SALESIAN MISSIONARY INTENTION
IN THE LIGHT OF THE HOLY FATHER’S PRAYER INTENTION
For Salesians in the Middle East That Salesians may continue to be signs of faith and hope among the persecuted Christians of the Middle East.
The Salesians continue to be present in sensitive places of conflict, such as Syria, Sudan, Tunisia, Egypt, Palestine, Iran, Israel, Turkey and Lebanon. Although these are places with ancient and deep Christian roots, the disciples of Christ are still considered foreigners. The Salesians through their mission as educators and witnesses of Christ, make the discriminated and persecuted Christians in Islamic context feel the affection, solidarity, communion and faith of the Universal Church.
N. 99 - March 2017
Newsletter for Salesian Missionary Animation
A Publication of the Missions Sector for the Salesian Communities and Friends of the Salesian Mission“The voice of Blessed Óscar Romero continues to resonate today to remind us that the Church, a convocation of brothers around their Lord, isthe family of God, in which there should be no division. Faith in Jesus Christ, when correctly understood and its final consequences accepted, generates communities that build peace and solidarity. This is what the Church in El Salvador is called to today, in America and in the whole world: tobe rich in mercy and to become a leaven of reconciliation for society.
“Archbishop Romero invites us to good sense and reflection, to respect forlife and harmony. It is necessary to renounce “the violence of the sword, ofhate” and to live “the violence of love, that left Christ nailed to the Cross,that makes each one of us overcome selfishness and so that there be nomore such cruel inequality between us”. He knew how to see and he experienced in his own flesh “the selfishness that hides itself in those who donot wish to give up what is theirs for the benefit of others”. And, with the heart of a father, he wouldworry about the “poor majority”, asking the powerful to convert “weapons into sickles for work”.
“May those who hold Archbishop Romero as a friend of faith, those who invoke him as protector andintercessor, those who admire his image, find in him the strength and courage to build the Kingdom ofGod, to commit to a more equal and dignified social order.”
Pope Francis(letter on the occasion of the beatification ofMsgr. Romero, 23 May 2015 )Conquer the violence of hate with the violence of loveI n his missionary appeal last December 8, the Rector Major told us: “There are presences of the Congregation that we can no longer support because in some countriesof the five continents we do not have Salesians ... I think especially of the youngpeople who are waiting for us in the context of Project Europe, the Middle East, incountries with a Muslim-majority, the islands of Oceania, in South Sudan, Mongolia, Siberia, Cambodia and Malaysia, as well as among young migrants in the Americas ... andin many other places!”Interesting. We seem to be listening to Don Bosco himself. We seem to see him in hisoffice-room at Valdocco, on the upper floor, turning the globe round and round , andlooking at all the places on earth where he wanted to send his children. We could takeeach of these nations and these youth missionary frontiers and (1) pray for them, (2) seek informationabout them, (3) make them known. In this way neither indifference nor ignorance will paralyze us.
“Don Bosco is alive”, Don Ángel repeats this to us. He is very much alive, especially he wishes tokeep alive the missionary spirit in each of his children.
Thanks… and have courage!Fr. Guillermo Basanes, SDBCouncillor for the missions
24 MarchMartyrdom of Blessed Óscar RomeroREMEMBRANCE DAY OF MARTYRED MISSIONARIES Salesian Missionary IntentionThe Salesians continue to be present in sensitive places of conflict, such as Syria, Sudan,Tunisia, Egypt, Palestine, Iran, Israel, Turkey and Lebanon. Although these are placeswith ancient and deep Christian roots, the disciples of Christ are still considered foreigners. The Salesians through their mission as educators and witnesses of Christ, make thediscriminated and persecuted Christians in Islamic context feel the affection, solidarity,communion and faith of the Universal Church.
Witness of Salesian Missionary SanctityFr. Pierluigi Cameroni SDB, Postulator General for the Causes of Saints Venerable José Vandor (1909-1979), hungarian missionary in Cuba, always paid muchattention to the training of young apprentices especially those coming from poor familiesfor whom he did not hesitate to ask for help: "This training centre has as its purpose thetechnical and practical formation of apprentices. Our students are mostly children ofpeasant or average families and among them there is a significant number of orphans”.
W hen I came to know the Salesians the whole Congregation was full ofmissionary fervour not only because of Project Africa, but also becauseFr. Viganò had asked every Province to take up a mission territory.
Many Salesians of my Province had already gone as missionaries. Myheart was restless because I also felt that inner call to leave behind familiar shoresand set my heart upon the deep.
When my missionary application was accepted my initial joy quickly turned to disbelief when I realised that I was assigned to Papua New Guinea! “Could I survive insuch a tough place?” My fear and anxieties soon became a firm resolve to learnwell the language and culture of ‘my people’! Together with 4 other Salesians we started a new presence in thecapital. Don Bosco was practically unknown yet in the country. Pioneering wastough. We had to improvise everything. But those years were full of initiatives,enthusiasm and joy. After my ordination I was sent back to this work. This timewe worked to form our local lay collaborators. I also started the first group ofSalesian Cooperators and the ADMA. I could literally see before my eyes theSalesian charism taking root.
Then, one day, the Provincial informed me that the Bishops’ Conference wasasking me to be the Director of the national Liturgical-Catechetical Institute. Iinitially refused this totally new field for me. I was not sure I wanted to walkpast horizons that I know! Yet, again, I was restless. I felt a stirring deep withinto go beyond the fears which were closing me in! Looking back, I realised that accompanying the work of evangelization of the 23 dioceses widened my ecclesial and missionary horizons!Later, while I was working on my thesis in Rome, out of the blue, I received a call from the Councilor for the Missions asking me to be part of the Missions Sector at the Generalate. This time I was deeply troubled. But I alsorealized that the Lord was inviting me to get out of the fortress of my mind, and learn again to trust in Him andset out once more. I accepted only after an agonizing discernment. Now I am grateful for the worldwide perspective I have of the Congregation, after meeting missionaries in 5 continents and often in difficult situations.
I have already started preparing to conclude my service in the Missions Sector. Then one morning the Rector Major called me to his office and asked me to be the Superior of the new Vice Province of Papua New GuineaSolomon Islands. While he was explaining to me his choice, my mind was clouded with questions and doubts. ButI also felt an inner voice whispering to me, to dare and set out one more time!Hence, to me being a missionary is living in a permanent state of restlessness, always ready to dare theimprobable so that we may learn to trust the Lord, who invites us to constantly set our hearts upon the deep!Fr. Alfred Maravilla SDBFilipino, missionary in Papua New GuineaFor Salesians in the Middle EastThat Salesians may continue to be signs of faith and hope among thepersecuted Christians of the Middle East.
PERMANENTLY ‘RESTLESS’ TO SET MY HEART UPON THE DEEP!
Salesian Missionary Intentions
in the light of the Holy Father’s Prayer Intentions for 2017
FOR ALL SALESIANS
That they may always and everywhere be men of the Church and of unity.
FOR SALESIANS IN THE AMERICAS
That they may keep alive in their hearts the love of Jesus for poor youth.
FOR SALESIANS IN THE MIDDLE EAST
That Salesians may continue to be signs of faith and hope among the persecuted Christians of the Middle East.
FOR SALESIAN VOCATIONS
That every Salesian community may radiate the joy of being called by the Lord.
FOR SALESIANS IN AFRICA AND
That, as prophets of mercy, justice and peace, they may know how to educate the young to the social dimension of charity.
FOR SALESIANS WHO WORK IN
That they may be Builders of Peace through the weapon of “education” and the proclamation of the “Prince of Peace”
FOR SALESIANS IN EUROPE
That Project Europe, a missionary project of the Congregation, may bear abundant fruit.
FOR SALESIANS IN OCEANIA
That they may share with the young the beauty of their vocation.
FOR THE 148 TH MISSIONARY EXPEDITION
That every Salesian may be a missionary according to the heart of Don Bosco.
FOR SALESIANS IN VOCATIONAL TRAINING CENTRES
That vocational training centres continue to be schools of development and Christian humanism in the world of work.
FOR SALESIANS IN ASIA
That they may be builders of communion in diversity.
FOR OLD AND SICK SALESIANS
That they may continue to radiate the joy of their vocation call and be intercessors for abundant graces of the Lord for the Salesian mission.