Titolo n otiziario Nome società N. 46 - October 2012 Newsletter for Salesian Missionary Animation A Publication of the Mission Department for the Salesian Communities and Friends of the Salesian Mission D e a r Sales i a n missionaries and friends of the Salesian Missions!
What does it mean for us to begin the Year of Faith (11 October 2012 - 24 November 2013)? For me it is a year of grace, a great opportunity to be grateful for the gift of faith and share it.
Among the new missionaries of 2012 I cannot forget three: Samuel – he grew up as a follower of the African traditional religion, baptised at 18 years; David – originally from a Hindu family and Taras from Ukraine who converted with his the whole family when he was in secondary school. All have gone as St. Paul to share the precious gift of God as missionaries for life. The encounter with Jesus fills our hearts, we cannot but speak about him! Small gestures - to offer a personalised prayer for my friend who is a Buddhist, a Hindu, a Muslim friend or without religion; invite him to the Oratory; narrate a parable of Jesus - everything is simple and possible.
I invite everyone to pray that all members of the Salesian Family may know how to share the gift of faith, especially with children and young people who have never met Jesus Christ. The Missionary Rosary helps us in the month of the Holy Rosary to pray in order to live with a bigger heart which is open to those who do not know Christ!
Fr. Václav Klement, SDB Councilor for the Missions Initial Proclamation & the Missionary Rosary for the Year of Faith I n an interview Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples invites to celebrate the Year of Faith from the perspective of the initial proclamation of Christ. In fact during this six year period the Missions Department organised the Study Days on the Initial Proclamation of Christ in the various regions (Europe on November 4-10, 2010; South Asia on August 7 - 11 2011; East Asia on August 14 – 18, 2011; Oceania on August 21 - 25, 2011;The Salesian presence among Muslims on July 30 to 4 August 2012; Africa on November 5 – 9, 2012; America in 2013).
These Study Days have brought to light that initial proclamation is the short, joyful and engaging story of Jesus. It is directed towards those who do not know Christ, to the baptised who have abandoned the practice of their Christian faith, to those who live a cultural and sociological Christianity, to those who practice the Christian faith occasionally during the sacraments of initiation or acts of popular piety, and to those who practice their faith out of habit, hence this practice has not enabled them to personally encounter Christ as their personal Savior.
Initial proclamation is just the start of the process of evangelisation, which has the chronological priority but that is not extended in time. Since its goal is to stir up [in the interlocutor] an interest in Jesus Christ that can lead to an initial adhesion or a revitalization of faith in Him and the desire to deepen this knowledge, initial proclamation necessarily leads to the next path of evangelisation, which is the catechumenate.
The first form of initial proclamation of the Gospel is the testimony of every Christian's life, the life of the Salesian, of the Salesian community and of the whole Christian community. This, in turn, is always an invitation and a challenge to the interlocutor to seek answers to existential questions, in a conscious, more personalised and deeper manner.
Cardinal Fernando Filoni also points out that the Year of Faith should be first of all a year in which we should pray for the faith, that is, to ask the Lord for this gift. Without this, all our initiatives would lose their raison d'etre.
For this reason it was decided to promote the Missionary Rosary (white for Europe, red for America, yellow for Asia, blue for Oceania, and green for Africa).
So that everyone can pray to the Mother of the Lord for the initial proclamation of the Gospel in every continent.
In the Post-Synodal Exhortation “Africae Munus” n.127, Pope Benedict XVI urges: “Dear catechists, remember that for many communities you are the first embodiment of the zealous disciple and a model of Christian life. I encourage you to proclaim, by your example, that family life merits great esteem, that a Christian upbringing prepares young people to live in society as persons who are honest and trustworthy in their dealings with others”. Many of the catechists, both in cities and villages, who are young and usually already married, face enormous difficulties and trials in their mission. We pray that accompanied by the confreres and with a good formation they may grow in faith and service to the local Churches.
That the Young catechists of Africa may continue to grow in their faith.
Salesian Missionary Intention All previous issues of "Cagliero 11" are available at purl.org/sdb/sdl/Cagliero For tthe young cattechiistts off Affriica My Missionary Vocation Lived as Availability A s a child, I began to frequent the St. Dominic Savio Salesian Oratory in Madrid. Much later I was a student of the Salesian school; I was part of a missionary group. We read some articles in Juventud Misionera magazine, and I do not know exactly how, but the missionary seed began to take root ... the desire to become a priest gradually developed, as well as the possibility of the minor seminary; for me it was an opportunity to discover Don Bosco and be enthused about his life and his mission.
And the time for the novitiate arrives. The Salesian-missionary idea is strengthened day by day. In the second year of my practical training I had the chance to go to Bata (Equatorial Guinea) during the year 1974-75. A tough experience, humanly speaking, but vocationally and spiritually enriching. My vocation was clearly defined: it was missionary. After years of theological studies my priestly ordination arrives. On choosing the theme of the ordination the verse of Mark 16, 15 spontaneously came to my mind: “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.” A fatal plane crash in Equatorial Guinea, in 1986, took the life of a young Salesian. The news was received in the office of Father Provincial; ... I had the spontaneous desire to offer and replace him, if necessary, which was mixed with the pain of the moment.
After three days, Fr. Provincial asks me if I was available, there may be the need to go to the parish of Ela Nguema in Malabo (Equatorial Guinea). Summer comes and the obedience is confirmed. But the destination is changed... to Banapá Diocesan Seminary of Malabo. Those were 5 years of joyful work ... And the obedience which brought me to Malabo, transferred me to the aspirant-prenovitiate of Guadalajara. Which eventually led to my landing at the novitiate of Sanlucar la Mayor of Seville.
The year was 1999 and a letter from Fr. Vecchi offered me the opportunity to go to Cuba. In less than two months a new letter informed me that despite of the above, he made me an offer and that he would be pleased that I accept it ... And I was asked, in fact, to be a Novice Master ... the wish to understand my vocation as availability made me readily accept in principle an obedience that costs me ... and, as always, in the end the Lord transforms into grace what initially appears to us as a burden. After the obedience I was back to my Province of origin SMA, but knowing that they were looking for Salesians for Morocco, I offered myself ... and in accepting my availability the Rector Major proposed Cuba which had been proposed to me 10 years ago ... And here I am in Cuba for over 2 years.
Here I am trying to live my vocation as I have always tried to live it, with availability ... The wonderful reception that I have received has made me feel at home since I arrived!
Fr. Santiago Martínez Martin, spanish, missionary in Cuba The mandate of preaching the Gospel … it must involve all the activities of the particular Church, all her sectors, in short, her whole being and working. … Even today, the mission ad Gentes must be the constant horizon and the paradigm of every ecclesial activity, because the identity of the Church herself is constituted by faith in the Mystery of God, who revealed himself in Christ to bring us salvation, and by the mission of witnessing and proclaiming Him to the world until He comes. Pope Benedict XVI (for the whole text see http://tinyurl.com/8m9yfa4 ) Message for the World Mission Day 2012 Video on the Course for New Missionaries 2012 (http://tinyurl.com/d3qh8gz) Video on the Giving of the Missionary Cross (http://tinyurl.com/brr3nbv).
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