France – Eurobosco 2017. Past Pupils of Don Bosco for the Family

Four days to discuss Visions, Challenges and Ideas of Don Bosco’s Past Pupils for their Future: this was the XII edition of “Eurobosco”, the European congress dedicated to all the past pupils of the Salesian institutes of the Old Continent. Held from 12 to 15 October in Samoens, France, it took place at one of the holiday villages built by the French Past Pupils as part of their social projects.

Four years after the previous edition in Malta – on the theme of Identity and Mission of the Salesian Past Pupil – this year’s edition gathered over 65 participants from 12 European countries – including a past pupil from Chile – to reflect and share experiences on the theme of family, the motto: “Good Christians in the Family and Honest Citizens for the Family.”

Taking part in the event were some of the top members of the Association of Past Pupils: the President, Michal Hort; Councilor for Europe, Fernando Nuñez; Councilor for Formation and Family, Maurizio Bruni; Vice-President of Young Past Pupils (GEX), Angel Gudiña; World Delegate of Salesians for Past Pupils, Fr Raphael Jayapalan.

On the first day, work sessions focused on the apostolic exhortation “Amoris Laetitia” from a Salesian perspective, prepared by the Salesian Fr Francesc Riu, who recently published work on the subject; on the second day, the theme of “honest citizens for the family” was thoroughly discussed, thanks to Anna Zaborska, Slovakian Euro-Parliamentarian, responsible for the family policies of the Intergroup of the European Parliament; Antoine Renard, President of the European Federation of Catholic Family Organizations (FAFCE); and Laurent Gregoire, President of the French Confederation of the Associations of Past Pupils of the Catholic Schools.

Other special moments of interest were those where good practice in the family were presented, offering insights from different perspectives in a European context, such as, for example, the “Parodi Family” in Italy, and Spain’s “Hogares Don Bosco.”

Throughout the event, meetings were held in the traditional atmosphere of Salesian sharing and joy, with participants taking part in moments for reflection, celebration and spirituality. Significant was the visit to the Basilica of the Visitation of Annecy, where the relic of Saint Francis of Sales is kept.

The next Eurobosco will be held in Valdocco in 2020.