Summer Session of the Salesian General Council

03 Jul 2019

A Special Time for the Congregation

(ANS – Rome – June 30) – The summer plenary session of the general council of the Salesian Congregation began on June 3 and will last eight weeks, till July 26.

Animating the government of a 14,000-member religious congregation that has hundreds of thousands of collaborators and millions of young beneficiaries is no trivial matter. Hence the Rector Major meets twice a year with his council to listen, evaluate, discern, nominate, offer indications and guidelines, and make decisions.

During this summer session Fr. Angel Fernandez and the general councilors will accompany recently appointed provincials in their orientation course; appoint five new provincials (Bogotá, Mumbai, Sicily, Ethiopia, and North Philippines; discuss the reports on ten extraordinary visitations, including those of both U.S. provinces; receive the semi-annual reports of the formation, youth ministry, communications, missions, and finance departments and make any necessary decisions in their regard; determine financial support for the missions and missionary personnel needs.

Attention will be given to the study of some specific themes, such as preparation for the 28th General Chapter, the 2020 Strenna, a handbook for provincial treasurers, reshaping the formation communities in the Africa Region, care for special Salesian sites, post-synodal perspectives on young people, and updating child protection policies.

Spiritual highlights of the eight-week session include a week-long of pilgrimage in the Holy Land (late June and early July) and the semi-annual meeting with the Salesian Sisters’ general council.

Joint Council Meeting with the Salesian Sisters

Five months after the last joint meeting of the SDB and FMA general councils on January 17, 2019, the two councils met again at the Salesian Sisters’ Generalate on the afternoon of June 26. The main theme of the shared encounter was inspired by the 2018 Synod of Bishops  (“Youth, Faith, and Vocational Discernment”), which points both congregations toward their forthcoming general chapters: SDBs at Valdocco, February 2020, FMAs at Rome, September 2020.

The main input for this meeting was provided by Fr. Rosanno Sala, SDB (special secretary to the 2018 Synod), on Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation Christus Vivit (chapters 7-8) and Sr. Runita Borja, FMA (general councilor for youth ministry), on the emerging points of GC24: listening to the young, journey with Mary, missionary synodality, and hope-filled reading of present reality. The main attention was on how we listen and accompany young people personally and as a community. Our responses might demand changes in our structures and lifestyle according to the needs of the young people around us.

Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

With the desire to share an occasion of fraternity and authentic community life, the Rector Major and the members of the general council began a pilgrimage to the Holy Land on Saturday, June 29; it will last until Sunday, July 7. They are being accompanied by Fr. Marco Rossetti, SDB, of the UPS School of Theology at Turin-Crocetta.

The itinerary includes visits to many places important to Christians, meetings with Salesian Family members and with Abp. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Latin Rite apostolic administrator of Jerusalem, and a visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum. The pilgrimage allows members of the general council to listen to God’s Word, welcome it devoutly, and prepare themselves for continued conversion and encounters with Christ in the sacraments and with their brothers.



RMG – Summer session of general council started


Italy – From “Youth Synod 2018” toward SDB/FMA general chapters


Israel – Pilgrimage to Holy Land for general council