“Be Where Most of the Young People are”
Although he had a personal profile as early as 2010, the Rector Major of the Salesians, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime,set up an official Facebook page on 20 July last to allow him to have direct contact with all those who follow him. In an interview on this subject, he delivers a message about this social network to young people and Salesians. It is not just a single message as the Rector Major will continue to share his thoughts in a “Good morning” message on Facebook, because he wants to “be where most of the young people are.”
How long have you been on Facebook?
I joined Facebook on 1 June 2010, a few months after I began my service as Provincial in Southern Argentina. After 6 months in the new Province I started this method of communicating, as a personal user.
Why did you start a page on Facebook?
I decided to start this page on Facebook because at the time, I felt that it might be interesting and, indeed, important to have a means and a space where I could be present among Salesians, members of the Salesian Family, young people, friends, boys and girls.
I see it as an opportunity to communicate seriously but briefly and always with a message. I do not see Facebook as a way of telling one’s life-story, or what people are doing and how they enjoy themselves … I understand that but it is not to my liking. It is true, however, that it facilitates fast, lively direct communication.
I thought that in addition to news of the Congregation and the Salesian Family and news of Young People, I could greet people every day if possible, with a “Good morning” message to young people and to the Salesian family.
What led me to this decision was that I saw that many different things were published on my previous page (which could be called my home page) and it was not easy to communicate a significant message or something a bit more serious.
What do you think of social networks?
I have already partly answered this. I see social networks as an excellent opportunity for good communication and real collaboration.
But they are not perfect. There are risks: we need to be careful that some people do not become dependent, or that people do not reveal their lives inappropriately, and careful also to avoid other real dangers that experts often point out.
What is your advice for Salesians already present on the social networks?
I would say to them what I say to myself: we are present in THESE VIRTUAL PLAYGROUNDS where I feel Don Bosco would want to be in 2015. I also tell myself and the Salesians to make use of these networks always as Educators and Evangelizers, Friends and Brothers ready to bring something good to the network. I would tell them not to be afraid of these media, and that we are not naive. We should get used to being where most of the young people are.
What message would you give to young people?
Dear young people, I love you all and I greet you all with affection.
I take this opportunity to meet you on my official Facebook page: ÁngelFernández-Rector Mayor.
I am happy to be present on these spaces that are so important to you. I trust that this page will serve to create contacts, promote greater commitment, and bring about better collaboration through combined efforts in various parts of the Salesian world.
And allow me, like Don Bosco, to share with you what was always his desire: I want to see you happy now and in eternity.
A warm embrace,
Ángel, Rector Major
Source: Info ANS