Fr. Simon Zakerian
IT IS PASTORAL
Because it is the multi-form expression of an ecclesial community, in which the animating nucleus is the community of consecrated Salesians, along with lay collaborators, constituting all together that ecclesial community in the territory that expresses its evangelical mission through the educative and pastoral works that from time to time puts in the field.
IT IS YOUTHFUL
Because at the center of its action is the youth, in particular those who are in need. It is about searching for the young people in their reality, with all their resources and difficulties and to identify their challenges in the social, cultural and religious contexts in which they live, dialoguing with them in order to propose, through the pedagogy of accompaniment, a journey of living and community encounter with Jesus Christ.
IT IS SALESIAN
Because it has in the original charisma of Don Bosco, according to the inspiration of the educative charity of the Good Shepherd and of the loving kindness of Saint Francis di Sales, its principal reference, expression of the preventive pedagogy, amiable, open to dialogue and trust, the measure of its truth and efficacy, the yardstick of planning and acting.
The dimension of education in the faith finds in the missionary animation and in the various forms of volunteering, a continuity that must be maintained and developed. Openness to the missionary vocation and the social commitment of charity in volunteering are mature expressions of education for the faith and evangelization of young people.
Missionary animation is born in continuity with the identity of every Christian and of every community, like their natural “flowering” and presents itself as a radical and clear expression of that identity capable of motivating communities towards an apostolic dynamism.
A common feature and significant event are the two sides that need to be highlighted: a missionary animation that strengthens the faith, and a faith that leads to missionary commitment towards everyone, especially towards the neediest.
The task of vocational animation within youth ministry is the structuring and animation of specific walks that allow children and young people to mature in a journey of faith and discernment and availability to the call of the Lord in a specific vocation. The walks proposed at the provincial level are intended to assist and support the local walks.
In the Salesian pedagogy of the faith, the vocational choice is the mature and indispensable outcome of all human and Christian growth. “We educate young people to develop their human and baptismal vocation with a daily life progressively inspired and unified by the Gospel”. Faith cannot be reduced to pure intellectual assent. The believer confesses the truth by committing his life for the cause of God, the Savior of man. The aim of Salesian youth ministry is to help young people to discover their place in building the Kingdom and to assume it with joy and determination.
The “vocation” begins with the call to life, proceeds in the call to faith and comes with various responses, to the call to consecrated life. In this sense, they are accompanied by those who, in a good process of growth and maturation in the vocational dimension of their own person, consider the possibility that God calls them to a life of special consecration. The continuity of the apostolic vocational animation process takes place in a specific vocational itinerary. In it, attention is paid to listening, discernment, experiential verification on the field of personal suitability for a possible call of special consecration.
Social Communication, an indispensable task of the Church and of every educator, is a specific dimension of the Salesian charism, starting from the founder Don Bosco, who devoted so much effort to what he called the “Buona Stampa” (“Good Press”). The Congregation is therefore engaged in social communication by its fundamental vocation and educational mission. Within a rich and multiple presence in this area, created thanks to universities, publishing houses, radios, web editing, coordination centers and dedicated offices at provincial level.
Our Salesian Province of the Middle East is active in the field of social communication, both religious and lay, to manifest the good that the Salesian Family does in our countries, through websites, social networking, books and everything that concerns the interests of young people and the Church.