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Good friends and good fruits at Confronto 2017

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Fr Roman Szczypa SDB was part of the group who travelled from the UK to Turin in August, for this year’s Confronto, the Salesian Youth Movement' European gathering. He tells us about the programme, and how impressed he was by the faithfulness of the young people attending. The photo above shows the group with the Rector Major and Mother General. 

‘We are like fruit trees. People come to us in search of good fruits. What a shock if they find none!’

Have you ever had the experience of spending time at a big international meeting? Perhaps yes, perhaps no! But I have actually had this experience. Therefore I would like to share with you, who are at this very moment reading this article, what I have personally experienced. This may be helpful and of interest to you and give you an understanding of what it was like to share in the unity and charism of such an event. This took place in August 2017 in Turin in Italy, at the very heart of where the Salesians were founded by St John Bosco, who was born, lived, worked and died there. Many people from all over the world have heard of this place, Colle Don Bosco, and many people have already visited it.

‘Confronto 2017’ was for me an amazing experience. I did not expect such an interesting programme. It was great. Before going to Confronto, I read the information which had been sent to every participant going to this event. Everything that has happened has been done at a very deep level at this wonderful Salesian Youth Movement event, where over 350 young people from many European countries have come together at Colle Don Bosco. We were accommodated there and it was our base for visiting many different places.
I am so impressed with everything here and at being able to spend almost six days with these wonderful young people. I am grateful to my Provincial, Fr Gerry Briody, who gave me the chance of taking part. This has been a very special time for me, as I have seen young people at prayer in a very meaningful and deep way. Thanks be to God for giving me this opportunity to be here.


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Every few years, young people from different countries gather together at Colle Don Bosco which is situated close to Castelnuovo, to spend a few days together. This gives them the amazing experience of sharing, playing and praying with people they have never met before. This year’s gathering was from 11th - 16th August. Every Salesian Province from the European countries was invited by the Council of the Salesian Youth Ministry to participate, and around 350 people attended. We did get to know each other quite well, through talking to each other, sharing with each other, having discussions, playing games and praying together. Personally for me, it was a great experience. I had a really good time and I enjoyed being there. For me it was like a retreat, because every single session was deep, honest and interesting. Together, we all created a really positive atmosphere and to me, we were like a family.

What does open-ness, honesty, trust and faith mean? These are the things that Don Bosco knew that a young person needed to be happy. I’m so grateful to God that I was able to spend almost six days there with young people of 15 nationalities. Thanks be to the head of the Salesian Youth Ministry located in Rome, the Animators from every single province and the local Salesian Community who were responsible for preparing this wonderful event. May God be with all of us and bless us in our daily lives.

Roman Szczypa SDB


Last modified on Thursday, 14 September 2017 18:06


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