Itajaí ( Brazil ). Don Bosco Park in Itajaí was the scene for the Provincial Vocations Days that took place, October 8-9. About 300 people from FMA and SDB contexts took part. Taking inspiration from the theme of the Strenna of the Rector Major, Fr. Pascual Chávez, the slogan of the encounter was: “Master, where do you live? Come and see!” and the theme was “Passion for life and for the Lord of Life”. The encounter was coordinated by Fr. Gildásio Mendes, SDB, from the Campo Grande province, who spoke especially of the love of God for each one, referring to some passages from the Word of God.
From the moment the delegations arrived, there was a beautiful atmosphere, joyful and full of enthusiasm. The official opening of the event was carried out by Fr. Orestes Carlinhos Fistarol, SDB and Sr. Maria Floriani, FMA, the respective provincials of Southern Brazil . The opening prayer was animated by the communities of the SDB and FMA of Rio do Sul. It highlighted the necessity that young people be guided by God in developing their life plan. During the day, Fr. Gildásio facilitated the work through workshops, group dynamics and assemblies. In the evening a Mass of vocations was animated by the young people in formation and celebrated by the provincial. It took place in the Don Bosco parish of Itajaí, where, besides the participants, the parish community were also present and had an opportunity to reflect on God's personal call.
On Sunday 9, the morning Mass was celebrated by the coordinator of the encounter and animated by the SDB and FMA communities from Guarapuava who recalled the symbols used in the preparation for this vocational day.
During the rest of the morning, the theology students and the FMA animated five workshops on different topics: youth volunteering, Salesian holiness, the Salesian Family, the Salesian plan of life and youth spirituality. In the afternoon, all were invited to take part in two activities: developing a commitment, starting from what they had learned during the encounter and evaluating the event. Finally, the community of Joinville coordinated the Missioning Celebration during which the SDB provincial, surrounded by SDB and FMA, gave his blessing to the participants and solemnly closed the work.
This second vocations day was an opportunity for the young people to immerse themselves in Salesian Youth Spirituality. Throughout, reflection on the Word of God allowed them to ask themselves some fundamental questions regarding the understanding of their vocation and of the presence of God in their life. The young people were outstanding in the maturity with which they received what was on offer, showing that the day was not just a big event, but the result of a process of accompaniment that is taking place in all the Salesian presences and that is contributing to the consolidation of a culture of vocations.