The meeting was organised by the ELP community of Associates with the help of Brother Gabriele Di Giovanni, Auxiliary Visitor for the Mission. It took place in April from the 12th to the 15th, and it was hosted by the community of San Luigi, Acireale, and by the Regalbuto Youth Centre.
75 young people took part, and they came from the Istituto Gonzaga in Milano, from the Istituti Filippin in Paderno, from San Giuseppe de Merode in Rome and from the Youth Centre in Regalbuto.
Among the invited guests were Brother Tefio Raoul Traorè, Secretary for Solidarity and Development and Laura Ballerini, Communications Director. Both of them gave presentations on Lasallian experiences in different parts of the world, which had made it possible for people to go beyond the frontiers. Brother Nestor Anaya, Secretary for the Mission, spoke about the Institute which he described from the perspective of young people.
Among the points that emerged were the presence in the world of walls and barriers, which rule the dovetailing between borders, and the political or economical relations between States. The result is a life for young people that is reduced to the worries about close family relationships and school requirements, so that their waking hours are ruled by the regular sound of bells and what they can hear in their earphones.
In the words of Lorenzo Cutore, who is responsible for the Young Lasallians Movement, “Perhaps this is our first frontier, the fact that we feel enclosed in a cage, constrained by routine, while inside us there is the uncontainable force to express ourselves and to get out. Taking refuge in our rooms is not enough. It makes things worse, and it feels like the walls around us are about to crumble.”
We need to recover the firm goals of Lasallian pedagogy. “Go out and meet others, as Jean-Baptiste de La Salle did when he left the security of his home to go out and meet poor children, and to live with the schoolmasters, founding a community of lay people, breaking down the frontiers set by the fixed ideas of family and society.” We need to find again a common viewpoint which can knock down our walls, divisions and boundaries so that we can hope and take wing.
The Saturday was spent in the Youth Centre in Regalbuto, taking part in the games and the many workshops that were organised. We received a warm welcome from the young people, from the GEV volunteers and especially from the Brothers, notably the Director, Brother Armando Rapuano.
Everybody promised that they would “ensure that all this will be continued” in their local groups, to make the Movement grow and to develop our friendships by agreeing to meet again in the many summer experiences such as the encounters with the Districts of North America, the summer camps and training sessions for leaders. In particular, there is the August meeting to prepare for the Synod.