We must give priority to Young people

Fr Angel Fernandez Artime

Young people are an oppurutunity to learn, and thus are a priority

By Father Angel Fernandez Artime, Rector Major

The Synod is an opportunity to talk about young people and with young people, but the Church also has a lot to learn from them.

A feature typical of Don Bosco was the constant creativity he used to approach young people. This leads us to a much debated topic, that is, the digital world.

What has often emerged from this subject is that we are immigrants in the digital world. Young people, on the other hand, are born in it and handle it in a way that can also leave us perplexed. But this means that they, the young people, are the ones who can best communicate in this world. We are not the ones who have to teach them how to communicate. What we can do is walk beside them. In any case, we cannot pull out of the digital world: it’s as if someone, thirty years ago, said, “No, I do not need a typewriter.”

Speaking as a Salesian of Don Bosco, I would like that young people were told that the Church has open doors for them, that whatever their personal history, we are there. I would like them to be told that if they allow us, we want to accompany them on the journey of life. I would like to say, and this is very Salesian, that we believe in them. They can be witnesses in the world. The young would more willingly listen to their peers rather than the Rector Major of the Salesians. So I would say to them: you go, you tell your friends that there are so many reasons to live life passionately!

Most of the Synodal Fathers are Bishops and, therefore, are of an age and authority that does not always bring them into close contact with the young. So what can you do to get to these young people?

In life I have learned that the heart of every young person has a key, but it opens from within. Nobody can enter if they do not first allow it. And so, what can we do? When everyone returns to his place of origin, to his diocese, we must give priority to young people, make sure that no one feels set aside or pushed away.

Salesian Bulletin Logo Republished from the Australian Salesian Bulletin - Summer 2018
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