Brussels celebrates the feast of Don Bosco by promoting dialogue with European institutions and youth participation

On the occasion of Don Bosco’s feast 2024, Don Bosco International welcomed to Brussels Fr. Rafael Bejarano Sdb, member of the SDB Youth Ministry Department and Global Coordinator of Salesian Social Works.

From 30th January to 2nd February, Fr. Rafael Bejarano held numerous official meetings with European institutions and Catholic Church representatives, with the aim of enhancing the Salesian mission in the different continents, promoting the rights of young people through concrete examples of good practice, and exploring new opportunities for collaboration. 

Among the main meetings, we can mention those at the European Parliament with MEPs Pilar del Castillo Vera, Gabriel Mato, Margarita de La Pisa Carrión and the collaborators of MEP Iban Garcia del Blanco, with the European Commission at the Department for Migration and Home Affairs (DG HOME), at the Apostolic Nunciature to the European Union with His Excellency Mgr. Noël Treanor and Mgr. John Baptist Itaruma. 

During the various dialogues, it emerged the importance of investing in advocacy to effectively promote the Salesian commitment in the education, training, and empowerement of young people in situations of poverty and social marginalization; as well as the potential of the Salesian Family in facilitating a positive dialogue between institutions and private companies, so as to develop socio-economic models that guarantee respect for human rights. 

On 31st January, the feast of Don Bosco began with a Eucharistic celebration at the European Parliament, where Fr. Bejarano concelebrated together with Fr. Manuel Barrios Prieto, Secretary General of COMECE. 

In the afternoon, almost 80 people attended the event “Hope in a Journey” organised by DBI at the Chapel for Europe, in collaboration with VIA Don Bosco and the Salesians of the BEN Province. The protagonist of the event was Farhamand, a young Afghan refugee, who shared with all of us not only the story of his journey, but also the suffering his country and its people are experiencing. Farhamand left a strong message of hope for all young people around the world who find themselves in the same situation, as well as encouraging all those present and the institutions to put into practice concrete actions in support of migrants. 

We greatly admire the boy’s courage and strength. His story touched us immensely.

The event was followed by the Eucharistic celebration for St. John Bosco, animated by the GPS Trio group and presided over by Fr. Rafael Bejarano, and concelebrated by Mgr. John Baptist Itaruma, Fr. Bernd Günther, Director of the Chapel for Europe, Fr. Bart Decancq, Provincial of the North Belgium and Netherlands Province (BEN), Fr. Andrè Van Der Sloot, Director of the Salesian Community of Woluwe-Saint-Lambert. 

The participation of the Salesian Family was numerous, making the celebration of the Don Bosco’s feast joyful and filled with enthusiasm.

Leave A Comment