Rome (Italy). On 2 August 2021, the second day of the FMA Past Pupils International Congress took place online on the theme: “Which resilience for the Association? Challenges, paths, prospectives”.
The second day began with the reading by Sr. Maria Luisa Miranda, General Councilor for the Salesian Family, of the Greeting of the Rector Major of the Salesians of Don Bosco, Don Ángel Fernández Artime, center of unity and promoter of the various groups of the Salesian Family:
“Since its first generations, the Salesian Family has found in the Preventive System the source of its resilience, that is, the ability to face difficult situations, with the spirituality that Don Bosco left us and that Mother Mazzarello was able to interpret and develop with authentic mastery in the years of the Institute’s foundation. Fidelity to their teachings, the climate of spontaneity, friendship, and joy, the recourse to the inner strength of the person, trace a path of personal and collective growth capable of facing difficulties and calming the spirit with the same greeting of peace – ‘shalom’ – of the Risen One. They revive the sense of faith and hope to continue carrying out their educational project in favor of the most needy”.
The Rector Major’s message expresses the invitation to all the participants to go forward with renewed enthusiasm and with the Salesian spirit all that was shared in the Congress: “May the simplicity, familiarity, and creativity of the Mornese years; the link with Don Bosco’s projects; Fr. Rinaldi’s creative fidelity, and the audacity with which the first past pupils moved, be references of light for all of you and for the whole Confederation”.
Then there was the sharing of the Programmatic Guidelines for the six-years 2021-2027, formulated during the Ordinary Assembly of the World Confederation, which took place on 31 July and 1 August 2021, with the contributions of the proposals received from the participants in the Congress following the requests of the speakers.
Listening to the reality of the contemporary world and the changes taking place, we have chosen to privilege: the family, which is undergoing profound transformations; the young generations, to grasp their profound desire for meaning and identify the situations that prevent them from maturing as responsible adults; creation, the heritage of humanity entrusted to the ‘care’ of each one so that its resources can be safeguarded for future generations.
The challenges will be translated into paths at the local level and, to address them effectively, we will focus on the formation of the Associates and the leaders of the Associations at various levels; knowledge of the world and youth languages; care of the communication style and content both within the Association and externally; the ability to network with the territory to promote projects and initiatives.
The Mother General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Sr. Yvonne Reungoat, recalling the experience of the Ordinary Assembly, highlighted the vitality that emerged from the report on the life of the Association: “I think you are all animated by feelings of gratitude and hope. The figures that have been presented to you are not dry numbers. They are the translation of the exercise of an economy well-understood in the journey of the World Confederation. Behind them are all the works of mercy exercised, all the attention given to the life of the poorest and of the most fragile, the internal and external needs to be met so that the World Confederation is more and more what it must be, so that the specific charism of the FMA Past Pupils can shine everywhere”.
Mother highlighted the work done in communion and dialogue between the members of the Confederal Council and wished fruitful work to the new Confederal Councilors, thanking them for their willingness to accept the task “to watch over the life of the Confederation, to be open to the ‘calls’ of Federations and Unions, to the appeals of the territory”.