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Message of the Rector Major to the Salesian Family, February 11, 2013



My dear Confreres, Sisters, Members of the entire Salesian Family, Friends of Don Bosco:

Greetings with the heart of Don Bosco from Mexico where I have come to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Guadalajara Province, my Province of origin.

Although profoundly surprised by the news just received of the decision of the Holy Father, Benedict XVI, to resign from guiding the “Barque of Peter” and confirming his brethren in faith through the proclamation of the Gospel, witness of life, suffering and prayer, we are edified by this exemplary and prophetic gesture.

In offering his resignation, motivated by age and tiredness, the consequence of his solicitude in accompanying the Church at a time marked by profound and rapid social change touching on both faith and Christian life, and that demand much physical and spiritual energy, the Holy Father says that he placed himself in an attitude of discernment before God.

His decisions, then, is the result of prayer and an exemplary sign of obedience to God! Such an attitude cannot but give rise to our greatest admiration and esteem.
Once again this is a case of a typical trait of his: humility, which makes him free before God and man and makes his sense of responsibility so evident.

While we express our gratitude to the Holy Father, as Don Bosco would have done, for the generosity with which he has served the Church and has expressed his fatherliness with regard to our own Family, we accompany him in this stage of his life with much affection and prayer.

From this point on we pray for the Church, calling on the Holy Spirit to guide this moment of conclusion of a Pontificate and the convocation and celebration of the Conclave.

We entrust the Holy Father and the whole Church to Mary the Immaculate, Help of Christians as we liturgically commemorate Our Lady of Lourdes. May She continue to manifest herself, as She has done throughout history, as Mother and Teacher.

In communion of hearts and prayers.

Fr Pascual Chávez V., SDB
Rector Major