SALESIAN MISSIONARY INTENTION IN THE LIGHT OF THE HOLY FATHER’S PRAYER INTENTION
That, as educators of the young and the laity, they may know how to form in them, in the light of the Gospel, the values of honesty, justice, solidarity and service.
Several countries of America are marked by intense social conflicts and the scourge of corruption.
We are called to educate the young and the laity in the social dimensions of charity, transparency and righteousness.
We pray that the educational efforts of the Salesian Family may bear fruits of justice and solidarity in civil society.
N. 110 - February 2018
Newsletter for Salesian Missionary Animation
Publication of the Missions Sector for the Salesian Communities and Friends of the Salesian Mission
T he 51 st World Day of Peace: the theme was: Migrants and refu-
gees: men and women in search of peace. This pastoral
challenge was taken up by Salesians in various part of the world
with great missionary zeal. Just look at Mexico, Colombia, India, Italy,
Spain, Germany, Austria, Ethiopia, Kenya and elsewhere. Recently a
new Salesian community has been formed for refugees from South
Sudan at Palabek, Uganda. Missionaries are going there from Asia,
Africa and America.
In his message for peace, the Pope insists on four verbs: “welcome,
protect, promote and integrate”.
"Welcome" recalls the need to widen the possibilities of legal
entry. Refugees and migrants cannot be sent back to places where
persecution and violence await them. There is a need to balance the
concern for national security with the protection of fundamental
human rights. Scripture reminds us: "Do not forget hospitality; some,
who practiced it, have welcomed angels without knowing it"(Heb 13,2)
"Protect" recalls the duty to recognize and protect the inviolable
dignity of those fleeing from a real danger in search of asylum and
security. We need to prevent their exploitation. I am thinking, in
particular, of women and children. They are more exposed to risks and
abuses that may even go to the extent of enslavement. God does not
discriminate: "The Lord protects the stranger; He supports the orphan
and the widow" (Ps 148: 9).
"Promote" refers to support for the integral human development of
migrants and refugees. There are many possible tools for this task. I
would like to underline the importance of ensuring access for children
and young people to all levels of education. With education they will
not only be able to cultivate and capitalize on their abilities; they will
also be enabled to interact with others in a spirit of dialogue rather
than closure or confrontation. The Bible teaches us that God "loves the
stranger and gives him bread and clothing"; He exhorts: "Love,
therefore, the foreigner since you too were strangers in the land of
Egypt" (Deut. 10.18-19).
Finally, "Integrate" means to allow refugees and migrants to partici-
pate fully in the life of the society that welcomes them. This initiates
a dynamic of mutual enrichment and fruitful collaboration. It promotes
the integral human development of local communities. As St. Paul
writes: "You are no longer strangers or guests; you are among the com-
munity of saints and within the family of God" (Eph 2:19).
Young Refugees chalenge us. Salesian Missionary Intention
L’America Several countries of America are marked by intense social conflicts
and the scourge of corruption. We are called to educate the young and the laity
in the social dimensions of charity, transparency and righteousness. We pray
that the educational efforts of the Salesian Family may bear fruits of justice
and solidarity in civil society.
I would like to share with you three things that stood me in good stead
during the last few months in the province of Belgium-North-
Netherlands: Grace of God – Faith Vision – Prayer.
Gods grace and His will: Nothing is impossible for God. The story of Jonah
in the Bible makes me reflect on my own life. God sent Jonah to Nineveh to
"facilitate" the repentance of sinners. He, instead, tried to flee right from the beginning
of his call and mission. He refused to cooperate with God. It is interesting to note that
Jonah was not allowed to make his own plans as he wanted. In the end, God is capable of making one
cooperate. He "widens" ones vision. I consider my missionary life the grace and the will of God. I have my
daily challenges: the language barrier, the cultural shock, the cold, the lifestyle, the way of living the faith.
All these difficulties in life have an impact on my missionary life. There were times when I wanted to do
things my way and according to my whim. However, what I have learned so far has made me humble and
grateful. I now follow Him wherever He guides me. He does everything with me
as he did with Jonah.
The vision of faith: a human being in the secularized world finds it difficult
to accept anything outside the explanations and evidence provided by science.
How do we find God in a world so strongly influenced by scientific dictates? I
do not believe in the dualism of science and faith. I affirm that God intervenes
in our life. I look back and reflect on my experiences of Gods care and protec-
tion. He did not leave me alone in difficult times. He has always been with me
in all circumstances, as he had promised. "I am with you always until the end
of time" (Mt 28.20).
Prayer: I am powerless to control the world myself when I face difficult sit-
uations. I need someone who understands me deeply. God is that Someone. I
bring to Him all that I feel and experience. I express them through my daily
prayer. I built up this relationship of trust right from the time I first began dream-
ing of becoming a missionary when I was still a novice. Until now, thank God, I maintain this contact with
the Lord through my personal and community prayer: the daily rosary, thanking the Lord when I wake up in
the morning and before I go to sleep at night, etc. This is the strongest pivot of my life. I do it regularly,
faithfully and devoutly. My experience tells me that the Lord hears my cries.
These are the three elements that strengthen me. They make me happy and optimistic as a missionary: I am
happy in my position here in Amsterdam (Netherlands) with four confreres from our province, Belgium-North
-Netherlands. We are a multicultural community of Belgians, Indonesians, Indians and Timorese. Our
community is entrusted with the mission to serve four parishes and five churches within a radius of seven
kilometers of our community. We have just begun new pastoral activities for young people. We do a kind of
Lectio divina and a Taizé style prayer meeting. We hope that, through the intercession of our Mother,
everything will be better in the next year and bear more fruits in the Kingdom of God.
Cirilo de Deus, Timorese, missionary in Amsterdam, BEN Province
MISSIONARY LIFE – WILL OF GOD AND A BLESSING
That, as educators of the young and the laity, they may know how
to form in them, in the light of the Gospel, the values of honesty,
justice, solidarity and service .
For Salesians of America
Witness of Salesian Missionary Sanctity
Fr. Pierluigi Cameroni SDB, Postulator General for the Causes of Saints
Blessed Eusebia Palomino (1899-1935), Daughter of Mary Help of Christians.
Clothed in humility and simplicity, she became a spiritual teacher and guide. When
the Provincial is surprised by the number of vocations from Valverde del Camino, they
tell her of a cook, who suffers from asthma and narrates beautiful stories to the girls.
Later there will also be priests who seek out this humble nun, who has no
qualifications in theology, but does have a heart overflowing with the wisdom of God.
Seminarians, nuns, priests and girls went to Sister Eusebia to consult her about their
future. She helped them all, in the midst of hanging the laundry out, working in the
vegetable garden or peeling potatoes in the kitchen. In all calm and patience she
advised, predicted the future, encouraged true vocations and discouraged false ones.