|Project:||Salesian Bishops Meeting, "Salesian charism and episcopal ministry"|
|Date:||21-25 May 2010|
|Places:||Valdocco, Colle Don Bosco|
My dear confreres,
With a heart full of gratitude I would like to give thanks in this Eucharist for the intense days spent in Turin with Salesian cardinals, archbishops and bishops, together with the Rector Major and his Council. We were called together by the Rector Major himself to celebrate 150 years since the foundation of our Congregation, to recall the centenary of the death of Fr Rua and at the same time the 125th of the nomination and episcopal ordination of our first Salesian bishop, Cardinal John Cagliero.
These were days when we felt very much at home, living in a wonderful family spirit, an atmosphere of sincere warmth and real involvement by everyone. At the Mother House in Valdocco we sensed Don Bosco's presence, as also at the Becchi in Castelnuovo. Beyond all of this we shared together all the experiences, and these Salesian places inspired a very special atmosphere and reminded us of our common Salesian vocation. We understood here what it means to start afresh from Don Bosco, as we now approach the Bicentenary of his birth in 2015.
It was like a second novitiate for me, being bathed in Salesianity, a deep spiritual renewal. Really, everyone had this profound spiritual experience, the immediate result of which was spontaneous and contagious happiness and joy. We do not have the possibility in our dioceses of being in such contact with the sources of our charism; so here we were able to renew our vocational choice, something that remains in us always and on extraordinary occasions like this can be refreshed.
The visit to the Holy Shroud too enriched these days. The Salesian novices from around Europe helped us to pray at the Mass. This precious sheet takes us back to the passion of a man who has a great likeness to the one described in the Gospels. The Rector Major, Fr Pascual Chavez and the Archbishop of Turin, Cardinal Poletto, brought out the meaning of this visit recalling Christ's passion and the passion of mankind: “Passio Christi, passio hominis”. Looking at the man of the Shroud we were invited to look after all those who are suffering, in our ministry.
The Solemnities of Pentecost and Mary Help of Christians helped us live at Valdocco as if in the Upper Room. The procession of MHC was thronged with people but also an experience of recollection and a spirit of prayer. How many experiences we had in just a short period of time! We are grateful to the Lord, and to the Rector Major. These days were unforgettable.
Here we are now in the final days of May; may the Virgin Mary accompany us, so we may bear abundant fruit in our dioceses stemming from what has been sown in our lives. May she accompany our congregation, Salesian Family, the Rector Major and his Council, all our salesian confreres, through her intercession.
|Address:||Direzione Generale opere Don Bosco
Via della Pisana, 1111