Titolo n otiziario Nome società N. 48 - December 2012 Newsletter for Salesian Missionary Animation A Publication of the Mission Department for the Salesian Communities and Friends of the Salesian Mission Rediscover the experience of the Sallesiian “sodalliitiies” and of miissiionary groups I n the November 2012 issue of the Italian Salesian Bulletin Fr. Pascual Chávez wrote that «almost instinctively, Don Bosco felt the importance of “social reinforcement” in the formation of young people, especially those formed by friends and peers. Young people need friends like the air they breathe. The gang, peer group, group of friends can badly influence even the well educated youth. Don Bosco, in his genial pedagogical instinct, invented a “place” for friends which brings out the best in them».
The Rector Major underlined that «social ties and friendships are an important protective factor. A person is satisfied when he feels recognised, endorsed, supported, treated with kindness by people with whom he lives ... the “sodalities” developed from these insights as original and fruitful experience of youth groups, and became part of the Salesian panorama. Today, the charismatic heritage is passed on to the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM). It is an educative movement offered to all young people, to make them subjects and protagonists of their own human and Christian growth, with a will to have an influence in the neighborhood and in civil society in which it is inserted and make its contribution to the local church».
It is also in this light that the missionary groups in every Salesian presence fosters the revival of the missionary consciousness of young people and of the whole Educative Pastoral Community in order to achieve new levels of faith and commitment, with a specific interest in sharing their faith in Christ, witness of life, and Christian solidarity. As a result, the missionary group revitalises the enthusiasm for the faith and the fascination for the Salesian charism. It helps to «overcome faith fatigue and rediscover the joy of being Christians, of being sustained by the inner happiness of knowing Christ and belonging to his Church» (Benedict XVI). This, in turn, stirs up the ardour that gives birth to new vocations.
D ear Salesian missionaries and friends of the Salesian Missions!
A few weeks ago I received a very valuable gift in Japan. Sr. Rosa, an FMA of 82, painted during the Spiritual retreat the whole journey of faith of Mary. She drew on a 4 meter roll of paper the journey from the Virgin’s YES up to the upper room while awaiting for Pentecost with the Apostles. The roll recalls the foundation of our Christian life - the journey of faith can never be stopped!
On the right hand side of the triptych of Aparecida given by Benedict XVI to the Church in America in 2007 there are three scenes from the Bible depicting listening, and on the left hand side three other scenes of proclamation. The dynamics of a living faith are simple - Listen to Jesus (Come to me!) and be sent by Jesus (Go and proclaim)!
In the journey of Advent 2012 I invite all to live with a heart more open to Christ Jesus. We meet him in the Word and the Eucharist, but also in our young people, especially non-Christians. Thanks to the young people - who are awaiting our witness and word of faith – we can live more fully the missionary mandate of Jesus!
Fr. Václav Klement, SDB Councilor for the Missions May Chriistt be tthe centtre off our Chriisttmas cellebrattiions!!
Happy New Year 2013!!
International migration in the whole American continent is one of the most important signs of our times. It has grown dramatically over the last twenty years. Statistics tell us that now there are about 50 million Hispanic migrants in the United States, making up 70% of the Catholic community of the country. Due to the lack of pastors about 600,000 migrant Catholics in the United States leave the Church each year. During the 2011 team visit to the 13 Provinces of the American continent, the Rector Major has called on all Provinces in the region to raise the awareness of confreres regarding the phenomenon of migration and to prepare a regional plan in this regard.
Salesian Missionary Intention God bllesses the generous giiver While participating in youth groups during my adolescence I often heard the experiences of missionaries who narrated to us their adventures and difficulties. This awakened in me the desire to be a priest and work in foreign lands surrounded by many young people.
I think that for the first time it made me think seriously about God's call to follow him more closely. On the other hand the witness of so many priests who were fully committed to their priestly ministry while seeing in their faces the joy in what they did motivated me to give my response to God. Seeing the problems of the world especially of the youth, later made me ask myself if Jesus Christ had given his life for me why can’t I dedicate mine for the good of others, as a response to His great love?
On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of our Salesian Congregation the Rector Major Fr. Pascual Chávez asked each Province to send 1 Salesian as missionary. I had applied to be a missionary during my novitiate so I reminded my Provincial of this desire of mine to which he graciously acceded to.
Many people asked me «Mexico needs missionaries, why do you want to be a missionary ad gentes? » Little by little I discovered that faith must be lived without borders and that if God gives one the gift of the missionary vocation he must respond to it with generosity. God does not allow that the place left by a missionary to go to other places remains empty, God blesses the generous giver. Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said «give until it hurts», which means give from our poverty. This is what my Province has done with my becoming a missionary.
Yet Mexico needs so many missionaries to awaken the lethargic faith of many people, to give hope to many people living in fear, insecurity, spiritual and material poverty, it also needs missionaries who are passionate about the ideals of Jesus Christ. I truly believe that through our witness of life and the joy of living this call of God, He Himself will raise up among our young people vocations to work for the needy in Mexico and world over.
God has called me to work in Peru. As a Salesian missionary I am immensely happy in living my vocation because I feel the close presence of God who has called me to share his mission in other lands, with other young people. I know God has big plans for me and I'm willing to say "yes" with the help of our Mother, Help of Christians.
To young Salesians I say: If God calls you to be a missionary do not hesitate to answer his call. You will see that God will bless you greatly. Live your life worthily by giving it to God in the place where He will send you. Be generous with him and you will experience the fullness of joy!
Fr. Alfonso Abarca Patricio Mexican, missionary in Peru Miissiion ffor Hiispaniic miigrantts iin tthe Uniitted Sttattes That the Salesians of the American continent are made aware of the phenomenon of migration in order to prepare a regional plan in this regard .
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