Salesian Spiritual Companionship with Young People Today
Louis Grech SDB
Inspired by the thought and praxis of St John Bosco, Louis Grech has conducted extensive research in a hope to rekinde a fidelity towards Don Bosco's unique spiritual companionship approach in line with current times.
Hardback portrait 175mm x 248mm
With the young, Don Bosco sought to offer a very holistic accompaniment while promoting meaningful life options. He creatively responded to the needs of young people of his time and accompanied them in their discovery and embracing of a valid response to their human and Christian call. Don Bosco's method of spiritual companionship did not end with his death. Through his Salesian congregation, he was able to radiate a charism built on genuine family relationships adapted to forms of expression which developed in different historical moments and within various cultures around the world. The scope of this research is to offer insight on Don Bosco's understanding and experience of "spiritual companionship." This study will initially contextualise Don Bosco's style and praxis within that of Church history. It will then delve into how Don Bosco himself experienced and benefited from spiritual direction and how he developed his own spiritual direction praxis. Through an analysis of numerous primary sources and various studies by Salesian scholars, this dissertation attempts to offer an in-depth analysis of Don Bosco's style of accompaniment and will identify the original contribution Don Bosco offers within the realm of spiritual direction. Such analysis will serve as a solid foundation on which to interpret and convey a Salesian spiritual companionship for today. While remaining faithful to Don Bosco's praxis and thought, this study aims at proposing a practical style of accompaniment that responds particularly to the needs of youth in our contemporary Western context. In my view, the value and vitality of this research depends heavily on its ability to bring about authentic holistic growth. For such growth to occur, renewal (requiring study and adaptation) and continuity are essential. "Renewal" is a task that depends upon the persistent and tireless commitment of individuals and communities to the theory and practice of Salesian spiritual companionship adapting it to the needs and circustances of the time. It is an endeavour that demands faithful creativity and great openness. "Continuity", on the other hand, can be guaranteed only by a ready return to one's origins.
Published by Horizons, Malta, 2018.