DIRECTORATE-GENERAL FOR WORKS DON BOSCO
Via della Pisana 1111 - 00163 Rome
The General Councilor for the Missions
The General Councilor for Formation
Rome, 24 January 2013
we send you these reflections and proposals regarding the "Missionary Formation of the Salesians of Don Bosco". They are the fruit of the joint work of our Sectors for missions and for formation, after consultation with the respective Provincial Delegates; they are founded on the commitment that the Constitutions entrust to the Councilor for the missions concerning "the specific preparation and updating of the missionaries" (Const. 138); they were approved by the Rector Major and the Council on 23 January 2013.
We are aware of the missionary attention that Don Bosco has gradually developed in his life and has matured with the sending of the first missionary expedition on 11 November 1875 and with subsequent expeditions. We also know the "Memories to the missionaries" of Don Bosco, which the Rector Major Fr Pascual Chavez took up in his letter "The inculturation of the Salesian charism" (ACG 412, Rome 2011). In our day we also see the missionary commitment of the Congregation, which is also codified in Article 6 of the Constitutions.
These reflections and proposals intend to keep the missionary spirit of the Congregation alive. In a time of globalization and migration we need to be open to intercultural formation and pastoral care. The Church's commitment to the new evangelization and to ordinary evangelization asks us to continue to push ourselves on the frontiers of the first evangelization. The need to establish international communities and the project Europe is a call to missionary mobility in the Congregation.
In particular these notes propose a twofold objective. First of all, they intend to increase the missionary sensitivity and the capacity for missionary animation among the young and the laity in each confrere; we know the potential for our pastoral care of missionary groups and missionary voluntary service, which open young people to sober and supportive lifestyles, commit them to the cause of the gospel and question them about the Salesian consecrated vocation.
Secondly, they intend to propose an itinerary to discover, discern and deepen a true Salesian missionary vocation. This vocation is born, grows and develops as a gift of God, in the wake of the evangelizing commitment of Jesus and through the impulse of the Holy Spirit; at the same time it finds historical conditions that require our cooperation.
We entrust these reflections and proposals to the efforts of the Provinces so that they can bear abundant "missionary" fruits in this now imminent Bicentenary of the birth of Don Bosco.
Best regards and thanks for your attention
Don Vaclav Klement Don Francesco Cereda
Councilor for the missions Councilor for formation