Australian Salesian Youth Community (ASYC) is a faith community formed through the guidance and teachings of Don Bosco and Jesus Christ. While the primary function of our group is to serve as a young Salesian community, we also engage in mission work with and for young people. This includes linking with various other groups within the Salesian Youth Movement, such as schools, parishes and youth groups. We are a group of post-high school aged young people who all share some previous connection to the Salesian family.
As a community, we gather once a month for an afternoon of faith and personal formation. Our gatherings culminate with mass and a shared community dinner at the Salesian formation house in Clifton Hill. Throughout the year, we have three retreats, each centred on one of our three foundational pillars; faith, community and mission. Last week, during our annual community retreat, we discussed the name of our group, the nature of it and how the concept of commitment should play a role. The outcomes of the retreat were based on six months worth of reflection and consideration about who we are and what we are doing. It was decided that we should change our name, from Australian Salesian Youth Mentors (ASYM) to Australian Salesian Youth Community (ASYC). After lots of discussion and discernment, we felt it was the most appropriate way to describe both the group that we have become and our place within the Australian Salesian Youth Ministry landscape.
When ASYM was started in early 2012, many of us had just been inspired and awestruck by the Salesian Youth Movement in Europe after our experiences in Madrid for WYD in 2011. After volunteering as leaders at Don Bosco Camp for many years, we had come home with a vision to not only form a Salesian community of our own, but also to network with the very independent Salesian parishes, schools and youth groups which already existed in Australia. Over the past 5 years, this connecting of Salesian groups has naturally occurred through events such as OzBosco, which we have participated in and helped to develop and run. Our province has also better promoted this connectivity through the networking of Salesian schools and parishes, meaning that students in our high schools have never been more aware of their unique place within the Australian and global Salesian family. This is something that we are so happy and proud to have been a part of. While we no longer envision our group as a networking body in itself, we will continue to do this as a natural consequence of our dedication to promoting the Salesian Youth Movement in Australia.
In truth, whatever we call ourselves, we are and always will be young Salesians and followers of Don Bosco. We ask you to keep our little community in your prayers, that we may be strengthened and inspired by the love of our Lord Jesus Christ and the example of Don Bosco.