Salesian Missionary Intention
For Salesians in areas of conflict
That the Salesians and the Salesian Family may have an evangelizing impulse and creativity in the Areopagus of Social Communication.
Today more than ever social networks, and Social Communication in general, are architects of culture. We pray that – with creativity, professionalism and intelligence – we may influence culture through the Gospel and our educative values.
CAGLIERO11_120, DECEMBER 2018
The contemplation of the mystery of the Incarnation fills the eyes and soul of the missionary: "Following the example of the Son of God who was made similar to his brothers in every sense, the Salesian missionary assumes the values of the people not yet evangelized and shares their anguish and hope" (Constitutions 30). May the company of Jesus, Joseph and Mary continue to forge and fortify the missionary who dwells in the heart of every Salesian! This is our Christmas wish from the Missions Sector to all of you, dear confreres and friends. This time of preparation for Christmas can also become a time of intense missionary prayer. Pope Benedict XV is incisive in his exhortations in the Apostol-ic Letter Maximum Illud. He urges a greater awareness and more effective prayer for the missions and for missionaries: "All Christians must, through prayer, help the preachers of the Gospel while they sweat in the vineyard of the Lord." The Congregation does so especially by proposing missionary prayer intentions for each month and through the active missionary role of prayer by the elderly and sick confreres. Mary, Queen of the Apostles and Virgin of Bethlehem, pray for us!
D. Guillermo Basanes, SDB
Consigliere per le missioni
SALESIAN FAMILY SEMINAR IN SOUTH ASIA ON INITIAL PROCLAMATION
St. Paul VI tells us in Evangelii Nuntiandi that the Church exists to evangelize (EN 14). The Seminar for the Salesian Family of South Asia, held at the Basilica in Bandel, on 7 and 8 November 2018, focused on Initial Proclamation today. There were forty-five participants from the SF (SDB, FMA, MSMHC, SMI, Disciples). The main purpose of the Seminar was the sharing of the fruits of five years (2010 – 15) of the study by the SDB-FMA on this theme in all the Salesian regions. We wished also to prepare animators on it within the SF. The participants put forward proposals to make Initial Proclamation a more fruitful contribution to evangeliza-tion in South Asia.
Without listing them all, here is a brief summary.
God can surprise us and give us more than we can ever imagine
Ye ars ago, I never thought that I would one day be a missionary in Mongolia. It was clear to me that I had to be an engineer or, at the most, a missionary in the Czech Republic, an atheist country in Europe. During my primary and secondary studies, I was the only Catholic in my class. It was not easy to be a witness to our faith before my classmates.
I met the Salesians when I started my technical studies in the university of Prague, still in the communist period. Soon I joined their underground activities: small summer camps, “chaloupky” as they were called, and formation of animators and groups for sharing the Bible. Step by step I was discovering Gods call to leave electrical engineering and follow Him, who is invisible but much more powerful than electricity.
In 1993 I became a Salesian and in 2002 a priest. After 3 years of service in the Salesian parish of Zlin, I received new responsibilities: starting a missionary voluntary service in our Czech province, a school for animators, vocational animation and the Salesian Youth Movement. They were eleven years of total service under the protection and guidance of Mary Help of Christians. I discovered a Salesian world greater than I could ever have imagined.
In 2014, Pope Francis, through his first encyclical Evangelii Gaudium, unexpectedly but clearly showed me my way: "Let us go forward, then, let us go forward to offer everyone the life of Jesus Christ" (EG 49). That touched me a lot, together with the theme of the Salesian Mission Day 2015 "Lord, send me". When I translated it into the Czech language, I began to hear to a new vocation: "Give me more and more". I shared this with our provincial and after six months of discernment I wrote a letter to the Rector Major.
The traditional way of life of the Mongols is nomadic pastoralism. They move with their animals and their yurts several times a year due to the limited fertility of their pastures. Even those established in cities still think and act in a nomadic way. Understanding it is really a challenge.
Mongolian is one of the most difficult languages in the world. The basic language course lasts two years. We are still searching for ways to express the fundamental terms of our faith in a manner understandable to a society of shamanic and Buddhist tradition.
Becoming a missionary in this country means becoming a child again, learning things from the basics. How many times I have reached my limits! I had to grow in humility and love.
One of my greatest joys is to watch people grow. It does not happen every day, but there are times when we can sense that we have arrived at a better understanding within the community or that some of the children have been touched by our service of God. The Lord has his way of working. He takes his time. It is different for each person. It was a great moment when some students became animators in the oratory and, again, when many new children joined us at the Don Bosco Centre. But the greatest joy is to be in the mission of God, to be a bearer of the treasure. I discover this ever more day after day.
"Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts ..." (Heb 3: 7-8). I wish all of us could be more open to Gods call every day, that we deepen our relationship with Him. He can surprise us and give us more than we can ever imagine.
Fr. Jaroslav Vracovský sdb—Missionary in Mongolia from the Czech Republic
Testimonianza di santità missionaria salesiana
Don Pierluigi Cameroni SDB, Postulator General for the Causes of Saints
Blessed Artemide Zatti (1880-1951), Salesian brother. Thanks to his serious spiritual commitment, a sincere process of discernment and the desire to serve God and neighbor, he embraced the mission of Don Bosco. His vocation sprang from the read-ing of Don Boscos life and out of his friendship with a "magnetic" Salesian, as was the parish priest Fr. Cavalli who was his model throughout his life. When he was struck by tuberculosis, his superiors suggested him to profess as a Salesian coadju-tor. Zatti did not need to think long to realize that, whether a priest or not, he wanted to stay with Don Bosco. He stayed, living fully the original vocation of the "coadjutor".