THE CONGRESS: AN INTERNATIONAL GATHERING
The Department of Youth Ministry of the Salesians of Don Bosco has convened this gathering of more than 300 Salesians and lay people from 5 continents (Europe, Americas, Asia, Africa and Oceania) from more than 80 countries and the many Salesian Provinces around the globe to look at the Salesian apostolate among the young and the important role that the family plays in this important mission in the Church.
The Department of Youth Ministry of the Salesians reviews the background to this event—its timeliness in that we find ourselves in the context following two Synods of the Church about pastoral action with families (2014 and 2015). The 27th General Chapter (GC 27) of the Salesians of Don Bosco also reflected on how families are affected by a number of economic, social, legal as well as political factors. More than ever, the Salesians now see that the families play a key role in society and in the education of its new generations.
The Congress has plenary sessions, each with a keynote speaker, moments of common prayer and Eucharistic celebrations, parallel sessions featuring best practices from the different Salesian provinces, parallel workshops (including one from Fr. Francis Gustilo, SDB of the FIN Province), and meetings by regions.
The Congress participants are Salesians and lay people from the different Salesian provinces. Each of the provinces is represented by a delegation made up of those involved with families in the field of Salesian Youth Ministry. The Congress organizers note that the participation of these Salesians and lay people in the Congress will help promote and strengthen various ministerial processes for the family as the focus and recipient of the Salesian apostolate. The Salesian Philippine Province North (FIN) is represented by Fr. Joel Camaya, Fr. Edwin Soliva, and Mr. John Marie Francis Villafania, who all belong to the Family Ministry Team of the Province.