices in order to reflect His love that we have had the grace to experience. Through our encounter as a Salesian family, we know that the challenges we face in our localities are universal and so we commit ourselves to a continued effort of active leadership of our peers that is hopeful and joyful.

To fulfill our commitment as Salesian youth, we remind ourselves of the lifelong gift the Salesian charism asks of us: to pay witness to young people in communion with the Church. We will seek to find opportunities and means to mentor young people in nurturing their faith and encouraging them on their journey as Salesian youth, both in formal settings and through the actions of our daily lives. In fulfilling our commitments, we hold strongly the great gift of Salesian joy to bring young people closer to Christ. In committing ourselves as Salesian youth, we heed the words of Pope Francis in our willingness to be uncomfortable, in continuing to seek new ways to grow with the Salesian Family and the Church, and not letting the centrality of this in our lives expire beyond a certain age”.

Reflections Shared by: Teaghan Dolan – Australia; Noah Rodrigues – India, Daryl Huevos – Canada; Marisol Becerra – USA; Karla Ximena Mata Pérez – Mexico; Oscar Barrantes Zuñiga – Costa Rica; Americo Tinga Chaquisse – Mozambique; Pablo Osorio Delgado – Spain

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