Carrying Out the Mission of Our Saintly Founder

SYM Corner #2

By Fr. Lou Molinelli, SDB

We read in the first chapter of the Salesian Youth Ministry Frame of Reference that the society to which Don Bosco returned after his ordination in 1841 was vastly different from the one he left behind before his studies for the priesthood. It was not even a decade, yet Turin had seen the explosive growth of the Industrial Revolution. There were many social, cultural, and economic shifts, as well as a rise of anti-clericalism. Many young people found themselves the victims of abusive work situations, poverty, lack of education, and homelessness.

How did Don Bosco face these challenges? First and foremost, his greatest desire was to make contact with young people because of his love for them. His outlook on the young of Turin reflected what he learned from his spiritual director, St. Joseph Cafasso. He chose to look to the possibilities that the young could achieve through guidance and education. Don Bosco was a realist. He confronted the problems facing the young as they were, but he saw what the crown of each young person through loving-kindness could be through strong faith, education, and a caring mentor.

This joy and optimism are characteristics of our Salesian approach to the young. We accompany them with evangelical joy, helping them to realize that God has a plan for them to lead them to be “honest citizens and upright Christians.” In our work of evangelization and educating the young, we must carry out the mission of Our Saintly Founder in finding the possibilities within each young person we encounter. We are charged with accompanying the young in an environment of Christian joy and optimism. Salesian Youth Ministry is a means for the young to discover God, who greatly awaits them and will help them fulfill all their possibilities.

August 18, 2021 - 3:00pm

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