Council Resources

Cagliero11 - December 2013


MISSIONS - Cagliero 11

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Newsletter for Salesian Missionary Animation
A Publication of the Mission Department for the Salesian Communities and Friends of the Salesian Mission
A Province which does not reach out A Province which does not reach out
to the frontiers, gets sick! to the frontiers, gets sick!
Article 6 of our Constitutions points out the
tasks we have in the Church: “The Salesian
vocation places us at the heart of the
Church and puts us entirely at the service
of her mission. Faithful to the commit-
ments Don Bosco has passed on to us, we
are evangelizers of the young, and the
more so if they are poor; we pay special
attention to apostolic vocations; we are
educators of the faith for the working
classes, particularly by means of social communication; we proclaim
the Gospel to those who have not yet received it. In this way we con-
tribute to building up the Church as the Body of Christ, so that also
through us she may appear to the world as the ‘universal sacrament
of salvation’.”
This article applies to every Salesian confrere, community and
province. Achieving the goals of the Congregation is everyone’s re-
sponsibility; it applies to the education and evangelization of young
people, especially the poor, to apostolic vocations, to the education
of the faith of the working classes, particularly by means of social
communication, and precisely to the proclamation of the Gospel to
people who do not know it. Therefore, it is not the exclusive task of
the Councillor for the Missions to accomplish this fourth task of the
Congregation and stir up missionary vocations; this responsibility
falls on all of us.
Our provinces run the kind of risk that Pope Francis is de-
nouncing in the Church: becoming closed. A province centred on
itself and its own needs, one that does not go out into the streets
and reach the frontiers, becomes sick. There are provinces with an
abundance of vocations that think only of themselves; and there are
poor provinces that receive missionaries and also send them. The
Church and the Congregation are renewed through a missionary
commitment and an exchange of vocational gifts. That is why inter-
national communities are important; they are a sign that the Congre-
gation is alive because in it there is a readiness for generosity and
missionary mobility.
Fr. Francesco Cereda
Councillor for Formation
(exerpt from an address at the 2nd Meeting of Missionaries in Europe,
D ear confreres and friends of
the Salesian missions!
The most impressive experience I had
this year was the visit to the places of
Fr. Luigi Bolla, an excellent missionary
who died on February 2013. Every year
Fr. Luigi visited all the thirty Ashuar
villages in the Peruvian territory of
the Amazonian forest, forming a true
‘indigenous church’. I consider his
words as the best commentary on the
theme of the GC 27: “When the ship
was leaving the port of Genoa, I ex-
perienced one of the most beautiful
moments of my life. It seemed to me
that everything dies - your friends,
your land, your mountains ... And I
think that this is the feeling of all
the missionaries. It was then that I
said to the Lord, ‘I have lost every-
thing, now YOU are the only one I
have, because in the new world I
know nothing. And at that time the
Lord answers you ‘I AM EVERYTHING
and I AM ONLY FOR YOU’. It is a mo-
ment of joy, infinite joy! I want to
encourage young
people to follow
the missionary vo-
cation. Yes, the
missionary voca-
tion is an extraor-
dinary gift!”
I wish you a fruitful
celebration of
Christmas 2013!

Fr. Václav Klement, SDB
Councillor for the Missions

On the eve of GC 27 and almost at the end the six year period we wish to say
THANK YOU to all who collaborated in the preparation of Cagliero 11: Luciano
Arcarese, Fr. Angelo Biz, René Dassy, Fr. Alfred Maravilla, Fr. Hilario Passero,
Renée Saghers, Fr. Agustin Pacheco, Fr. Dionisio Pacheco

Amongst the Gypsies I discovered my missionary vocation

My missionary vocation developed over a long period of time. The first
invitation goes back to my youth, after getting to know the life of a
missionary, St. Damian De Veuster. At that moment I felt a call to be
with the weakest. The other steps were slow in my Salesian life. Years later,
while I was rector of the Salesian students in theology, I went with them to a
village 35 km from Bratislava where a group of about 400 Rom had built houses
on a meadow. The Sisters of Mother Teresa had already launched initiatives
with the children. But for us Salesians it all started with the celebration of
Sunday Mass for Rom children in the parish church.
The other step in my missionary vocation was the preparation of the parents
for the baptism of their children. We rented some rooms in an old nursery for
children and we adapted it according to the need: as an oratory, a chapel or a classroom to prepare kids for
school, etc. . Initially I expected that the parents would come to our ‘centre’, but in the end I had to go to find
them in their homes, where I started the first ‘catechesis.’ Slowly I came to know a good group of families. Be-
sides us (Salesians) some FMAs, some university students, as well as other students of theology of other religious
congregations also worked there. After a few years the number of Salesian students of theology declined and it
was decided to send them to Crocetta (Turin). At the end I was the only Salesian left among the Rom.
Now I live in a Salesian community in a neighborhood of the city of Kosice, where some 5,000 Rom live.
Our presence among them has opened my eyes to the existence of a different culture either from the social or
Christian point of view. Being with them, I realised how the Gypsies have managed to maintain what we today -
people of the culture of ‘efficiency and of rights’ - do not understand. I can describe it perhaps only loosely, as
the perception that the world is not our property, but that it is of everyone and that we are not owners but only
pilgrims; the sense of the joy of being together as a family, as a group, and so on. This, to me, is a fertile field
for the Gospel.
The majority of the Roms are baptised but not evangelised. They want their children to be baptised, but
nothing else after. However, I have also found individuals and families who are open to the faith. To me, the big-
gest challenge is to understand well their core culture and not stigmatize them as ‘lazy’ and ‘cunning.’ It takes
patience to find areas where you can sow. After eight years of journeying with them I found out that amongst the
Gypsies I can live authentically our Salesian life: to live among the
poor not only in the economic sense, but also from the religious point
of view, including those who have not yet accepted Christ into their
Indeed, amongst the Gypsies I discovered my missionary
vocation !
Fr. Jozef Žembera
Slovak, missionary among the Gypsies in Slovakia
That the young people of Europe may encounter in the settings of the Salesian Family
Christian communities which reflect the face of Christ today.

For the youth of North Europe Region For the youth of North Europe Region
Interview of Fr. Faustino Garcìa Peña, Povincial o the Province of Africa Occidentale Francofona (AFO)
in French with subtitles in English (

Salesian Missionary Intention
For the youth of North Europe Region

That the young people of Europe may encounter in the settings of the Salesian Family
Christian communities which reflect the face of Christ today.
Project Europe needs the strength of internal regeneration, which takes place through the new
evangelisation that rediscovers the roots of true life based on Christian values. In spite of appear-
ances the young generation of Europeans seek the meaning of life, spirituality and depth. Through
the educative activity of the Salesian Family they may become the hope for the future of the
European continent. The commitment to missionary volunteer service and active participation in youth
groups (SYM) in the Salesian settings may be the way to rediscover the face of a Church alive.