I send you this message at the end of the meeting of the World Advisory Board of the Salesian Family.
The Advisory Board was composed of the superiors/chief executives (or of their representatives) of each of the twenty one groups which gathered to meet for the ordinary annual session from Friday 28 May to Sunday 30 May 2004. The meeting took place in the Generalate, the house of the Rector Major, Fr. Pascual Chávez, the successor of Don Bosco, considered by all as Father and centre of unity of the same Salesian Family.
During this meeting there was, first of all, the opportunity to exchange news and information of all the associated congregations and groups. It is worth noting that this year marks the beginning of the celebrations of the Centenary of the Daughters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary (1905 – 2005). And also the 70th of the Foundation of Mons. Cognata, the Salesian Oblates of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the 50th anniversary of the Daughters of the Queenship of Mary Immaculate and the 10th anniversary of the foundation of the Voluntaries with Don Bosco.
Our meeting took up two themes for reflection:
· The Salesian Family and its way of living the Communion and the Mission of the Church.
· The Salesian Family and the Mission of Educating youth to be Church.
The exchange was very fruitful and was enriched by group work which took into consideration the themes in the perspective of consecrated life and life of the laity fully inserted in the secular context.
Such a treatment also introduced the preparation of the next day of Spirituality of the Salesian Family which will be taken up on 20-23 January 2005, at the Salesianum of the Generalate on the Via della Pisana.
We want to emphasize unanimously the existence of a climate of great fellowship which prevailed throughout this meeting. It is clearly perceived that we have a great common gift which bears the name of Don Bosco and a vital and spiritual unity which unites us to his ninth successor, Fr. Pascual Chavez. We give thanks to God for this and for our participation, so that in every place and in each situation the groups of the Salesian Family strengthen a chain of unity and fraternity and the common commitment in the Salesian mission.
From the practical point of view we propose these commitments for the next year.
1. Make the Advisory Board of the Salesian Family work at Province and local levels.
2. Pay attention to the theme of the Church in which all of us are living representatives of a life united by the same Charism. This is in keeping with the announcement of the Strenna of the Rector Major for the year 2005.
3. The days of spirituality of the Salesian Family (20-23 January 2005), with focus its attention on the theme of our important insertion into the Church.
4. The diffusion of the knowledge of the Salesian Family will be promoted through the official site of the Salesians of Don Bosco (www.sdb.org) with an essential but complete presentation of all the groups associated until now.
5. In our search for unity and visibility we shall meet to take a stand with respect to the great themes that pose a challenge. These are themes concerning the young, education and main social problems. The Salesian Family now commits itself to a more direct networking with organizations and media of an ecclesial character.
Dearest Brothers and Sisters,
The Salesian Family is a gift given to us all. A gift to cultivate, to value, to encourage growth. It needs the commitment of knowledge, of training of concrete actualisation of initiatives inspired by two great documents, the “Common Identity Card” and the “Mission Statement”. This letter is therefore an invitation to you all, and in the first place to those responsible for the groups and communities, to take “a step forward” in every context and in every place of our Salesian life.
May Mary our Help and Don Bosco, our common Father, accompany us on our journey.
Rome, 15 June 2004
Fr. Adriano Bregolin – sdb
Vicar of the Rector Major