Milan (Italy). On 21 January 2022, with a Press Conference at the Archiepiscopal Curia of Milan, the initiative “Mission possible. An educational consortium in step with young people”, with which diocesan bodies and educational organizations operating in the Diocese of Milan intend to respond to the educational emergency and the discomfort of children and young people, which emerged especially during the pandemic.
Among the 15 educational organizations/entities involved, there were the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of the Lombard Province of the Holy Family (ILO), represented by Sr. Simona Bisin, Provincial Councilor for Youth Ministry, and by Dr. Alessandra Vergani, Formator and Referent for the Orientation of Ciofs/FP of Cinisello Balsamo (MI), who describe the main steps of the initiative:
“Go through the city and look around”
If Don Bosco were here today, he would be in the square, on the street, he would wear out the soles of his shoes along a thousand sidewalks; he would enter schools, universities; he would not miss the opportunity to look around …
He would use all his creative resources to make this time an opportunity; to reinvigorate desires, to feed dreams, to teach discernment. Don Bosco would know how to speak to the hearts of these young people. He would suffer terribly in feeling that the impossibility of thinking about tomorrow paralyzes the ability to imagine one’s own future. He would go all the way, to do halfway. He wouldn’t sleep at night to figure out where to start …
In order not to betray the dream of our Founder, we heard in the “Corata educativa” an appeal to which we should give an answer, because where the words “young people”, “education,” and “network” resound, we are there!
“Walk with your feet on the ground and with your heart live in heaven”
The educational consortium was born towards the spring of 2021 at the invitation of the director of the Oratori Milanesi Foundation (FOM), Fr. Stefano Guidi who, following the appeal of the Archbishop of Milan, Msgr. Mario Delpini to listen to and take care of the difficulties that the pandemic had made explode among the young, called together the representatives of the various educational bodies/realities operating in the Diocese to tackle a journey together. Meetings, exchanges of thoughts and views, and insights began.
It is a beautiful experience of Church, from which the richness of the different charisms emerges, in the intertwining of projects and experiences that arise in the Ambrosian land, an invitation that wants to have your feet firmly on the ground to relaunch an attitude of hope and contrast the greyness that hangs over the lives of so many.
“A good or sad future for society depends on the good or bad education of young people”
The first fruit of this journey is the “Manifesto”, born of the interaction of various realities that deal with education to take stock of the values that cannot be ignored to carry out actions that embody a shared thought on young people and education.
“That young people not only be loved, but that they themselves know they are loved”
The “Manifesto” is the synthesis of the attentions that emerge from a multi-voiced reading of the most urgent needs and towards which the gaze of the Christian communities is to converge, addressing at the same time young people and adults, so that they can undertake a path of reciprocal rediscovery and, by virtue of this, be authentically educational.
“Love what young people love, so they may love what you love”
In addition to the “Manifesto”, it was decided to offer educational courses to be carried out in the communities of the Diocese of Milan in the pastoral year 2022, starting in February. The recipients of these courses will be all those who are involved in a project aimed at young people or who have developed a particular educational sensitivity (coaches and sports animators, parents, teachers, catechists, Caritas, and after-school operators, grandparents …). The training module is designed on 3 meetings, in which the theme of listening – to oneself in the educational relationship and to adolescents – and the theme of the “network” will be focused on, through the possibility of activating collaborations that allow to start concrete and stable projects in the territory.
“I have always needed everyone”
Among the macro-objectives, the “Consortium” places a requalification of the educational proposal and the creation of a network of collaboration in the territory.
The Press Conference – held at the opening of the Education Week (21-31 January 2022), a privileged time for discussion and relaunching the educational service of the Diocese of Milan – ended with the reflection of the Vicar General of the Diocese, Msgr. Franco Agnesi, in which he individuated three “As” that identify the members of this Consortium:
Adults who put themselves at the service of young people say to young people: “I have also been through the difficulties you are going through”; Allies, because many times during the pandemic we said that we need to work together, and really doing it is a message that also says something to young people; finally, Adapt to life, to be able to tell young people that, as Monsignor Delpini reminded us in the Address of Saint Ambrose, “life is a vocation, not an incomprehensible enigma, the future is a promise and responsibility, not a threat”.