The community reflection on the theme of return to the young took a very interesting twist this evening when it came to the situation and Salesian involvement at the Province level. We are really proud to say that all - literally, all - our institutions cater directly to the poor. There is no institution about which we can say that it caters to the elite, "and also to the poor"... none!! However most of us felt that though we have the infrastructure and the setup to cater to the young in need, our focus is not the poor, not the young. Most often we end up doing the administration work (putting up new buildings, purchasing land, hunting for property, collecting rent, erecting compound walls, repairing structures which are not even 5 years old!!). Young people are not the centre of our mission. Secondly, we pamper ourselves! It is sometimes shocking to see that the running expenses of three or four confreres equals that of maintaining 80 to 100 of our boarding boys!!
In this context 'Return to the young' would primarily mean shifting the focus from ourselves, from our buildings and structures to others. Only when we can think of others before ourselves can we prioritize the lives and dreams of young people.