Rome (Italy). From 1 to 5 July 2022, at the Summer House “il Carmelo” in Sassone, Rome, will take place the XXII VIDES International Congress – International Volunteering for Women Education and Development – the voluntary association promoted by the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians that works for the promotion and defense of the rights of children, young people, and women.

“Vides culture of reciprocity. Foundations of the Common Home. Young protagonists of change” is the theme that will be explored during the days by about 150 participants from all over the world – about 120 in presence and others connected online – through conferences, workshops, presentations of good practices shared by the world VIDES realities and moments together, such as the “People’s Day” on the theme of peace with the inhabitants of Sassone and the “Solidarity Table” for the Ukraine emergency.

The objectives of the Congress are: to develop in young people the capacity for a critical and participatory reading of the culture of reciprocity in contemporary reality; strengthen the belief that today’s cultural change changes the cultural, social, and political role of volunteering; increase the operational skills of the VIDES volunteer as a protagonist of this change.

The Congress will be attended by the Superior General of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Sr. Chiara Cazzuola; the Councilor for Youth Ministry, Sr. Runita Borja; the Councilor for Administration, Sr. Ena Veralís Bolaños; the President of VIDES International, Mr. Guido Barbera; the General Director, Sr. Annecie Audate, who will be the moderator of the Congress. Mother General emeritus, Sr. Ivonne Reungoat, will also be present.

The Congress is an opportunity for participants to acquire new knowledge about the culture of reciprocity, integral ecology, and solidarity economy, and to grow in the sense of belonging to VIDES, renewing their commitment to networking and collaborating in the various areas of intervention of the Association. The intercultural encounter also has the purpose of encouraging the development of operational strategies that can be applied in different cultural contexts, to become multipliers of hope in one’s own reality and to be young protagonists at local, national, and international level, acting as active citizens and involving other young people and organizations of civil and ecclesial society.

Three Expert Conferences will be proposed:

“The depth of the Salesian charism as a spirituality and methodology of action of the VIDES volunteer”, will be presented by Fr. Rossano SALA, Salesian of Don Bosco, Director of Youth Pastoral Notes, already appointed by Pope Francis as Secretary of the Synod of Bishops for vocational discernment.

“Living the culture of reciprocity in this time of great violence and relational precariousness” will be the theme developed by Sr. Pina Del Core, FMA, appointed by Pope Francis as Consultor of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life and Teacher of Psychology of Development and Orientation at the Pontifical Faculty of Education «Auxilium», of which she was Dean for 9 years.

“Young protagonists in change (designing, creating, planning). The culture of the whole” will be presented by Claudia Cassano and Maurizio Cei, VIDES Volunteers for several years, educators, and direct witnesses of youth leadership.

On the second day, Sr. Eliane Petri Anschau, FMA, will hold the Lectio divina on the Gospel passage of the Wedding at Cana (Jn 5: 2-10), with a Salesian reading.

In the 150th anniversary of the FMA Institute, the participants will also have the opportunity to experience a pilgrimage – from 6 to 8 July 2022 – to the places of the Salesian roots, Mornese, Nizza Monferrato, and Turin.

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