By Fr. Louis Molinelli, SDB, Province Delegate for Youth Ministry
The Salesian Youth Spirituality Frame of Reference speaks to us about the Preventive System being a proposal of spirituality which is suited to our times. Our Salesian tradition calls us always back to Don Bosco. Don Bosco was part of a movement of education in the 19th century that was innovative in its approach to the young. Don Bosco, inspired by his Catholic faith and the priesthood, set his educational practice of the experience of God in everyday life. It is a proposal of a journey to holiness through a spirituality of accompaniment of the young.
There are two specific qualities of our Salesian Youth Spirituality that make our understanding of the Preventive System relative to our modern times. First, Salesian spirituality is a charismatic spirituality. Our spirituality enriches the whole Church by giving a concrete path to holiness to the young. Second, Salesian spirituality is an apostolic spirituality. Like the Apostles, we are led by the Spirit to collaborate in the mission of the Father to be evangelizers and educators among the young people of our times. This has the goal of leading our young people to become evangelizers to other young people.
Salesian Youth Spirituality offers a spirituality to the young that has a unified vision of life at its core—it is given by the Father, redeemed through the Son, and nourished by the gifts of the Spirit. How do we allow the charismatic gifts of our Salesian spirituality to inform our pastoral planning and our accompaniment today in 2021? Where is the spirit of the Apostles leading us in our journey forward with the young? These are questions that should impact our planning at every step. May the Preventive System be this organic and living core of our ministry among the young.