IN HE LIGHT OF THE HOLY FATHER’S PRAYER INTENTION
That they may continue to be living signs of the Church.
There are thousands of lay people collaborating in the Salesian mission in America. We pray that they may have the same passion that Don Bosco had for the youth and the poor. May they be among the People of God a life-giving sign of the love of Jesus for them
Dear confreres, dear friends
These last few months have not, certainly, been like those of previous years! The whole world has stopped and remains silent. The economy is in crisis; businesses are closing. We had thought that everything we have, everything we own, was the result of our work. We lived our lives as if we would stay here on earth forever.
We have been desperate for a vaccine and a cure for the coronavirus. But, through this pandemic, we have come to realize what we had forgotten: that it has always been God's mercy that made us who we are. Perhaps this pandemic could be our purification, to bring us back to God. The Lord has waited patiently for us to return to Him so that He may once again be the centre of our existence.
Despite the Coronavirus, can we still be at peace and quiet? Of course, we can! Because our faith assures us that, in the end, God always triumphs over illness, suffering and death! With the eyes of faith, we know that the Holy Spirit continues to work in the world today. The feast of Pentecost assures us that, with the power of the Spirit, the merciful love of God will have the last word, not evil; that, in the end, God will triumph.
Happy Feast of Pentecost to all!
Fr. Alfred Maravilla, SDB
Councillor for the Missions
T his Corona Virus emergency has been an opportunity to develop Salesian pastoral creativity and solidarity. There are initiatives in all the five continents, serving the most disadvantaged; there are new educational and pastoral proposals. It is good to see every day news, testimonies, photographs and videos on how Salesian zeal is implementing various initiatives all around the world.
The Coordination of the Congregation’s Response to Emergencies is within the Mission Sector. A team is accompanying and promoting solidarity on a global level. This team gives us some indications and suggestions on the use of funds for the realization of projects:
A few days ago I heard from Fr Vaclav Klement, writing from Don Bosco-Mati, FIS (North Philippines). They are dealing with covid-19. How? Through manual work, growing vegetables! PERFECT! The har-vest begins in a few weeks. A small but wonderful step forward.
The coordinator’s daily emails, with photos, videos, news and suggestions such as these, are being sent daily to all MO’s and NGO’s, to all Provincials and Provincial Planning and Development Offices. You may ask for these mails, too, if you would like to.
M C George Menamparampil sdb, Emergency Response Coordinator
M y name is NIYOYITUNGIRA Emmanuel. I am 33 years old and I am from Burundi. I am the first born of seven children. I am a Salesian missionary in Yakutsk, Siberia. The missionary vocation was born in me as a child, but when I entered the minor seminary in my dio-cese, I understood that it really is my vocation. I started to participate in the FOCOLARI Movement. As I read its history and its goal, “TO BUILD A UNITED WORLD,” I understood that being a missionary is possible for everyone. But I could not express my desire to any priest in the Seminary because, being a diocesan, there were less possibilities for this missionary inclination.
It came to pass that the teachers in my country went on a series of strikes and I could not complete the academic year. I went to visit a friend of mine in RUKAGO, a Salesian parish. We participated together in the morning Eucharist. Later, Fr Remy NSENGIYUMVA, a Salesian priest of the parish, came to greet us and asked us about our studies. That gesture touched me; I decided to be a Salesian and, therefore, a mission-ary. I understood that Salesianity is equivalent to being a missionary. Ever since I began my Salesian formation, I have been interested in missionary life. Finally, I expressed my desire to my Provincial, Fr Camiel SWETVAGHER, who truly accompanied me and allowed me to realize my vocation. I received the missionary cross at Turin from the hands of the Rector Major at the 148th Missionary Expedition and I was sent to Siberia (Russia).
My challenges are divided into three categories:
I would like to express my joy and gratitude to the Congregation; it has helped me to realize my dreams. I am happy today because I am a missionary for the youth, for the Congregation and for the Church. I have seen what young people need today to love God and Don Bosco. In short, my great joy is to participate in Evangelisa-tion, singing to God and with others.
I would advise young Salesians who feel a missionary vocation to continue listening to God's voice; that they take time to know better the meaning of what it means today to be missionaries. With humility and a little experience, I could say that being a missionary today is difficult, but possible and indispensable, to save the souls of young people who suffer from the many viruses of globalization. Don Bosco is today more necessary than ever. Thank you very much.
Fr. Pierluigi Cameroni SDB, Postulator General for the Causes of Saints
Blessed Filippo Rinaldi (1858-1931), Don Bosco's third successor, and founder of Don Bosco's Volunteers. He adapted Don Bosco's spirit to the new times and, as Rector Major, he showed his fatherly nature and took a variety of initiatives: care for vocations, creation of spiritual- and social-assistance centres for young workers, guidance and support for the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians. He gave a strong impulse to Salesian Co-operators; he established the World Federations of ex-pupils. "The ex-pupils,” he said, “are the fruit of our labours. The work in our houses is not only so that young people are good while they are with us, but to make them good Christians. Therefore, the work with our ex-pupils is an on-going one. We have sacrificed ourselves for them and our sacrifice must not be lost.”