Forum Salesiano 2018

FROM 21 TO 24 AUGUST 2018

Setting the Scene
One of the strongest intuitions that underlies Don Bosco’s pedagogical approach is the importance of being present among young people. A salesian educator should be present in places where young people live and must be involved in their world.

Education is not first of all a matter of technique and useful tricks, but requires a real and authentic presence. The educator is approachable: at the playground, in living space, in class, during study and recreation. The happiness of young people and their lives do not leave the educator indifferent. He shows a vivid interest in their life.

In the letter from Rome of 1884, Don Bosco clarifies that a true tangible educational presence makes the difference for young people and contributes to a climate of pedagogical growth.

Above all, the places where Don Bosco met young people of his time are very different from places where young people meet today. The world of the young is in continuous evolution. They move easily in the virtual world, which has a great ‘realistic’ value for them. Whilst our situation is different, we are still faced with the same challenge: how can we be present today in these worlds.

Walking together along the various paths of young people. What can our presence be in the different worlds in which young people move? How to live today the presence that Don Bosco integrated in his pedagogical approach? These are the key questions in these days of study.

The program
From 21 to 24 August 2018 we will organize a meeting in Vienna (Austria), in which - by means of study and mutual exchanges - we will seek to deepen the theme ‘presence’ of the Salesian preventive system.

To present the different dimensions of the theme, we have invited different speakers from various study centres who will deal with the topic from their respective points of view, related to their field of work:
            Wim Collin (UPS - Italy): The ’educational presence’ in the biographies of young people written by Don Bosco. The Salesian educator present as a help in the vocational realization;
           Piera Ruffinatto (Pontifical Faculty of Educational Sciences ‘Auxilium’ - Italy): The Salesian Educational Relation as lived by the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians. Historical path
             and orientations for actualisation;
           Maria del Carmen Canales (Former councillor for Youth Ministry in the Institute of the FMA - Spain) & Tarcisio Morais (Collaborator of the Department of Youth Ministry of the SDB -
            Italy): Significance and value of the Salesian educational presence in the critical re-reading of the official documents of the Congregations SDB - FMA: ‘Salesian Youth Ministry: Frame
            of Reference’ and ‘Perché abbiano Vita. Linee della missione educativa delle FMA’
           Carlo Loots & Colette Schaumont (Don Bosco Vorming & Animatie - Belgium): The importance of presence in education. The Salesian tradition in dialogue with contemporary insights;
           Dariusz Grzadziel (UPS - Italy): Being present in the digital world;
           Roger Burggraeve (KU Leuven - Belgium): On the way to sustainable love. Ethical Stepping Stones for a Christian and Salesian Relational and Sexual Education in a Pluralist Society;
           Andrea Zampetti (UPS - Italy): Education on the street. Presence with street children.

In addition to these inputs there will be enough time to share opinions in order to assimilate the presented ideas more fully. English and Italian languages will both be used.

The target group
The Salesian Forum is open to scholars in the field of education, pastoral care, spirituality, history, to SDBs, FMAs, lay people, members of the Salesian Family and all those who directly commit themselves to the education of youngsters and are interested in deepening issues that are vital to the Salesian mission.

Concrete information
The Salesian Forum begins with dinner on the evening of Tuesday, August 21, 2018.
Registration will be available from 14:30. The meeting ends with lunch on Friday, August 24, 2018. The total cost (participation, accommodation and meals) is € 300.

We will be staying in
Sommer Hotel - Salesianum
Hagenmüllergasse 33
A 1030 Vienna
+43 1 71 184 555

Those who wish to arrive earlier or stay longer at Vienna are asked to contact the Sommer Hotel personally with regard to the possibility of booking a room. Given the limited number
of places available (not more than 40) it is advisable to register in good time!

is possible through the tab 'Registration' above
or via:


The Salesian Forum, is the continuation of the Colloqui Salesiani, that aims to promote the study on Don Bosco and the Salesian tradition and exchange ideas about these matters at the European level.

The goals of Salesian Forum are:
        promoting the Salesian formation of the participants by organizing dialogue and collaboration between people in Europe who reflect on the Salesian tradition;
        encouraging systematic reflection - among scholars and people working in the field - about all aspects of the Salesian tradition (education, pastoral care, spirituality);
        contributing to a consistent update of the Salesian educational pastoral project;
        disseminating the results of reflection and study;
        promoting dialogue between the reflection of SDB and FMA on the preventive system;
        contributing to the success of the European project.

Every two years, the Salesian Forum organizes a three-day meeting for the study of a Salesian theme.