Education in love: affectivity and sexuality. How to accompany young people
I(ANS - Rome) - One of the objectives indicated in the programming of the Youth Ministry Sector in the field of personal accompaniment is to train educators in the development and maturation of the affective and emotional world of young people. To this end, a four-phase path has been designed.
In the first place, this theme was addressed and debated in the regional meetings of the Provincial Delegates for Youth Ministry. Their contributions and their open reflections, after a preliminary questionnaire, made it possible to collect clues for a deeper reading of the issue in each Salesian Region and, at the same time, they showed the need to delve deeper into this field. Those challenges of young people that require greater preparation and formation on the part of educators were also studied.
In a second phase, the Youth Ministry Sector has designed three Webinars that respond to the needs of the Provinces. The themes are aimed at: sharing the pastoral and moral keys for the affective-sexual education of young people; thinking of educational criteria with reference to the focus on sexual diversity; finally, interpreting vulnerability, an essential characteristic of all minors.
Thirdly, some good practices, aids and projects already existing in the Salesian educative-pastoral communities will be offered to all the Provinces, so that in every Province structured processes can be created, based on Christian anthropology, in which integral education of the person is always sought.
Lastly, and as a synthesis, a document will be offered with guidelines for Salesians and laity, so that they may know how to accompany young people in the education to love (Christus Vivit 81-261) and in the care of the family (Christus Vivit 259-267).
The Lord Jesus himself appears in the Gospels in all his affective fullness: His sentiments reveal a big heart, full of holy affection in His relations with the Father, with each person and with the crowds. This means that the Christian life of young people also includes the emotional dimension which, however, sometimes does not receive the attention it deserves. Therefore, we want to propose that young people learn to establish sincere and lasting relationships, to share thoughts and feelings, to forgive and to know how to ask for forgiveness, to respect and value others, to understand the value of the body at the service of the gift of self.
Ultimately, it is about discovering the art of loving and being loved, integrating affectivity and sexuality into a single life project.
Fr Miguel Angel García Morcuende,
General Councilor for Youth Ministry