Brazil. On 30 and 31 May 2023, the 1st National Communication Meeting (ENAC) of the Salesian Network Brazil (RSB) took place online on the theme “Surfing the net, connected to the Salesian charism: creating and communicating values”. At its first edition, it was the first RSB meeting open to all attendees – Schools, Social Works, Higher Education – and for the first time present at the event were the General Councilors for Communication of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and of the Salesians of Don Bosco, Sr. Maria Ausilia De Siena and Fr. Gildásio Mendes dos Santo, who connected from Rome.
Also present were the RSB Executive Directors, Fr. Nivaldo Luiz Pessinatti, SDB, and Sr. Silvia Aparecida da Silva; Sr. Maike Loes, FMA, National Coordinator for Communication; the Head of Formation Projects, Ana Paula Costa e Silva; and the communication team from the RSB; the Salesian Formation Center; the Service Network (SAR); and the Technology and Innovation team.
The first day – in which the theme “Educational experiences that inspire: the sacrament of presence in Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello” was explored. It was opened by the greetings of Sr. Maria Carmelita de Lima Conceição, Provincial of the Province of Our Lady of the Amazon (BRM) and Fr. Francisco Inácio Vieira Júnior, Provincial of the Brazil-Recife Province (BRE). Sr. Maike Loes contextualized the event by saying, “It is not just a meeting for communicators; it is a meeting for everyone, because we all communicate, we all produce communication, we all live and move in the world of communication. Each one in their own way, but all involved in communication environments and spaces, creating many other communication environments and spaces.”
“Walking on the tightrope of solid things and the lightness of things to communicate in times of great change” is the title of the presentation by Fr. Gildásio Mendes dos Santo, who proposed a reflection on the communicative dimension of Don Bosco for the evangelization of young people of his time, still present in today’s charismatic proposals. “He [Don Bosco] was the first and greatest communicator of the young people of his time and of his culture when he lived in Turin. Don Bosco is in the ranks of the greatest communicators of humanity. We are sons and daughters of a great communicator who was able to walk the ‘tightrope’ with great foresight, commitment, creativity, and initiative. All done in favor of the mission.”
Through some scenes from the film “Maín – The house of happiness”, Sr. Maria Ausilia De Siena, with the theme “Networking with Mary Mazzarello” illustrated the mission of Mother Mazzarello who, with the girls of Mornese, was already “Salesian” even before joining forces with Don Bosco in favor of the young people. “The integral formation of the person is the educational project of Don Bosco and of Mother Mazzarello. […] Every person seriously involved in the fascinating educational mission in Salesian style, inevitably asks themselves continuous questions to ensure that their action in this field is truly effective and reaches the hearts of children, young people, and adolescents.”
Understanding of the interventions was facilitated by the precious work of simultaneous translation carried out by the Institutional Director of the Salesian School of Brasilia (ESB) in Brasilia, Sr. Ivanette Duncan de Miranda (from Italian into Portuguese) and by the Collaborator for Youth Ministry in Rome, Sr. Ivone Goulart (from Portuguese into Italian).
“Digital experiences that enthuse: from relationship to conquest” was the theme of May 31, in which the dimension of educational marketing was explored. Significant was the presence of the founder and managing director of the “Bear” Agency, Andréa Tavares, Past Pupil of the Santa Inês School of San who developed the aspect of Educational Marketing for schools and social works, offering practical training full of strategies for support the Salesian presences in Brazil in their educational marketing activities throughout the year.
“As Salesians we feel doubly enriched by Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello […] Therefore, beyond words, we must express the great joy in feeling so closely united charismatically,” commented Fr. Nivaldo Luiz Pessinatti. “Education is a team game; it is networking and this strength is indispensable […] I am very confident in our networking. Together we can always do better and strengthen ourselves more and more” added the executive director of the RSB, Sr. Silvia Aparecida da Silva at the conclusion of this first ENAC meeting.