Thanks to the inspiration of the World Youth Day in Sydney (2008) the first well prepared group of the AUL province delegates traveled to Madrid WYD (2011). During the ‘Salesian World Day’ encounter held in Don Bosco Atocha (center of Madrid) young participants were put on fire! Core group of ASYM was formed from a mixture of our Schools Past Pupils, leaders of summer camps and Cagliero project ex-volunteers. From the early days ASYM youth are accompanied by two senior Salesians and one FMA sister as protagonists of this faith community experience.
What is ASYM? Australian Salesian Youth Mentors (ASYM) is one of the expressions of Salesian Youth Movement in Australia – Pacific province (AUL). They consider themselves a ‘Faith – Mission – Community’ inspired by Don Bosco. At present time they hold monthly formation meeting (Encounter focused on Mission, Eucharistic celebration – Joint meal) and three retreats every year. About 35 members renews every year their pledge to live this ASYM faith community life remaining always open for participation of other sympathizing youth who don’t’ feel confident to commit themselves in this way. Among their mission outreach are: animation of the summer vacation camps for youth in need, Salesian school based retreat programs and help for the SYM Bosco annual gatherings.
New spring of the Salesian Youth Ministry
Indeed in past 10 years we can witness constant renewal of the Salesian Youth Ministry thanks to long term commitment for the Salesian animation of our schools. Wonderful synergy of Youth Camps with their leadership training, Annual SYM ‘Bosco festival’: OZ Bosco in Australia, SAM Bosco in Samoa, BULA Bosco in Fiji and hopefully also next 2017 the KIWI Bosco in New Zealand. Another strong dynamic is produced by the Cagliero Project with their annual immersion program (two weeks oversea – Samoa, Cambodia). These ‘cross-provincial’ initiatives are gradually growing up since 2011 and changing the face of the Youth Ministry in the province – reaching from their cradle in Melbourne to the other cities of Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Samoa – thanks to the OZ Bosco 2015 (Australia, Melbourne) where for the first time mingled Salesian youth from all four countries of AUL province.
Among the most visible fruits of ASYM are already two Aussie SDB vocations (one novice and one post-novice) and the whole group acts as an invaluable ‘energizer’ for the provincial Youth Ministry. Another opening to the Salesian Cooperators vocation is on the way.
Below is the text of the commitment made by this group:
Moved by the spirit of Don Bosco as I have come to know it in my association with people engaged in the Salesian Mission, I make the commitment to share in the Mission of the ASYM team for this year…
I undertake to deep my understanding and refine my skill as a lay member of the Church and of the Salesian family. In pursuit of this commitment I intend:
- To deepen and strengthen my identity as a member of the Salesian Family and to grow in living the spirituality of Don Bosco as detailed in the ‘Common identity card of the Salesian Family of Don Bosco.
- To grow in awareness of the structures of the Salesian Provinces (SDB and FMA) and the network with the Salesian Youth Ministry.
- To engage in youth ministry especially for the poor and needy in accordance with the Pastoral Plan of the Salesian Provinces.
- To be alert to social, economic, political, religious and cultural issues unfolding around in me in society.
- To continue in a faithful, creative and supportive way, a contribution to the local Church.
- To fulfill my commitment to ASYM so as to contribute to this movement being self-sustaining.
As a member of this community I pray that the members will be strengthened through daily support of each other by living the spirit and following the simple practices passed on by Don Bosco.
Yes, the future of the Youth Ministry is well expressed in the Strenna 2015:
Like Don Bosco, with the Young and for the Young!