(ANS – Rome) – Starting September, the pamphlet “Youth Ministry and the Family” will be available to Provincials, Delegates for Youth Ministry and all pastoral workers in the various environments. It was produced in six languages (French, English, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Portuguese) and will be accessible in electronic and printed format. It is the result of work the Salesian Youth Ministry Sector has been carrying out for several months with the aim of increasing the synergy between youth and family ministries, and which integrates and updates the path started in 2014 and which has continued with the important International Youth and Family Pastoral Congress (Madrid, 2017). Furthermore, the publication coincides with an ecclesial event: on March 19, 2021, Pope Francis inaugurated the Year “Amoris Laetitia Family”, 5 years after the publication of “Amoris Laetitia”. It will end on 26 June 2022 on the occasion of the 10th World Meeting of Families in Rome with the Holy Father.
Starting the last quarter of 2020, the Youth Ministry Sector has begun work on finding and analyzing all the material concerning the paths undertaken by the Congregation on this topic (meetings of delegates, documents of experts and contributions from the Congress). At the same time, the recent literature (following the publication of Amoris Laetitia) on the international scene, relating to the relationship between youth ministry and the family, was examined. At a later stage, a large group of people from the various regions was asked to send contributions and suggestions regarding the contents and valuable material was received. At the same time, the Rector Major and his Council studied the text in various working sessions, and then approved the final version and subsequent publication.
The text is configured, in fact, as a synthetic and organic collection of the essentials that emerged during this rich and fruitful journey.
These pages aim to highlight how the involvement and integration of these two realities (Salesian youth ministry and family) lead us to reflect together on the significance and needs that this double perspective entails for our educational and pastoral renewal.
The recipients of this document are the Salesians of Don Bosco and all the pastoral workers who have responsibility for animating the various sectors and areas. Faced with the family situation we live today, in fact, the Salesians, with the Salesian Family, are called to make an educative pastoral proposal to accompany all the types of families that make up the EPC and all the young people.
The text is made up of three parts; the first underscores the value of the family in the experience of Don Bosco and Valdocco, and then offers, in the second section, some reflections on the quality of the educational encounter and on the family spirit in the Preventive System. In the last chapter, the importance of the family itself is emphasized, its contribution to the ecosystem of the formation of young people, positively highlighting its contribution to the daily life of the Educational Pastoral Community (EPC).
Some concrete indications for the Salesian EP projects are then presented.