February 25, 2014
Feast of the Holy Protomartyrs
St. Louis Versiglia and Callistus Caravario
Prot : 14.0012
Dear confreres ,
A cordial greeting from a missionary disciple on a journey to the ends of the earth!
I want to present the materials for the 28th Salesian Mission Day 2015 - Lord send me! It is a contribution to the bicentenary of the birth of Don Bosco.
What goals do we want to achieve this year? First of all, we want to make sure that we ourselves are the first recipients of the Salesian Mission Day. We are invited to rediscover the missionary spirit of our Father through the sharing of many stories of the Salesian missionary vocation . I present three specific objectives for the SMD 2015:
It is a universal experience, that the majority of missionaries ad gentes recognize the first moment of their calling in direct contact with the experience of a missionary. The best form of missionary animation is to get a missionary to talk about his life to the young or to the Christian community.
In today's world it is very easy to get lost in the stories of activity: "what does a missionary do? " Instead, we want to propose especially the sharing of underlying motivations: "what motivates a young Salesian to leave his country, his culture, his family and friends to offer himself to be sent without conditions and limitations? What helps him to overcome the many challenges, difficulties and obstacles in the mission?” I invite you to listen to God , who speaks to us through the witness of his missionary disciples!
An interview with a missionary in a magazine, be it the Salesian Bulletin or the Provincial Newsletter, or on the Internet (Youtube, Vimeo), could be shared in a Goodnight. It is not difficult to do, but it can produce a lot of fruit. Personal testimony of missionary life is not well known and interviews help people to understand the motivation of missionaries and the spirituality that sustains them in times of difficulty and urges them to move forward to new frontiers.
For the Bicentenary of Don Bosco we want to offer young people, confreres and the whole Salesian family 200 missionary interviews that will make some great figures of the past better known as well as the motivation and the life experience of the young Salesian missionaries of today. Missionary Groups and confreres involved in social communication in all the provinces, are invited to help in this.
Thanks to a joint initiative of the Formation and Mission Departments during the past six years (2008-2014) we have available for the first time at the level of the Congregation guidelines for the Missionary Formation of the Salesians of Don Bosco, approved by the Rector Major and his Council in January 2013.
Every Salesian during the initial stages of formation is encouraged to assimilate the dynamics of missionary animation and also to discern a possible call to the mission ad gentes. The digital material (two DVDs) and the printed booklet of 32 pages produced for the 2015 SMD offer abundant material to be put into practice in all the provinces, especially in houses of formation or missionary groups. We need to share best practices that help to form the Salesian missionary heart in new generations. The 2015 SMD encourages an exchange of good practices of missionary formation in groups and missionary movements of the Salesian family in different continents.
Finally, I thank all the confreres involved in the preparation of materials. In recognition of the close collaboration of the various sectors on behalf of the Salesian Mission, I want to thank especially the members of the Department for Social Communication and Don Bosco Media - Eurofilm of Turin.
I greet you warmly and implore the help of our Mother Mary, the Help of Christians, for all Salesians, lay collaborators and young people, as we walk together with young people to Jesus Christ!
Fr Václav Klement
Councillor for the Missions