Lubumbashi (RD Congo). From 13 to 17 January 2024, at St. Vincent de Paul School in the district of Luwowoshi, the young people of the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) of the Province O. L. of Africa (AFC) participated in the Pastoral School, with specific formation on ecological issues.

The School of Pastoral Care is a provincial activity that brings together the animators of the groups, movements, and universities of the Salesian works for a time of formation in view of strengthening the skills in Salesian pastoral animation. Organized by the SYM, the meeting had as its theme: “Mazingira si bila sisi via Don Bosco” – There is no environment without us, the young people of Don Bosco.

The program of the Pastoral School is varied and includes courses, workshops, moments of sharing, reflection, and prayer, as well as practical activities. This year, the young animators participating in the School had the opportunity to address some themes and conferences starting from the screening of the video of the Rector Major’s Strenna“The dream that makes you dream.” A heart that transforms the “wolves” into “lambs” on Salesian Youth Spirituality, on the Catechism of the Catholic Church and on the gender ideology, on the creation and relationship of human beings with nature, on leadership and animating a group, on artificial intelligence, and integration in society.

Some testimonies of the participants:

It was my first experience. The Pastoral School was very important because it involved me and the other young participants in a profitable way. As Don Bosco says, young people must always be busy, because without employment they can easily sin, so this type of initiative must be organized regularly. (Jhon)

I am a student at Don Bosco University in Lubumbashi, in the Faculty of Management Sciences and Financial Engineering. I participated in the second edition of the School of Pastoral Care, which I call the school of leaders for the construction of our common home, because we learn to teach others. Personally, I would say that this School has been much more beneficial for me, because I have gained a lot of knowledge that will help me to realize my plans. (Divine)

The Pastoral School was a great experience for me. We had to go deeper into different themes and what struck me most was the theme of leadership for a new world. As young people today, we have the opportunity to help rebuild this world, which is in danger but is a common home, as Pope Francis says in Laudato Si’, through ecological actions. (Patricia)

We are always in a continuous learning phase, and it is with this spirit that the Salesians have formed us for almost five days on these issues. The Pastoral School has allowed us to establish new relationships and to deepen the various themes, to enrich our fraternity and, of course, to rekindle that warmth among young people. At the second participation in this meeting, I tell myself that the best is yet to come. As for my mission, it will be to make other young people think about our future. I will do as Matthew says in chapter 10, verse 8: “Freely you have received, freely give.” (Junior)


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