The Salesian Youth Movement at the World Youth Day 2013


The website to go to if you want to know something about the Salesian Youth Movement at the World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro.

For example, here is the latest news:

A Worldwide Youth Journey with Salesian Charisma


Father Toninho speaks about the salesian presence in the WYJ and the preparation for 2013 SYM Meeting

Bárbara Belan

We already knew that the SYM World Meeting  would have the face of the salesian youth, but what might be new is that the salesian charisma will be present in the Worldwide Youth Journey as well. And the presence of Salesian Family will be significant among Catholic youth of all around the world. The person who assures us this will happen is Father Antonio Ramos Prado, a salesian priest known as Toninho. He is the current secretary of CNBB Episcopal Commission for Youth.

“There will be more than 10 Salesian Bishops administering catechesis, a Salesian stage in the WYJ main office, a teenager from SYM in the Brazilian Youth National Pastoral Coordination and the President Bishop of Episcopal Commission for Youth who also is Salesian. Moreover, I will be the advisor of Episcopal Pastoral for Brazilian Youth Commission. All of us will be to the service of young people evangelization. I’m sure Don Bosco is very happy”, memorializes Father Toninho.

Some other considerations involving news and his expectations are shared by Father Toninho in an interview he gave us on the SYM 2013 site:

1.    How is the preparation for SYM Meeting? What’s your role in this process?

The preparation meetings are going well. We have a national coordination composed by 8 members. My role is to coordinate the SYM World Meeting.  To do this job we formed many groups called GTs: Communication, Volunteer, Music, Lodging, Liturgy and Infrastructure. Each GT has its own team. From 2011 till the present moment we have had 20 national meetings and 2 international meetings.

2.   And the groups preparation? Are you tracking it? 

The groups are prepared by their delegates – representatives of each Salesian Youth Pastoral inspectorate in the world. I am monitoring them through constant emails and phone calls. For this WYJ the increment is the America Continental Meeting that will happen on July 18, 19, 20 and 20 for 54 inspectorates and 460 teenagers. In this event, the participants will have a deep study and make decisions for future collective actions in favor of all Americas.

3.  What do you expect from the SYM Meeting?   

Even with very few Europeans participating of it, the SYM Meeting will be a landmark in direction to Don Bosco Bicentenary. Defending “Youth Evangelizing Youth” as our theme we are in syntony with the theme proposed by the WYJ, and also with the debut of our Major Rector, who is motivating the youth protagonism and inviting the Salesian Family to keep on following Don Bosco.

4.   What’s the importance of an event like this taking place in Brazil? 

Brazil is already used to hold big events. Many inspectorates in Brazil have promoted events for 4 to 5 thousands Young people before. The difference this time is that we are speaking about an international event. The legacy this event will leave for the Salesian Family is a reflection about the need we have of respecting and giving value to the SYA in its growing process. Salesian adults must walk side to side with youth and support their actions. I believe this moment is very important for the National SYA Council, established on August 2012.

5.    What would you say for the Young ones that are going to participate of the SYM Meeting and Worldwide Youth Journey?

I would say that they must believe in their force. That they put in practice what Don Bosco and Mazzarello asked: “Youth evangelizing youth”. And it must be done with the joy that is symbol of our spirituality.  For the ones that are not part of the SYA yet, I would ask them to include themselves and join a group so they will find a privileged place for ripen their faith.

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