30 Years since SYM’s Charismatic Beginning

14 Sep 2018

“Young people need adults who are pilgrims with them”

30 Years since SYM’s Charismatic Beginning

(ANS – Rome – September 7) – Thirty years ago, in the celebrations of the centennial of the death of Don Bosco (1988), the Salesian Youth Movement was officially recognized as the Salesian Youth Worldwide Movement.

To commemorate this occasion, the two general councilors for youth ministry, Fr. Fabio Attard, SDB, and Sr. Runita Borja, FMA, published a message addressed to the young, recalling the great harmony between the identity of the SYM and the Church’s journey, as evidenced in the theme of the next Synod of Bishops: “Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment.”

“The Salesian Youth Movement,” says Fr. Attard, “was born from the reflection of the Second Vatican Council as an expression of the young people to make a journey of faith and group growth. In remembering the 30 years, we must emphasize that this is a charismatic experience because from the beginning it was the power of the Spirit that made it be born, grow, generate, this desire for a group experience in our works.”

“Today this group experience is growing,” explains Fr. Fabio. “It’s answering to the cry of young people to feel in community, but above all in communion, with a clear objective: to know the person of Jesus, grow in the person of Jesus.”

The SYM consists of groups and associations that recognize themselves in Salesian spirituality and pedagogy, according to the school of Don Bosco and of Mother Mazzarello, as stated in the Reference Framework for Youth Ministry.

30 years after the official recognition as SYM, one must remember that “the SYM is not an association, but consists of young people who belong to various associations or groups animated by Salesian Youth Ministry. It is not an association; it opens all doors, since its service is directed to the Church and to all young people. This, in fact, does not prevent us from witnessing to Christ, sharing his Mystery with other young people gathered by the same faith and announcing it with joy to those who do not accept it.” (p. 165)

There is a great need for accompaniment, because young people are capable of making a journey. “The need for young people,” Fr. Attard explains, “is to see adults who are pilgrims with them, to help them to know, love, and get closer to Jesus.”