Salesian Charismatic Identity

SYM Corner 04.21.22

By Fr.  Louis Molinelli, SDB, Province Delegate of Youth Ministry

Over the past month, all of us in the office of youth ministry have been engaged with our various youth ministry areas: schools, youth, and young adults, lay missioners, and adult collaborators. One of the things you notice about a gathering of Salesian youth ministers is their great delight and joy when doing activities with and for the young. Even in meetings of just adults, there is an energy created because all that we are doing is for the young and the salvation of their souls. In the Salesian Youth Ministry Frame of Reference, this spirit is referred to as our Salesian Charismatic Identity. This charismatic identity presupposes that youth ministers/educators have made the Preventive System their life choice, their fundamental option. Let’s read the words of Don Bosco himself as he described life at the Oratory of St. Francis de Sales:

Take note of what I am. I am all for you, day and night, morning, and evening, all the time. I have no other aim tan to gain your moral, intellectual, and physical well-being. For you I study, for you I work, for you I live, for you I am ready even to give my life (Chronicle of the Oratory of St. Francis de Sales).

The Frame of Reference is based on our Salesian legacy for working with the young. Our charismatic identity presupposes some internal dispositions on the part of the minister:

  • The desire to respond to the call for help that comes from the young;
  • The willingness to dedicate our time, energy, our knowledge, and our skills for the welfare of the young; and
  • The ability to continue with perseverance in a systematic way despite disappointments and difficulties.

To live our charismatic identity as Salesians, we need to combine a planning mentality with apostolic zeal. Our charismatic identity lies in our loving and imbibing the Preventive System in all aspects of our life. May we be so moved to zeal for integrating the Preventive System in all areas of our mission.

April 21, 2022 - 8:00am
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