Cagliero11 and Salesian Missionary Intention, March 2024

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Dear friends,

Our Congregation of the “Catechist Sisters of Mary Immaculate Help of Chris-tians”, commonly known as Sisters of Mary Immaculate (SMI) was founded on 12th December 1948 by Bishop Louis LaRavoire Morrow, SDB in Krishnagar, West Bengal, India. Its purpose is Evan-gelization and Cateche-sis through home visitation and village apostolate. 

Our motto is “To love God and help others to love God”, and our spiritual charism is the “Abba experience” of Jesus according to the Little Way of Spiritual Childhood of St. Therese of the Child Jesus.

The “Apostolate of Smiling” is a unique virtue the founder lived and imparted to us as a means of bringing all to Christ. We follow the principles of the Preventive System of St. John Bosco in life and mission.

I wish all the best to all readers of the Cagliero11 bulletin.

 Sr. Jane Nadackal SMI       (Sisters of Mary Immaculate) Superior General

What is the future for Salesian Europe? 

It may seem almost normal today to ask: "What future will Salesian life have in Europe?" I use "Salesian" in a broad sense, wanting to include all the groups of our Family. Immersed in an atmosphere of profound secularism, where religion seems to be increasingly relegated to personal choices and the private sphere; in the midst of a crisis of vocations both to the consecrated life, but also to the choices of lay Christian commitment... Where are we going?

Based on my personal experience, I would like to say that I see glimmers of light for the future. First of all, in Spain, Northern Belgium, Italy, the United Kingdom (just to give a few examples) the number of lay men and women who are co-responsible with consecrated persons for the mission entrusted to us by God is growing. Many of them are already members of the Salesian Family and others can be defined as "Friends of Don Bosco". The charisma and spirituality of Saint John Bosco attract a lot and inspire many to put themselves at the service of the neediest children, adolescents and young people. I see beautiful and exciting collaborative initiatives between SDB and FMA, especially at provincial level, in the field of Youth and Vocational Ministry, with profound experiences of personalized accompaniment of young people to help them make a choice of commitment, even in the social and political world.

Finally, I meet very serious and enthusiastic young brothers. Men of prayer, who deeply believe in the "sacrament of presence" alongside the young people entrusted to their care, also creatively searching for those who are far away. Among them, I want to underline the very encouraging presence of a good number of young SDB missionaries who are part of Project Europe - one of the most complex missionary projects in the history of the Salesian Congregation. Their presence in various European Provinces underlines the desire to rekindle Salesian spirituality in this Europe which seems to have become cold, icy, towards the Church, also including the prospect of restarting the proposal of the vocation to the native Salesian consecrated life. Not stopgaps, therefore, but a stimulus for growth and vocational enthusiasm.

What Salesian future for Europe? A future that is still all uphill, but certainly rich in prospects of life and joy.

 Fr. Gianni Rolandi SDB – Visitor ad nutum


Dear Volodymyr, how do you see the current Salesian presence in Ukraine, where there is still war? Is it possible to do something with young people too?

Life in Ukraine with the alarms and missiles arriving every day and with the running for cover is very difficult. As Salesians we try to be close in particular to young people, the poor and refugees. Our priests travel near combat zones bringing food and medicine to the poor. They stay close to our young soldiers fighting on the front and also offer necessary psychological help. Despite the difficult situation, we continue with schools, with sports activities and oratories and parishes. Of course, with great attention to safety.

What do you think of the help that Salesians give to Ukrainians in the various countries where they are located?

Ukrainian Salesians cannot help their compatriots who have fled abroad. As males, they cannot leave the country due to military obligation. We are grateful that Salesians all over the world help them a lot - offering homes, giving food, helping in as many ways as possible.

Can you see anything positive from your experience in the situation in Ukraine?

The positive thing about the experience we have in Ukraine is the fact that people are united, they help each other, they are sensitive to those in difficulty. I can say that we have adapted to the situation, we have overcome the most difficult first months of the war and little by little we have managed to start living "normally" again even if the war continues.