|Of Young People, For Young People
VATICAN CITY, 27 JUNE 2006 (ZENIT)
Here is the description of the
Salesian Youth Movement which appears in the Directory of International
Associations of the Faithful, published by the Pontifical Council for
Official name: Salesian Youth Movement
History: SYM was founded on the centenary of the death of Don Bosco, the
founder and father of the Salesian family. Don Bosco's passion for
education notwithstanding, he could never have imagined a movement and
spirituality for youth in the modern sense of these terms.
However, his educational ideas gave rise to the experience of the
oratory, as a meeting place for creating friendship, and fertile ground
for stimulating the commitment and activism of young people.
Evidence of this comes from the different forms of youth associations
that arose out of his original idea: those "companies"
as he used to call them
to be considered as the "work of the young people themselves," and which
were to develop worldwide until the 1960s.
Following the Second Vatican Council, the Salesians and the Daughters of
Mary Help of Christians relaunched Don Bosco's "preventive system,"
seeking new forms of expressing this educational practice based on the
Gospel and on reason. It could become a model for all those working in
the field of youth education and wishing to use the "memory" of an
experience that could be tailored to suit the new conditions in which
young people were living.
The subsequent establishment of groups and associations prepared the
ground for the possibility of a "movement" in the early 1980s, based on
the Salesian spirituality of young people, in communion with the Church
and at the service of youth.
Identity: SYM comprises groups and associations which accept the
Salesian spirituality and pedagogy. While remaining autonomous in
organizational and operational terms, they guarantee a high quality
educational presence in the new forms of socialization of young people,
animating them to have a meaningful experience of Church life.
As a movement "of young people for young people," defined by reference
to a common spirituality and communication between groups that
guarantees the circulation of messages and values, SYM brings together
young people from every kind of background, from those who are far from
the Church and for whom spirituality is barely a seed, to those who
explicitly and consciously take upon themselves the Salesian proposal
and apostolic commitment.
One particular purpose of the movement is to form good Christians and
honest citizens, apostles of young people, according to the
possibilities of each individual, at the school of Don Bosco and Mother
Organization: SYM has the minimum basic structure to guarantee and
coordinate the circulation of the values of Salesian youth spirituality.
Each group in the movement is therefore urged to find the most
appropriate ways of performing this coordination, bearing in mind the
following criteria: incorporation into the local churches, increasing
the active participation of young people, analyzing the sociopolitical
and cultural environment in which they are working.
Memebership: SYM is present in every country in which there are
activities of the Salesians of Don Bosco, Daughters of Mary Help of
Christians, and laity who have been educated by them.
Movimento Giovanile Salesiano
c/o Salesiani di Don Bosco
Via della Pisana, 1111
Tel (39) 066-567-121
Movimento Giovanile Salesiano
c/o Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice
Via dell' Ateneo Salesiano, 81
Tel. (39) 06872741
© Copyright 2006
Libreria Editrice Vaticana [adapted]