The message of Monsignor Serafino Parisi to the students for the start of the new school year | Courier of Lamezia

Dear students and students,

I turn to you because you are experts in paths of curiosity, of novelty, of loving questions. You who would like to “drink life” in large sips, you know how burning the waiting for the answers you are looking for is, especially when they are slow in arriving or, worse, when they are not glimpsed on the horizon, despite your ardent desire.

These are the moments – you know it well – in which you would like help from the outside, from a third party who arises and, perhaps, proposes himself with a solution in hand, as close as possible to your dreams, a “deus ex machina” solver. . The positive aspect of this need is the tacit declaration of the fact that you would only like to be accompanied in safety to be able to choose your path freely.

And so today, at the close of the first half of September, between the outcomes of the pandemic, absurd wars and a probable energy crisis, while civil society rethinks and reorganizes itself on several occasions (in Cernobbio for the economy and in Venice for the cinematographic art ) and the next elections are looming, I find myself chasing your gaze looking for ideas to reflect and write in it. Therefore, I address myself not only to you and your families, but to the whole world of school which, too, is preparing for a new year of work, of expectations, of hopes.

I do not propose myself as the third party that emerges from the outside as an ambassador of ready-to-use solutions, but as the bearer of increasingly urgent needs, dictated by the burning gaze of many of you, dear young people. A list of things and contents to be carried out in order to be aligned, at the end of the year, in icy grids interested in the aseptic fulfillment of ministerial indications, weighs, and is not enough. The purpose and meaning of your growth itinerary and the hidden need in your expectations are not found in the servile execution of programs for the mere achievement of redundant objectives set out with emphasis in the short or long-term plans of the various training offers. . Your teachers know this well. Moreover, they know that you are young people with a “pathetic” look in the original sense of the word, that is touching, hopeful and passionate, that you ask above all to be oriented, trained to face the different situations that make up your daily life and that you often they find embarrassed, or bewildered, or troubled, or bewildered, or perplexed, or unresponsive, as if you were absolutely devoid of resilience and imagination.

It is a profound need, not to be underestimated or to be set aside, but to be placed at the center of a reprogramming of the person and of society. I would very much like to talk with you about the “re-fertilization” of the socio-cultural context and the “re-humanization” of interpersonal, family and community relationships. We will eventually take all the time necessary.

That said, this succinct (or rather, “concise and provocative”) collection of deep and true desires, which goes beyond questionable compliance with euphoric adventures and ephemeral experiences, should make us reflect on what to put in that “toolbox” to be given to you students, to give us the intimate and serene conviction of having been able to grasp your requests and your expectations, so that at the end of an educational – and not just a formative – “people” mature and strong capable of facing the difficult world that stands out in front of them.

It’s time to give you a compass instead of a travel map!

Handing out a compass to you young people means giving you not only a program to carry out, but above all a study method combined with a growing critical sense, a habit of exercising a vivid intelligence, ready to read reality, to interpret it, to answer it, to interact with it. In order not to succumb under his arrows, to “continue to live”, despite everything, above all, through everything. It is understood, therefore, that no one is allowed to “get by” anymore, far from it! Never like now, I would add. It is necessary to live fully, responsibly and thus contribute to improving that same reality that sometimes frightens you and in which, however, we live.

“But how do you do it?”. This is the big question that unites children and adults, students and teachers, young and old. The refractions and developments of this question have the power to orient and forge protagonists of the change in history and not anonymous extras! Following all the possible answers to this question we should, at the end of a cycle of studies, ask the children, the young people: “So, is there only one way to solve the question?”.

And if we shifted our gaze, our point of view, changing perspective and approach to the problem, how many new visions would we discover regarding, for example, respect for others and the environment, or what would emerge in relation to the real need for to produce what we need, to cure the wounds of history and of the soul, what would be the correct evaluation judgment on the world?

Dear young people, some with more and others with less awareness, you ask us adults – who are your reference – to be trained to be, in rotation if possible, in the position of “last” and learn to get out of it.

Last is not only those who do not have a solid income and family behind them, last is also those who do not know true affection, those who have everything but do not have a sense of limit, those who do not know the need and at the first difficulty risk melting and disappearing. like snow in the sun. In this context, I also address you, dear parents: today he is your children’s companion. Tomorrow it could be your son who has everything, but he doesn’t have himself.

This profound problem is not only yours, but also mine, of me as an adult, who have responsibility for the fate of the whole community, even that of which the student is a living part. For this reason, what I have sketched out so far is not a private matter, but a general problem, especially of the educational agencies involved in reality: the family, the school, the parish. All of them, called and called to sign an educational pact, to train today “adults” capable of planning and creating a better tomorrow.

With what sensitivity? Those to which reference has been made and which are to be developed elsewhere. With what priorities? Certainly many, but with one in the front row: that of ensuring equal education and equal opportunities for all. A vision of life that is also suitable for the needs and abilities of those who, at a precise historical moment, play the role of the most fragile. Our step should move to the rhythm of the tired and exhausted breathing of the weakest. Starting again from the last, in schools, is not only a sign of civility, but it is above all an opportunity to offer that “support” that we all need, and not just people with disabilities. We should be human, also in order not to go down in history – despite the IEPs and PDPs, despite the compensatory instruments and dispensatory measures – like the barbarians of the third millennium. Those who believe in Christ Jesus know that everything authentically human is deeply Christian. “Teaching and practicing humanity” in a truly inclusive, welcoming and cooperative educational context, rather than elitist, divisive and competitive, is our task as adults, free, responsible, interested in the integral good of the human person and eager to bring out from every man the unassailable power of his dignity together with the kaleidoscope of his skills, passions and qualities.

Thus, following the orientation of this compass, perhaps we will be able to meet your gaze, dear young people and children, and support it without fear of being accused of insane indolence. I like to take up the hope that I launched in an interview on the occasion of the second month of my service as Bishop of Lamezia Terme: I wish you “a prophetic and proactive gaze on everything around you, without giving in to discouragement and pessimism chronic, to be yourself the first contributor to change “.

With this great hope, I hold you all in a strong and passionate embrace and I wish you “good work”, always following with our eyes that horizon where, like the sentinels, we will see “in advance, with responsible foresight, the colors of the dawn “.


+ Serafino Parisi, bishop

The message of Monsignor Serafino Parisi to the students for the start of the new school year | Courier of Lamezia