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You love everything that exists ... (Wisdom 11,24.12,1)

LETTER OF THE RECTOR MAJOR - AGC 396


You love everything that exists,
and nothing that you have made disgusts you …
Lord lover of life
(Wisdom 11,24.12,1)

STRENNA 2007

The World Congress of Salesian Cooperators
The Seminar "Europe Mission Territory"
The Assembly of the Union of Superiors General
The Celebrations in honour of Mamma Margaret

STRENNA 2007

1. Introduction.
2. Ambiguity of the current culture of life.
The value of human life proclaimed and defended but also attacked and threatened.
Quality of life: an ambiguous goal.
Increase in destructive aggression.
An anti-life culture
Challenges.
3.The involvement of the Salesian Family in the defence of life.
4.The God who loves life.
5.Letting ourselves be guided by God's love for life.
6.Don Bosco loves and promotes life for the young especially the poorest.
7.Commitment of the Salesian Family on behalf of life.

7.1 Defend the value of every human life.
      Considering life as a gift.
      Promoting an integral view of life.
7.2 Protecting the life of the poor.
      Caring for youngsters at risk.
      Accompaniment and help for families in difficulty.
7.3 Educate to the value of life.
      L’The Oratory-Youth Centre-Voluntary service.
7.4 Proclaiming Jesus Christ as the meaning and source of life.
7.5 Giving thanks for life and celebrating it.
7.6 Caring for creation with love.

Conclusion: two texts to share
OFFERING TO THE WORLD
THE YELLOW UMBRELLA

Roma, 1 January 2007
Solemnity of the Divine Motherhood of Mary


My Dear Confreres,

Today we begin a new year which opens before us full of hope. It coincides with the day on which we celebrate the Solemnity of the Divine Motherhood of Mary and the World Day of Peace. The newness of the new year reminds us that time is a grace, an opportunity for human and spiritual growth, an occasion for a greater commitment to live our life as a gift, to help the youngsters to discover the beauty and the meaning of life, to defend it and to make it grow to its fullness. With the Psalmist I love saying to the Lord: "Make us know the shortness of out life that we gain wisdom of heart" (Psalm 90,12). Peace cannot be reduced to the absence of wars or conflicts, not even to non-aggression treaties, even though sometimes in certain parts of the world so afflicted with the scourge of violence, that sort of peace would already be something great. Peace is the total reconciliation of man with himself, with others, with nature, with God, and this is possible on condition that there is truth, justice, development, forgiveness between people, social groups and nations. With the Psalmist I like to confess: "Mercy and faithfulness have met; justice and peace have embraced." (Psalm 84,11)

Well now, so that all this marvellous plan of salvation of God may be accomplished, the Church offers us Mary in her divine motherhood. She will accompany us throughout 2007, and will bring us through the liturgy to a meeting with Jesus, inviting us to welcome Him: "Do whatever he tells you." (Jn 2,5). In fact, Jesus came so that we might have life and have it to the full (cf. Jn 10,10), since He himself is the resurrection and the life (cf Jn. 11, 25). He who revealed the full meaning of human existence and possesses the keys to open the doors from death to life. I wish each and every one of you the fullness of life in Christ, while I offer you the spiritual and pastoral programme for this year, which has in fact as its theme: "life".

But before presenting my commentary on the Strenna, I would like to share with you some of the events I have been involved in during the last three months, after my last circular letter. This period between September and December 2006 has been a particularly busy one which saw me involved in visits to the Vice Provinces of Angola, French-speaking West Africa and Madagascar: all three of them celebrating the 25th anniversary of the arrival of the first Salesians. I also visited the Province of Per