Rome (Italy) From 26 to 28 June 2020, in online mode due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the annual meeting of the Small Team, the Coordination Team of the Salesian Youth Movement (MGS) Europe and the Middle East was held consisting of three young people and the Youth Ministry Delegates of the Salesians of Don Bosco and of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.

The meeting opened on June 26 with the testimony of Carina Baumgartner, a young woman from the SYM of Austria, who was part of the Small Team in the 2015-2018 three-year period and is now one of the members of the International Youth Consultative Committee of the Dicastery for the Laity and Family Life. Carina expressed her gratitude to the FMA and SDB, for having transmitted to her the human and spiritual values of Salesian youth spirituality, which lead to being “good Christians and honest citizens“.

On 27 June, the formation moment was animated by Sister Runita Borja, General Councilor of the Youth Ministry of the FMA, on the theme: “Roots and Wings, a vision of the future. Roots to grow and Wings to fly.”  Sister Runita took the example of three young people who demonstrated their passion for life in different dimensions: Melati Wijsen, an Indonesian young woman who, at age 19, ran a campaign for integral ecology; Kennedy Mitchum, a 22-year-old African American woman, who proposed updating the definition of racism in the American Merriam-Webster dictionary;  and Carlo Acutis, a 15-year-old Italian who offered his life for Jesus, for the Church, and for the Holy Father. He will be beatified in October 2020. Citing the proverb “Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness”, he urged young people to be strongly rooted and to ‘fly high’ with their wings, living life fully and with passion.

Sister Runita Borja invited the Small Team to spread the passion for today’s important causes among the SYM groups of Europe and the Middle East: ecology – according to the proposal of Pope Francis’ Encyclical Letter Laudato Sì – and social networks.

During the meeting, the Small Team, on behalf of the young people of SYM Europe and the Middle East, officially welcomed the newly elected General Councilor for Youth Ministry of the Salesians of Don Bosco, Fr Miguel Ángel Garcia Morcuende, who invited the young people to be enthusiastic witnesses of Jesus whom they have encountered and who gave them their life.

Renato Cursi, Collaborator of the SDB Youth Ministry Department and Coordinator of the SYM Europe and Middle East for the last six years, in concluding his mandate expressed his gratitude for what he received during this service.


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