Salesian Higher Education Institutions VII General Assembly, Rome
The proceedings opened with greetings from Fabio Attard sdb, General Councillor for Youth Ministry, and continued with addresses by Msgr. Vincenzo Zani, Secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education, a presentation on the Youth Culture survey of students in Catholic Universities by Prof. Msgr. Guy-Réal Thivierge, Secretary General of the International Federation of Catholic Universities (IFCU) In their talks they highlighted the need for the Catholic University not to be remote from reality but in dialogue with society; the current opportunities, with over 150 million university students in the world; and the challenge of dealing through scientific progress and research in the light of Revelation was put as one of the missions of higher education institutions.
Bro. Mario Olmos, IUS General Coordinator, presented a report on the development of the Salesian presence in Higher Education and observed some challenges of the present time: raising standards; bureaucratic difficulties make it difficult to open new Salesian universities in many parts of the world. A response to collaborate and network through the IFCU with other universities was made by by Barnabe D’Souza sdb. the deputy secretary general (IFCU).
Angel Fernandez Artime sdb. Superior General of the Salesians emphasized the importance of the IUS for the Salesian pastoral project. "We have the ability to reach 140,000 young university students. We cannot ignore such an important reality," he said, he then set out the need for the IUS to live and transmit the Salesian charism, with two specific indications: a vibrant campus ministry and the preferential option for the most needy.