XIX GENERAL CHAPTER
OF THE SALESIAN SOCIETY
DISCOURSE OF THE RECTOR MAJOR
TO HIS HOLINESS POPE PAUL VI
DURING THE AUDIENCE GIVEN TO THE
MEMBERS OF THE 19th GENERAL CHAPTER
21 May 1965
Most Holy Father
The joy which today fills the hearts of the sons of Don Bosco assembled
for the first time in Rome for the General Chapter, renews that emotion
which filled the heart of our father and founder in 1858, when as an
unknown pilgrim he reached the eternal city and threw himself at the
feet of the angelic Pius IX, to ask for guidance and comfort in the
fulfilment of the mission confided to him by Divine Providence. At that
meeting the birth of the Salesian society, which was to be in accordance
with the needs and exigencies of the ti mes, was decided upon
The humble successor of the saint, who approaches your august throne, a hundred and more years later, feels it his duty above all else to renew and confirm the devotion, love, obedience and indefectible attachment of the Salesians, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, the co-operators, the present and past pupils to your Holiness, the Vicar of Christ, and to the See of Peter
This is a strong tradition of our religious family. Indeed it is part of the spirit which The Father and Teacher of Youth´ has bequeathed to us.
qur common joy increases today not only because of the honour of this unforgettable audience -bringing as it does the most qualified members of our congregation round Your Holiness but above all because of the obvious and wonderful kindness shown us at all times.
The ´Borgo Ragazzi Don Bosco´ of the Forte Prenestino was the object of your solicitude from the beginning. The institute at Arese: the repeated visits you made to our schools in Milan and Sesto
San Giovanni; and finally the meeting in Bombay during your apostolic visit to India - all these are stages of a journey full of special love and fatherly solicitude, which takes us somewhat aback, because we feel we do not deserve them.
The Salesian Family is conscious of this, Holy Father, and desires greatly to offer Your holiness its filial and heartfelt gratitude.
And now the members of the General Chapter are here to ask Your Holiness for light and strength in this hour of such great responsibility for the Church and the salvation of souls.
Humbly, yet with fervent zeal, we are about to examine the apostolic horizons of the educative mission and pastoral work, which engage the Salesian family, all in accordance with the spirit of our founder. We desire to adapt the structure and work to the new and pressing exigencies of our time.
We too are most anxious to respond generously and promptly to the appeals which Your Holiness and the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council arc launching, both inside and outside the Church, for the renewal and spiritual elevation of the people of the world.
qur preferences and preoccupations are especially directed towards the more needy youth; the working class; the nations in process of development; the technical and professional formation of the new working society and finally towards the missions.
We are conscious of the necessity to modernize the means of social communication by employing ever more generously the energy of the layman, and inserting it organically and intelligently into a unified and fruitful apostolate.
In particular, we are preoccupied with the problem of personnel and its religious and spiritual formation. This answers the many needs and requirements of modern work in oratories, colleges, hostels, professional schools and parishes.
qur contribution is small compared with the actual need, hut we place it enthusiastically at the disposition of the Church. together with a renewed resolution of fidelity to the teaching and example of St. John Bosco.
Your Holiness, deign to accept, sustain and encourage those efforts with your enlightened word. Your word will be our norm of action, so please render It fruitful with the gift and comfort of your apostolic benediction.
THE DISCOURSE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE PAUL VI
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE
19th GENERAL CHAPTER OF THE
SOCIETY OF ST. FRANCIS OF SALES
21 May 1965.
From the Osservatore Romano of 22nd. May 1985.My dearly beloved sons of the Salesian Society of St. John Bosco!
In the first place We tell you of our recognition and of our gratitude : recognition of what you are and for what you do. Your Society --- or in the name of the Church, of which you are well beloved sons, and of which We are now the voice -- Our Society is something great (watt grande cosa) in the Catholic life of the world. More important than statistics, which yet in themselves tell a consoling story, we call to mind the goodness and united spirit of your congregation; we see the good spirit, the fervour. the serf-denial, the faith, the piety, which give it life and vigour; we sec the aims to which you are dedicated : the education of the young, especially the children of the people; we witness your shnzplicity, your wisdom, the efficacy of your Salesian pedagogy and the confidence you inspire, not only in ecclesiastical circles, but also in the families desirous of the formation of their sons and in society in general, which recognizes in you enlightened pioneers, eager and disinterested. fellow-workers, incomparable educators. We see the fruits of your multifarious labours, which are abundant in quantity and quality alike; if we can judge from the lives of your past pupils, and their lasting affection for you, which they keep when they are grown-up and immersed in the cares of the world, Finally we see the witness which your work bears to the vitality of the gospel and to the concern of the Church for the world´s needs, especially those of the young and the working classes, and we see what honour and love you render to Christ Our Lord.
The great mission of the Salesians today.
The Salesians represent one of the most noteworthy, most beneficent,
most exemplary and promising facts of catholicism of the last and of
this present century: and please God it will he so in those yet to come.
It is a bounden duty to acknowledge this and to thank our Lord for it,
the first and eternal cause of the efficiency of the Kingdom of God.
We praise you, courageous labourers in the vineyard, not only to fulfil a personal desire, which of itself would he of little use, nor indeed just to repay you for your labours and sacrifices : our praise could never make up for this. Our words of praise are really intended to assure you in the clearest terms that you are on the right road and that your fruitful journey must be continued with confident and happy strides.
Our heartfelt gratitude goes with these words of appreciation: the Church owes you an affectionate regard, and you deserve the good opinion which she has of you. She has a divine sensitiveness, we might say, and is full of joy and love for any act of service, of piety or of charity on behalf o! the uncared for or needy of this earth. "You have done it unto ink´. What joy it gives us to quote in anticipation these noble words that will one day designate your true reward, eternal happiness.
Persevere with enlightened courage.
Now for our second thought; courage my dear sons! courage -keep going and persevere to the end! We know it gladdens you to have us exhorting and encouraging you l You need courage to carry on. There is no need to tell you what subtle temptations and serious dangers can undermine your good will; every human undertaking is prone to this: and the bigger the undertaking, the greater these difficulties become, inagnitudine laborat sue wrote a historian of the Roman Empire (cfr. Livy: Hist. Proem.); but today let us think of the great transformation which is going on in modern society, be it good or evil, which causes, indeed, disquiet on a spiritual level. Qui se existinaat stare oirleat ne cadet. (1 Cor, 10, 1 2). I. would say that your courage should spring from a three-fold confidence : confidence in God it is not a waste of time to remind ourselves of this, we who see in the religious life not only a great objective dignity, but an operative strength for personal sanctification and the education of others; and this faith must be the more deeply rooted, the more our work is on an exterior level: it seems to us that this is the special characteristic of your spirit, simple, happy, serene, trusting in that divine help which gives to good on rile way to fulfilment its audacity and its constancy. But let us not delay : you are very familiar with this psychology; you live it. Have great faith in the aims of your Society. Could they be nobler, more modern; could they possibly be more in line with the apostolic programme of the Church today? You have chosen well, The Church confirms both the certainty of it and its merit. And finally, have confidence in those forms which give to your activity its particular character. Now the discourse becomes cautious, on
account of that invitation to aggiornwnento which the Church is both
preaching and putting into practice. But one must be clear regarding
the essentials as distinct from the accidentals: the interior forms
which animate your nedagogy and your art as educators from those which
are exterior and per se susceptible to improvement and to some experimentation;
the forms which are forever valid from those which the changed condition
of the school of today, of qualifications, of culture and of the didactic
methods, as also the changes in social life demands these distinctions
and those new choices which are already going on in the field of your
practical pedagogy, which nevertheless will ever find in its primitive
nucleus its vital root, the knowledge and love of youth.
Go forward in the spirit of the Council with charity, sacrifice, and fidelity to Christ Crucified.
All these things you know very well and they permit Us to renew our prayer for confidence and courage. We must conclude these few words with one last piece of advice, which is also worthy of you, namely: "Keep making progress". It is the encouragement every schoolmaster gives to his pupils and which every spiritual father gives to his sons seeking spiritual perfection, We repeat it to you with special reference to the great effort the Church is making through the Ecumenical Council; it is an effort to come ever closer to the teachings of qur Lord, an effort to give new vigour to his spirit and his day, an effort to make the Christian life really holier, an effort towards a better understanding of the plan of salvation and a development of that apostolic and fraternal quality of making contact with modern man, his problems, his weaknesses, his richness, his aspirations. What a mistake to think of the Council as relaxing the fundamental stand of the Church regarding faith, tradition, Christian life, charity, the spirit of sacrifice and fidelity to the words and cross of Christ, and as giving in to the shallow relativism of the world, with its lack of principles and idealism! The Church does not condone a Christianity of convenience, which has little or nothing to offer.
The Council certainly aims after a better adapted discipline and up-to-date technique so that the Church can make contact with souls and with our modern society but without losing anything of its true
Christian witness, This is a very important and decisive hour for the
Church and hence also for you. We are happy to learn that your General
Chapter has understood this and proposes to draw from the teaching of
the Council, and especially from the two Constitutions on the Liturgy
and on the Church, vital precepts for the spiritual and practical progress
of the Salesian Society of St. John Bosco.
Moira berre! Think on this and then do it. Be assured that with Ours the blessing of God is with you also.
ADDRESS OF HIS EMINENCE CARDINAL ANTONIUTTI PREFECT OF THE S. C. OF RELIGIOUS TO MEMBERS OF THE SALESIAN GENERAL CHAPTER
4th June 1965
You have already heard the august words of the Holy Father, who received
you in a special audience in the ´Vatican and addressed words of special
benevolence to your society. His Holiness had a paternal greeting for
Very Rev. Fr. Ziggiotti at the end of his zealous and active mission;
he expressed his warmest good wishes to the new Rector Major chosen
to direct and govern the great family of St. John Bosco, and encouraged
you all to go ahead with renewed ardour in your important apostolic,
missionary and educational work.
As Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of Religious. I come today to assure you of the support of the dicastery that is most directly concerned with you.
Personally I am very glad of this meeting which gives me both the honour of greeting the official representatives of the Salesian Society and allows me to see once more some of the Salesians I have met, particularly in China, Japan, Canada, Portugal and Spain. In these places I was able to see for myself the work you do so generously, not without sacrifice, and always with exemplary dedication and a truly ecumenical spirit. All in accordance with the words of St. Augustine: Extende caritatem tuam per totum orbem si vis Christum amare; quia membra Christi per orbem iacent... (If you want to love Christ, extend your charity to the whole world; for the members of Christ are spread throughout it.)
As you prepare to return to the scene of your work throughout the world, allow me to engage you on a present-day topic, referring to the aggiornamento that is so much spoken of nowadays. I mean the renewal of religious families and their adaptation to present needs, while holding firmly to the spiritual foundations of the religious life.
In the sixth chapter of the Constitution on the Church the Second Vatican Council has specified the essential nature of the consecration to God of those who have chosen the state of perfection, It is a document of the highest value and it gives us a very rich conception of the religious life. But for this to be lived more intensely and consciously, the next session of the Council will deal with those practical issues which should make its achievements more effective and more in keeping with our times.
It is not a question of changing the nature, purpose or spirit of religious institutes. These are part of Christianity, which is everlasting. But precisely because Christianity must aim at man´s salvation, its methods must progress together with the men to be helped and saved, for men do not stay static in this perpetually evolving world.
The eternal voice W. God must ring out in the language of the present day. We must unite the past with the present and enrich contemporary life with experience from what has gone by.
There must therefore be fidelity to the substance of the inheritance left by the founders, but it must he remembered that if they had to found their orders today they would certainly adopt some different standards. And this can also be applied to your society, young and vigorous as it is, for in this last century the world has progressed at such a giddy rate.
Adaptation to modern needs is in keeping with the will of your founder, who was in the forefront of his own times. and still would he, were he alive today. But this must be determined by the proper authority. the lawful interpreter of the mind of the founder himself. Those in authority will know how to utilize the experience of their subjects and enlist their collaboration.
The Council atmosphere, favouring so much open discussion, has recently given occasion to some to speak and write of the religious life and its adaptation to modern conditions in terms likely to beget doubts and confusion. It seems almost as if in some quarters the special witness that the religious life gives to Christ has been overlooked or even denied. It is no exaggeration to say that such talk and writing have not helped the cause of the religious life.
The renewal of religious life must not he made in its essential nature but in certain of its structures and in some of its exterior activities. Its nature should therefore he well understood and its
purpose well defined if we are to bring in the necessary modifications in accordance with, and never in contrast to, the spirit of the founders and the requirements of the Church.
It is therefore a mistake to think that the religious life is simply one form of apostolate, differing from the ordinary apostolate only in that religious take vows, This way of thinking begets confusion, because the apostolate of those living in the world is quite different from that of consecrated pepple whose life must transcend the world.
ft would also be a bad mistake to expect religious to undertake every kind of apostnlate. In a well organized army the soldiers belonging to different branches use different arms, and each one keeps to his own combat position. Similarly the institutes of the Church make their contributions according to their own nature, purpose and character, without neglecting the personal abilities of individual members.
It must he remembered that religious are consecrated to God. The intensity of their spiritual life should suffer no lessening, if they are to preserve and improve the spiritual level of their communities.
It is well to emphasize that it would be a very grave error to cut down on prayer for the sake of a wider external apostolate. Religious need a suitable period of time not only for their ordinary practices of piety but above all for mental prayer, for which they should duly prepare themselves right from the novitiate, and to attend courses of spirituality, theology, sacred scripture and liturgy which will bring strength and support for everyday life and peace and serenity in the spiritual order.
The spiritual value of the religious state will not be revealed as it should except by the undivided commitment of oneself to Christ, becoming one with Him through the practice of poverty, chastity and obedience.
These evangelical counsels. which form the basis of the religious life, must he properly understood and scrupulously observed.
They in no way offend against the dignity of the human person, as some have ventured to say, nor do they violate [iberty. On the contrary, when they are freely and deliberately accepted. they are the clear affirmation of the free man who makes the sacrifice of what he holds most dear for a high noble and holy cause.
Poverty, which the true richness of religious life, must be embraced serenely and practised joyfully. Much has been said of "the Church of the poor" without perhaps appraising the intimate nature of poverty and its character, and sometimes with a deficient knowledge of the realities of life.
The external forms that poverty takes on amid our present technical circumstances and economic demands must correspond to the expectations of the faithful. They should not be mere appearances. but positive realities iii keeping with the teaching and example of Christ and with the authentic doctrine and best practice of the Church.
In fact religious, to be truly poor, must renounce all their goods, however obtained, and give them to their institute or the Church. The temporal goods of religious institutes must be considered as a sacred patrimony to provide for the higher interests of the community and of the Church, for the wants of the needy and for the education of poor boys.
If the genuine spirit of Christian poverty is to shine in your society all must be avoided that can bear even the appearance of an immoderate amassing of property. Don Bosco´s poverty was well known, and Divine Providence visibly helped ´;tri m to accomplish wonderful and monumental works, Providence never failed him and will never fail you as long as you are animated by his spirit. You should therefore maintain moderation and simplicity in your buildings, their furnishing and in your way of life.
As regards the vow of chastity, no one can fail to see that presentday conditions make it difficult to keep. Nevertheless you ought to consider this bright jewel to be the most lovely characteristic of a religious family. Those therefore who are consecrated in a state of perfection must keep themselves pure in body and mind. While living in the world, where they have to carry on their apostolate, they should sense the beauty of Christ´s words where he calls the clean of heart ´blessed´. And they should therefore avoid all that can sully the innocence of their lives. Take care then to preserve among your members the purest form of this virtue which constitutes their brightest glory, their greatest strength and their surest defence
And so we come to obedience. Many false ideas on liberty are being aired abroad. and their harmful influence has also penetrated some religious institutes. Their members should therefore he well grounded in evangelical obedience.
Take care that ideas insinuating the so-called `colloquy´ between superiors and subjects do not spread in your society. This is proposed not so much as a harmonious and edifying expression of reciprocal considerations or as an exchange of ideas and constructive suggestions, but almost as an agreement, if not quite a condition for obedience, or as a discussion for the purpose of i mposing one´s own point of view.
May the true idea of religious obedience be maintained in its integrity, avoiding all that leads to an excessively human view of that life which is based on supernatural principles and is a true witness to Christ.
The religious who ennobles, enriches and develops his personality comes to make a joyful gift of himself and all that he has that is most precious for the love of God.
This naturally demands of those who are in authority, as you are, to exercise their office in such a way as to develop as far as possible the sense of responsibility and the personal talents of their subjects, and bring them to obey with full confidence and esteem for their superiors. These in their turn should show an encouraging understanding of the abilities and characters of their dependents.
On the basis of these principles all that regards the adaptation of religious life referred to in the conciliar decree should be carried out by the proper authority, aided by the experience and collaboration of the subjects. This must be done in a spirit of charitable understanding on the one side and willing obedience on the other, and not in ways which are in contrast to one of the fundamental principles of religious life.
Do not forget the severe words of St. Augustine, affirming the absolute duty of preserving the concord and harmony indispensable for keeping order in any community. He says: Cum disciplina negligitur, insolentiae crescent. ( When discipline gets slacks, insolence becomes rife). The lack of submission to superiors on the part of the members of any community, and the failure of superiors to command, leads to loss of that happy brotherhood and spiritual joy which are
Indispensable fo.r an intense religious life; it causes a weakening of character and slackness in the work of the apostolate.
Regarding religious vocations, which unfortunately are not in proportion to the urgent needs of today, recruitment must not be your only concern, but also and especially the perseverance of those called to the state of perfection.
One of the causes of these deficiencies is precisely due to the fact that some religious show more concern for the external apostolate than for the keeping of the evangelical counsels.
Sometimes the religious sense is not sufficiently inculcated in the ti me of training. and so some readily take leave of the religious state because they entered it too superficially. It is well then that the religious life - allow me to insist on this point - be presented as a school of holiness, as a consecration to God, and not merely as an association for apostolic activities. Religious life should be enlightened by the diligent and assiduous study of the doctrine of Holy Scripture and inspired by the love of God and by the pastoral spirit, leading to the love of our neighbour and to external activities.
Religious consecration ought to he entire, not only to the person of Christ but also to the Church, which is His Mystical Body. It is a question of co-operating in the redemptive work of Christ in the world
Hence every religious should invest himself with the spirit of his institutei in the marvellous variety that the holy founders have i mpressed on each of them.
And this should be said not only of the priests of a religious institute, but also of the coadjutors. Under the beneficial influence of a genuine family spirit, notwithstanding the difference in condition, the bond of brotherly union between all the members of your society should be so strong as to allow and assure an ever-deepening solidarity and a more effective collaboration. Do not forget the great services that the coadjutors have rendered to your society. Surround them with the affection, the consideration and the help they need.
To obtain the desired formation of the members of your society it will be necessary to provide an ever-improving preparation for those destined for teaching and spiritual direction, to ensure that they possess not only solid virtue but also sound knowledge, good sense and a genuine religious spirit.
Thus those called to work as Salesians will be suitably trained, by means of a balanced and substantial scriptural, dogmatic, liturgical, humanistic and professional instruction, They will then be ready for the fruitful exercise of their apostolate.
Furthermore, these same members should have that consideration in regard to their physical requirements which will enable them to attain to full productivity in their work.
Finally, be eager to spread knowledge of your society in its intrinsic strength and beauty, as Don Bosco made it, stripping it, if necessary, of certain accretions acquired with the passing of time; so may it become nimble, _. ile and dynamic, just as Don Bosco wanted it to he.
Do not admit candidates whose suitability cannot he guaranteed, because the multiplication of unfit subjects chokes up and enfeebles the internal life of your society.
In the first place, then. the members of your society should he spiritual men, moulded to a solid interior life. Their chief concern must be to seek higher things - Aurae sursum stint under the guidance of holy mother Church; and this in order to attain to the true love of God, from which springs the love of our neighbour.
Let the members of your society he deeply grounded in the sacred and profane sciences, technically trained for the professions and activities of their state.
Let those dedicated to study avoid the profane novelties decried by the Apostle St. Paul himself, including the harmful principles of that dogmatic romanticism now insinuating itself, begetting confusion and error.
Let your members be pastoral in the finest sense of the word, not spreading the vague and obscure notions of a corrosive pragmatism, but clearly upholding the principles of Catholic morality with shining sincerity and edifying charity.
Let the members of your society be missionaries, to spread the Catholic faith with burning zeal among those who have never known it --- at sermo Dei carrot et clurificetur (that God´s word come and be made clear to all). Let them endeavour also to preserve intact the believers´ inheritance of truth.
Let the members of your society be socially minded, in the constructive and fruitful Christian sense and according to the spirit
of genuine brotherhood which inspired your origins and enriched your growth. So they will tend to the needs of all classes of people.
Finally, let the members of your society be ecumenical, in the study and acceptance of all that the Second Vatican Council proposes and in the practice of that universalism which extends to all nations and cannot limit itself to the narrow confines of our little earthly countries, nor allow itself to be choked by petty considerations of a contingent local or personal character.
So, my dear Salesians, animated by a lively faith, sustained by a well grounded hope and inflamed by a sincere charity, seek always the ´unity of the spirit in the bond of peace´, that unity which flows from a balanced and serene judgement and which is the fruit of the prayer by which you must all be united to Christ.
In this way you will show that the spirit of St. John Bosco still lives among you in all the splendour of its finest power, and this spirit will be a guarantee to your society of new progress and wider development in lurcem et in salutem gentium for the enlightenment and salvation of all peoples.
SOME MESSAGES OF ENCOURAGEMENT RECEIVED
BY THE 19th GENERAL CHAPTER
1. His Eminence Cardinal John H. Cicognani, Secretary of State to His Holiness.
The Holy Father has heard with great pleasure the announce
ment that the Salesian Society of St. John Bosco is preparing to hold its 19th General Chapter at Rome. He offers fervent prayers together with the paternal hope that it may be well prepared and that the discussions may proceed in the genuine spirit of your holy founder and be rich in profit, so that your well-deserving religious family may grow more and more both in the missions and in its many other apostolic works. While he prays for an abundance of divine grace and light, for the protection of Mary Help of Christians and the intercession of St. John Bosco, he willingly imparts to you and all the members of the Chapter a special apostolic blessing which he gladly extends to every member of the entire congregation.
May I add my own good wishes and prayers.
Vatican City 24th March 1965.
X Cardinal Cicognani.
2. His Eminence Cardinal Hildebrand Antoniutti, Prefect of the Sacred
Congregation of Religious.
Rome, 31st March 1965.
V. Rev. Fr.
It was very thoughful of you to remind me that next April the great and well-deserving Salesian society will hold its 19th General Chapter.
This sacred congregation is particularly close to the society in this moment when you are deciding important issues in your way of life, and wholeheartedly joins with you in the wish that "the discussions proceed with truly apostolic purport and in the genuine spirit of your founder and father, St. John Bosco."
While invoking on all the members of the Chapter the light of the Holy Spirit and blessing you all, may I again profess myself, very Reverend Father
X Hildebrand Card. Antoniutti. Prefect.
3. His Eminence Cardinal Aloisi Masella, Protector of the Salesian congregation.
Rome 25th March 1965.
Very Rev. Fr. Rector Maior
In your great courtesy, your reverence informed me in your esteemed letter of the 19th of the month of the 19th General Chapter of the Salesian congregation of which I have the honour to be the protector.
Your reverence has indicated to me, in the above mentioned letter, that the agenda comprises the elections of the superiors, and very important debates on how to make the Salesian congregation a more effective instrument to meet the needs of our time, especially in the fields of education and social work.
In this respect, I hope the fathers will not hesitate to take suitable steps, and at the same time remain faithful to the traditions, teaching and spirit of their holy founder, which are essentially so upto-date.
I most willingly send a fatherly blessing, Reverend f=ather, to you and to all taking part in the Chapter, invoking on you all the light of the Holy Spirit, the protection of Mary Most Holy Help of Christians and of your founder, St. John Bosco.
Please remember me in your prayers, may T take this opportunity to express again my great esteem
Yours most devotedly
X Benedict Card. Aloisi Masella,
4. His Eminence Cardinal Mauritius Fossati, Archbishop of of Turin.
Turin 25th March 1965.
To the Very Rev. Fr. Renato Ziggiotti,
Rector Major of the Salesians,
In the name of His Eminence, our most venerable Cardinal Archbishop, I thank you for the thought referred to him on the eve of the 19th General Chapter that the Salesians will hold at Rome next April. His Eminence sends the blessing you ask for with all his heart, and, above all, invokes the blessing of the Lord upon the Chapter. For his part, he has already made the intention of offering his sufferings to the Lord, that the grace of God may bring a fruitful spiritual harvest out of the decisions which the General Chapter will take for the good of souls.
I can assure you, Very Reverend Father Rector Major, that the sufferings of our venerated Cardinal Archbishop are of great value in the sight of God. IIe is a sick man who is easy to nurse, for he never complains and accepts everything one gives him or does for him. Only once, about a fortnight ago h,e said : "If you only knew how much I suffer" it was the only time he has mentioned it.
He was always particularly fond of the Salesians. He visited all the Salesian houses in Rome not once but almost every time he went there. He also visited and blessed the new Quartiere Nuovo Salario where the General Chapter will be held and insisted on knowing in great detail about the new buildings that were to arise there. His blessing in still upon it.
Believe me, I am most respectfully and devotedly yours.
Mons. Vincent Barale.
Secretary to the Cardinal Archbishop.
INTERVENTIONS OF THE SUPERIOR GENERAL
AT THE 19th. GENERAL CHAPTER
I. THE ELECTION OF THE SUPERIOR GENERAL
27th April 1965 - After the election, the new Superior General mounted
the presidential dais and made this first moving address to the Assembly:
"Some of you were saying to me just now "courage l ". There is certainly need for plenty of courage, and perhaps for something greater than courage, I don´t know if you can imagine all the feelings which at this moment overwhelm my soul, my conscience, my whole being
I can tell you straightaway that never before have I had such a clear knowledge of my own limitations as I have at this present moment. If 1 wanted to humiliate you, for it would humiliate you rather than me, I would present you with a list of all my limitations.
But I feel, my dear confreres, dear Don Ziggiotti, who will always be my father, I feel that on this list of all my limitations there is perhaps one which does not appear: my obedience and my dedication to Our Lord and to the congregation. For this reason I think I must obey God´s will, which has been shown today through you, the representatives of the entire congregation. (applause)
Allow me to mention the clear perception I have of my own nothingness, especially as I compare myself with those who have preceded me in the office of Superior General .. .
(At this point Don Ricceri had words of praise for the fatherly spirit of Very Rev. Fr. Ziggiotti, and asked his blessing for himself and for all those present, Fr, Ziggiotti in his reply, among other things, said: "1 have prayed that things would turn out as indeed they have turned out. After the first vote of clarification, the rotes
centred on one person, giving him the strength that flows from the united will to collaborate with him; continuity has in this way been guaranteed and the congregation will prosper."
2. EXHORTATION TO MEMBERS OF THE CHAPTER
7th Mutt 1965 Anxious to mark out ground on which the various opinions very soon apparent in the General Chapter might meet, the Rector Major saw fit to exhort those present with these words
Dear Fathers . , . ours must be an atmosphere of charity, in which we
alt constitute: a living charity, charity in act: and we have to bring
this atmosphere back among us again... an atmosphere which breathes
this love, true, alive and strong, Charity is not only the family spirit,
but a translation of that supernatural charity of Our Lord and of St,
Paul. We must realize this union of charity at all costs.
1 have said already, union together in charity. Such union presupposes understanding. It is a word well-worn by constant use but it is a word with profound and concrete meaning: how often has the absence of it precipitated great crises!
Understanding means understanding and knowing my ´opponent´ in the order of ideas to understand the man who thinks other than I do, to know him as my brother, in our common father Don Bosco.
Let us think for a moment, Fathers, that in this assembly there are among us the best to be found in the congregation : every man of you is a person of value, value to the Major Superiors, and to the congregation. You are Provincials, delegates of the other confreres, Rectors of houses and novices masters, etc. Are you therefore not worthy of being understood? Then understand others and he understood by them.
1 have to understand that my brother loves the congregation every hit as much as I do, and I have to understand too that this love can and does see differently what he considers to be for the good of the congregation, but not on that account is he a bad Salesian : I have to understand how it is that the opinion of my brother different from mine is not in itself a lack of love for the congregation, still less a personal offence to me.
I have to understand how it is that new generations (men of 40 and 50 years of age) necessarily and often fortunately have views, problems, solutions and feelings very different from those who have lived longer.
Wherefore we have to be convinced, by reason of that same deep understanding of yet another thing in our houses and communities there are today psychological situations existing and malaise which cannot be ignored. They are the result of our living and suffering in the life of Society and the Church at this present time.
Let us also he convinced that our Salesian world is immense and very complex : the fact that I do not have certain problems, does not give me authority to deny the existence of the problems others have to face and try to solve.
Still further, no one of us has a monopoly of truth; and no one of us has to hand the solutions of all problems. Truth is a mosaic, which is the result of a vast number of small elements brought together by the attentive and concentrated study of many artists. To recognize fully that no one has the monopoly of truth is indeed true humility and true understanding.
Wherefore, Fathers. there is great need that we put our hand to the task with good will, with understanding and with intelligence, with love desirous of union. The younger generation (I am not now speaking to our boys!) in our congregation is a vital element, with drive, and may indeed have antennae very much `tuned-in ´ to the present situation. This is something of great value, and it helps us to know the realities we all have to face. And this same younger generation is our governing body of tomorrow.
On the other hand, the experience of one who has spent, and still spends long years of his life in generous sacrifice for the congregation. will have sent down strong roots which will have strengthened him in the belief of our traditions. Such experience is enlightening and is productive of equilibrium when confronted with that of the younger man, and it brings with it an invaluable contribution of prudence, of putting on the brake, But it must never reach the point of becoming a heavy chain which enslaves liberty.
This balanced and fruitful process is the practical translation of this understanding then the younger generation is grafted on to this richer experience and there is no longer fear of the step ahead
demanded by the reality of which the younger men feel more than others, with more awareness than ours.
We have to relieve this tension, which is rooted in our real concern, in our common love for Don Bosco, although it expresses itself in seemingly opposing ways. We have to find the meeting point, and produce serenity, charity, and co-operation. We have to wish each other well, in spite of the diversity of points of view. In such a climate our work will become less burdensome and more constructive, more joyful. You all know from experience how much work costs when there is no joy in it: joy is the sun shining on our work. For us this joy can come from charity, which gives confidence and trust and together we can turn to good purpose the more easily the hard work of these days.
The eyes of the congregation are on us. We have an obligation to give example. unity in liberty, which mutual respect engenders; this will reveal itself in the `interventions´ and discussions of those whose point of view is not mine. Let everyone express his thought
clearly, with respect and with charity: this is how the adult world deals with its problems and arrives at truth, the possession of which is goodness itself : God is at once Goodness and Truth.
Let us discuss not to make a point, not to lose time in subtleties, but to find out how to improve: I´ve already said : non muita, sed multuni. From the right sort of discussion there issues the better, the true : not my truth, but the truth. St. Augustine speaks of the fundamental difference there is to he found between the man who defends ´his´ truth with clenched teeth and the one who works serenely for truth itself.
In this spirit, let us roll up our sleeves and get down to work! We all love Don Bosco; so we must love one another in Don Bosco. And let us beg Our Lady´s guidance. We are in May. She is Mater Ecclesiac she is also Muter huius ecclesiae, of this ecclesia of ours: of this assembly. She led Don Bosco in his most difficult times. She must lead and guide us now; she .is the Mother of Love, she must give us His Love, divine charity; she is also Mother of Wisdom, may she give us light.
With the Madonna and Don Bosco we can go on the journey ahead, as was said of the Jews in the desert : ibunt cantantes. That is a stupendous image : that is how we must begin again and go on our difficult path, and our hymn must come from the hearts of men united in the charity of Christ. A hymn that edifies?
26th, :May 1965 -- At the request of a member of the Chapter the Rector
Major tries to bring into clearer focus the problem of structures and
of the suggested changes.
I desire, he said, that, even at the price of hardship, solutions be found acceptable to all. i was unable to follow the work of the subcommission in detail; 1 am acquainted with its main outlines. The commission had considerable freedom, to the extent of changing the initial scheme, on the basis of requests and reports from the whole Congregation. So it isn´t a question of scrutinizing what the superiors want, but something conscientiously elaborated by the commission in the light of all that seems to be called for by the new era.
Can we agree on some points? Obviously the new structure is not horn in all its perfection, already equipped to face all eventualities. We are agreed on the desirability of increasing the number of consultors, but of not having too many. There is a measure in all things, especially in matters so important. We agree in accepting the urgent pleas for a bridge linking the centre with the periphery. The confreres ask to be understood, ask that their problems he known. A certain number of consultors should be free for this.
And what will the new consultors do when they are at headquarters? The material gathered in all their contacts with the various provinces will be ample to keep them quite busy when at the centre, so as to develop efficacious plans of action in favour of the areas they have visited. The office of superiors charged with groups of provinces preserves their unity and gives to this unity organic articulation, They are not super-provincials: they must not entangle the work of the Provincials, but help co-ordinate, enlighten. It is not for this superior to reduce the provinces in his group to a common denominator, but
to understand situations, see what is useful in the common experience and treasure it up for the advantage of other parts of the Salesian world.
Naturally it will not be possible to determine exactly the functions of the several departments here. Question marks will remain, and clarification will be needed. We can´t pretend to know everything now; we must leave a margin for future experience.
d, THE PROVINCIAL. COUNCIL
28th May 1965 The Rector Major in the following intervention summed
up the various points of view on this point.
One must distinguish the purely juridical aspect of the provincial council´s consultative vote from its human, rational and psychological ones. From the latter point of view, the consultative vote is the opinion of qualified people helping the Provincial and appreciating various aspects of a problem, The Provincial has everything to gain by heeding these points, fostering freedom of expression of the various views, without trying to offer cut and dried solutions.
We must get used to knowing how to enter into discussion and to listen to opinions opposed to our own. If the opinion of experts is despised the council is then left without value or life, a sense of collective responsibility will fade, to the detriment of the true good of the Province.
RESHAPING OF OUR WORK
31st, May 1965 -- Before the final voting on the document took
place, the Rector Major made one or two relevant comments
I want to go back, he said, to what Provincials have said concerning the state of confreres who are sick. exhausted, etc. Some houses of formation have few teachers in good health; there are other foundations where the number of pupils is excessive and the hours o: class far ton high. It is only right to show a sense of justice, a paternal concern about such situations. No one can live like this without a pause somewhere.
It has been pointed out that every General Chapter has had this same concern, and I myself feel it in a special way at present in connection with Latin America. But the problems are not straight forward ones : there are complications. Today we have to save the Salesian as a man, as a religious, as a priest and as an educator. If we do not keep this in mind we shall be in danger of destroying the congregation in a space of fifty years. The success of our apostolic work is measured by the effect it has on souls. But is this effect always realised? And to what extent?
There are two great needs at the present day: to make the Salesian fully qualified in every way, and to respond to the urgent appeals that we receive. Can these opposing requirements he reconciled.´ It is not easy to see how it can be done, but we must try. We have talked about a pause, but that does not mean that we have to become soft and flabby; we can do a great deal of work even without further expansion.
We have got to do this reshaping. Some of our works can be likened to trees with dead branches, which produce little apostolic fruit. Such a reorganization could be the way to meet the needs of Latin America. The matter will be studied after the Chapter.
We must not overlook the education and formation of nonSalesian lay personnel. We must value such people filling the place of the Salesian priest and educator in many ways.
Reference has been made to the Superior Council as though it alone was responsible for our works, but this is a matter in which both the Provincials and the Superior Council share the responsi
The methods of the Communists were mentioned. Let us make a careful examination of their strategy; let us note what degree of organization goes Into their militant cadres, and let us profit by their example!
10th May, 1965 - After a long discussion in which many speakers took
part, the Rector Major summarised the main points in the problem
The aspirantate should provide a bridge with the families of the aspirants; we must not create two different exclusive worlds.
An evolution is taking place, and we cannot close our eyes to the new ways of thinking.
The problems are complex and vary from one country to another: the same criteria cannot be applied everywhere without modification. The congregation must be united at the centre, but flexible in its approach to the social world in which we live. The practical solution of these problems therefore must be entrusted to the study of the different groups of provinces.
26th May, 1965 Replying to a question that arose in connection with
the structure of the congregation, the Rector Major said amongst other
"The problem of the professional schools must be distinguished from that of the men concerned - - the coadjutors. Let the commission try to find an adequate solution in order to remove the psychological difficulty in which our coadjutors are placed : we want our coadjutors to feel that they are true and authentic fellowwA orkers at the side of the priest and cleric.
2nd June, 1965 - After the voting had taken place at the end of the
discussion on the document on the coadjutors, the Rector Major summed
up the mind of the assembly in these words
The figure of the coadjutor is a unique creation of Don Bosco. But it would be wrong to reduce him to a mere teacher of technology. A much broader view is needed; he has an ever widening mission before him in the apostolate. Reference has been made to coadjutor catechists; and indeed our coadjutors must become catechists, must tear themselves away from their machines at least on Sundays and be able to take part in a true apostolate. They must also take the place of externs in so many positions of trust, in key administrative and secretarial posts etc.
And then we come to the question of their period of higher professional training. The Consultor for the professional schools. Fr. Giovannini, has long been concerned about the problem of our coadjutors, and particularly about this period in their training. Concrete
plans need to he formula:..d by the different groups of Provinces, but they must be realistic. For several decades the Central Province sent out hundreds of coadjutors to different places in Europe and further afield; conditions have now changed and each Province must take the proper means to provide for its own needs. The pause that has been decided on in the opening of houses does not necessarily apply to the same extent to houses of formation, for these are the source of our life-blood. We need to go into this basic problem so as to produce a well programmed plan, and avoid recourse to facile improvisations.
It can be truly said that we have this morning approved a document that will make history, but it will he of little avail unless Provincials, Rectors and indeed all Salesians change their attitude of mind correspondingly and treat our coadjutors always and everywhere as brothers and cherished fellow-workers.
And finally let us all do our utmost to find and form coadjutor vocations in ever greater numbers with, where necessary, a new line of approach and fresh standards of judgement.
3rd June, 1965 - As though to crown the deliberations concerning the
coadjutors, the Rector Major was happy to be able to announce the introduction
of the cause for the beatification of the Servant of God, Brother Sinvm
Srui, of the Middle-East Province, which took place on 11th Matt, 1964.
This is a most consoling fact, he declared, and one that says a great deal. It tells us that sanctity must enter into the make-up of a coadjutor. I hope therefore that the angelic figure of this coadjutor, a figure at the same time evangelical and ecumenical, will be brought to the .notice not only of our confreies, hut also of our boys.
10th May, 1965 At the end of the discussion on the use of individual
books for meditation.
The Rector Major noted that the decision taken marked a change from former Salesian practice, but it should not be thought that the new method would be a panacea. It would mean a greater involvement of the Rector in the work of spiritual direction, in order to avoid abuses and even anarchy.
The Rector Major went on to recommend a gradual introduction of the new method and that some amendments should be made if found necessary
He also recalled the need to find a proper place and a convenient ti me for the meditation.
9. QUARTERLY RETREAT
11th May, 1965 - Before the vote was taken on Art. 10 concerning the
monthly and quarterly retreat, the Rector Major voiced his fatherly
concern in these words
The cry arises from all parts of the congregation : "Give us more spirituality! Cultivate our spiritual life as priests and religious! Do not let us spend ourse:ves only in external work!" It is a phenomenon at once positive and consoling. Let us therefore not be put off by difficulties. If we do not pay heed to these appeals, if we do not make the necessary provision, we shall only bring about slow spiritual suicide. The chief concern of the Church and therefore of the congregation, and it is truer than ever at the present day, is that her apostles be really alive with a true interior life.
10. SPIRITUAL EXERCISES
Ilth May, 1965 - After an exhaustive discussion on the subject of the
The Rector Major pointed out that a comforting underlying element had been obvious throughout the discussion, which gave grounds for healthy optimism.
But he recalled that the success of great enterprises depends eery largely on the attention paid to small details. He therefore recommended that the times of the retreats be well chosen; that confreres be enabled to make them away from their normal surroundings, and that houses should be opened gradually for this specific purpose; that preachers should be chosen who are truly men of God, whose words will be strengthened by the force of their own good example; that special retreats be provided for different groups of confreres as the mentality of the various groups varies considerably as also does the nature of the problems they have to meet.
The Provincial, went on the Rector Major, should he present during the retreats as a father and not merely as a superior
He applauded the experiment made in Spain where the confreres maintained complete silence during certain retreats, and he recornmended the gradual adoption of this practice in other Provinces.
11. SPIRITUAL DlREC´ILON
1st ]erne, 1955 -- At the end of the discussion on confession and s
piritual direction, the Rector Major gave the following guiding principles.
When we come to the question of spiritual direction we must have the courage to face up to the realities of the situation even though we are concerned with a veritable crisis which affects not only the congregation but the whole religious world at the present time.
If we are going to put the plan in the document into effect we shall have to go back to the authentic figure of the Salesian Rector, but set in circumstances which will make it possible for him to fulfil his particular role after the reshaping of our works and of the obligations flowing from them.
In choosing Rectors attention should he paid above all to their interior formation, They should be first and foremost men of God, priests and fathers, with the ability to guide the souls of their own confreres.
Let Provincials do everything possible to enrich their Rectors in doctrine and piety by means of appropriate meetings, days of recollection, and retreats.
The Rector should be free from everything in the running of the house that can be done by some other member of the community, though the latter will act under his direction.
As far as the confessors are concerned they are here officially given their place of first importance although their work is hidden. They also must be men of God, wise and prudent, mature and well prepared though they need not necessarily be advanced in years, and should certainly not have reached a stage where their faculties are beginning to fail. They should always keep themselves well up to date by means of suitable reading and meetings useful for their delicate task.
12. READING AT TABLE
27th May, 1965 At the beginning of the afternoon session, the Rector
Major spoke on two questions that had been dealt with the same morning:
reading; at table and smoking. Concerning reading at table he said:
We are here to find reasons which will strengthen our practice and ideas. It is said that reading at table is difficult for certain communities small in numbers. In this connection l should like to emphasize once again how undesirable it is for communities to he so tiny, mission territories being naturally excepted. Pius Xl closed many such communities. Provincials should therefore see what they can do to avoid confreres being placed in such conditions, But we are here as legislators and we cannot base rules on exceptions, i.e. non-regular houses.
Reading at table is not just a monastic practice which could endanger our family spirit; it is a calming and enriching element which adds dignity to the locality and prevents immoderation in words and conversation. It is true that the reading must be well chosen if it is to be received willingly by the confreres. It is a false argument to say that they are tired; it is more tiring to speak or raise one´s voice. And we should not forget the technical aids which we have at our disposal today; there is nothing to prevent us using a tape-recorder on which the reading has been well recorded beforehand, Sometimes the whole community has to suffer because of some intolerant confreres.
Those communities which do not take advantage of the wealth of information which the congregation provides arc as though severed and detached from it. and the Rector is to blame for it. Reading is in fact an efficacious means of preserving agreement. And therefore let us continue the practice of reading at table with courage and wise understanding, qualities which are found in those who know how to rule but not in those who let themselves be dominated by others.
The same principles hold also for the boys, particularly if use is made of the inventions of modern technology. No light responsibility is incurred in allowing them to gossip throughout the meal especially when they are m´xed in groups which are not the best from
a pedagogical point of view. We must learn how to focus their attention on the reading because this is a means of enrichment and education. The same holds good for reading in the dormitories. These are our traditions and we cannot let them disappear without our system being impaired.
27th May, 1965 - In conjunction with the previous question, the Rector
Major wanted to pinpoint the smoking problem.
We are all well aware, he said, of the worldwide arguments that arose amongst scientists about lung cancer. Quite apart from the medical aspects of the matter, smoking is indeed a cancer in our congregation, and I would like the reasons to be fixed firmly in our minds to stimulate us. Our abstension from smoking is a point of honour with us, a vital and substantial point, one aspect of our mortlfication. We are held in high esteem on this account. At the present ti me there are superiors of congregations, Bishops and Cardinals, who demand this sacrifice from their priests.
Gandhi used to say of himself : "I have come to realize that if I am to be a leader I must be a detached man!" And so it must be with us. This particular mortification must always remain one of our characteristics in the eyes of the young and of people in general who observe us and think of us as persons capable of practising detachment and self-denial.
14. FORMATION OF YOUTH
13th May, 1965 At the end of the first day dedicated to the problems
of day-schools and semi-boarding schools, the Rector Major drew some
conclusions which we reproduce:
We have gone fully and at depth into some important modern problems in education. The new theories which are now taking shape demand our full and conscientious attention as educators to a principle that is not and cannot be denied : "It is not by indulgence and surrender of control that one builds up, that one educates."
We must emphasize once again the obligation of the Rector to attend first and foremost to the formation of his boys. We must understand the uneasiness and disquiet of many confreres when they meet
vague and ambiguous phrases which can give rise to arbitrary interpretations not in keeping with the preventive system.
The idea of assistance must be emphasized, through which the superior does not exert the weight of his own authority and still less makes that authority something odious, but becomes a friend and brother who gives courage and shows sympathy. All this is not to abandon the genuine meaning of the Sa´esian system of Don Bosco.
13th rYluy, 1965 -- in order to shed some light on the problem of schools
and their relationship to other apostolic works for the young, the Rector
Major outlined the following ideas.
Don Bosco speaks of the education of youth rather than of school. This is our object : to tend to our own perfection whilst engaged in the work of education cif our neighbour, our young neighbour.
Now we must be clear as to how we can succeed in this work of education by means of the school; we must ask ourselves whether in different countries the congregation is really fulfilling its educative mission.
A serious study is required of the real needs of the young in different circumstances, so that we shall know how to make a balanced use of our resources at the right time, in the right way and in proper measure
For this purpose there is need of a programme, a word we must get accustomed to and the importance of which we must understand. It means a deep and opportune study of the needs and problems of our times so that our works can be adapted to them. Hence the importance of the provincial council and the local house council.
it is not merely a question of planning the different works, but of establishing a priority among them according to requirements; of balancing them up in complete fidelity to the spirit of the institute, as Paul VI suggests, so that we do not have to trust to luck.
We must realize that sometimes the scholastic side of our work has grown out of all proportion: school devours all the other works in the sense that no personnel can be found for the oratories, for the parishes, for the co-operators or for the past pupils.
Let us admit that school for the little ones is at times a real necessity; but in this field let us know how to make use of lay help, beginning with our co-operators, inviting them to share with us the responsibility of our educative work. The priestly side of the work we keep for ourselves.
I6. PROFESSIONAL SCHOOLS
26th May, 1965 While speaking of new developments within the congregation,
the Rector Major made the following points regarding professional schools.
The congregation, he said, intends to further the work of the professional school with enthusiasm and with a sense of urgency. These schools have already evolved far beyond the stage of mere workshops for artisans. ´f hey aim at being schools which give a real qualification, and we wish to see them placed on the same leve] as schools in the accepted sense.
In previous General Chapters this subject has been treated very fully, and from time to time we have been presented with valuable documents about these schools. We must now ask ourselves, however : "In actual practice have developments taken place along the lines indicated by these documents?" It is not sufficient just to give c´ear directives. It must be observed if these were then systematically followed out, without loss of time.
17. DAY SCHOOLS AND SEMI-BOARDING SCHOOLS
14th May, 1965 -- At the opening of the sitting, having crntlined the
essential distinction between the day school and the semi-hoarding school,
the Rector Major proceeded as follows:
Moved by a concern which is eminently educational, we must try to deve´op this second type of semi-boarding school, in which, by virtue of after school activities habitual and permanent, the boy may complete his formation to become a man, a citizen, and a Christian.
A simple day school, especially one having very many varied changes, where there is no personal contact with the boys being educated, is only really a waste of energy, and can become an illusion. In day schools the priests must combine their scholastic work
with works of apostolate on behalf of youth, which is the work the Church expects from our congregation.
One will also escape the danger that free time becomes an occasion oL dissipation, laziness and escapism.
Our traditional works are often enfeebled through our own fault. Let us give hack to them that vitality which our times demand.
14th May 1965 At the end of the discussions concerning hostels, the
Rector Major gave, regarding this new type of upostolute, some precise
directives to which all should adhere in the spirit of discipline.
There is no obligation to start immediately. It would be better to move only gradually, To propose to ourselves a new form of apostolate does not mean to throw ourselves into it rashly. Study is required beforehand, a[ter which one may begin with an experimental pilot scheme, which is really an example.
The. essential requisites, in order that this work may not prove a failure for ourselves, and a betrayal of the youths concerned and of their families, are as follows: a rather small number of boys; a certain homogeneity in the group of youths concerned and they should preferably be rather adult: to conduct the work, personnel wellqualified as men, priests and Salesians; the exclusion of the economic factor as the principal aim of the work; a wise appreciation of the needs arising from the age and the particular conditions of the youths in the hostel.
16th May, 1965. Before voting took place on cart. 10 of the Constitutions
about parishes, which gave rise to so much lively discussion, the Rector
Major wished to put forward some of the areoccupations raised by the
Let us not hide the fact that this is an article which stands in need of further maturation. The discussion has been so very useul, but nevertheless let us bear in mind the words of Paul VI in the i mportant document addressed to religious superiors : "The Church
looks to the congregations for certain definite works, and does not look favourably on the pluralism of certain congregations which engage in the most widely-diverse types of activity." Now the Church expects from us a definite service, namely the education of the young.
The Rector Major referred also to the thought expressed by the Abbot of Solesmes : "People wish to give parishes also to us Benedictines, but this would be our death blow." This is true! Mansiones niultae stmt; but they must be apportioned out wisely, and with tact, as in an army; and each must do his own share.
The Church has approved of the Salesian hierarchy of works. Often this hierarchy has not been taken into consideration. It must be given its true value, so that a sense of proportion is maintained.
Parishes today are truly the mission fields, and this applies also to the Church as a whole. In great urban areas parishes are losing territorial identity, and many people lose contact. The councils of bishops feel the problem very keenly- and the council of major religious superiors has concerned itself with the problem too. How are we to reach souls? Intense study has led to the conclusion that various categories of parishes are needed. This is borne out by many factors.
As you see, the question is not a simple one. We must look at the reality as it is. Certainly it is in the bishops´ own interest to ask for our help; but this is not to say that the Salesians should respond, always and everywhere, whatever the circumstances. If we were to follow this plan of action, within fifty years the congregation would have been completely altered.
True, we have accepted many parishes, but let us listen to the
opinions of many Provincials regarding this, as, for example, the Provincials in the United States: for many years there the congregation was wrapped up in, and almost halted by, exclusively parochial activi ties, even though these were forms of the apostolate answering the particular situation. The same applies to Poland and Jugoslavia, where, however, the case was one rather of necessity and of a state of emer
gency. Such must not become the norm for the whole congregation.
Has our formation up to the present been geared to the meeting of the needs of parochial work? Perhaps we have over-reached our selves. We have parishes which we serve in a manner which should
not be. We must do that good of which we are capable, and in our own spirit. Let us recognize the fact that we are not always sufficiently prepared for this task; we have accepted too easily, and perhaps with too much eagerness. We must preserve a hierarchy in our acceptance of new works. Provincials are always hard-pressed when they must provide specialized personnel, especially for posts of responsibility. Works have developed, but the personnel for them has not developed proportionately, neither in quantity nor in quality. Can we then afford to say always, "Go ahead, go ahead?" Let us examine our conscience. We need a zeal which is tempered, although certainly leaving aside short-sightedness, and too many merely human calculations. While speaking of structures we can speak clearly in this regard. Yes, we Salesians are 22,000 in number: but are we all efficient? Let us not sin by triumphalism? Let us consider our judgements very carefully. I would think that this article requires a lot of study. we cannot afford to bungle along, There are in the congregation certain unformed souls, who see in these new forms of apostolate, a means of satisfying their desire for evasion. We must know how to stop and control the development of our works, otherwise we run the risk of losing Salesians, and with them the congregation too.
Concluding, I would not wish to leave you with a negative i mpression by what I have said. 1 only wish to recall all of us hack to a deep and watchful sense of responsibility, which will lead us to study and evaluate these things which are for us the true problems of our life.
I: th May, 1965 Regarding the necessity of joining parishes to Salesian
houses, the Rector Major made the following observation.
Our structure is essentially a formation to a community way of life, that is, we must live together. Although the term ´attached to´ used in art. 368 is not a very exact or pleasant-sounding expression, certainly parishes must he avoided in which two or three Salesians work in isolation. It might he said, "We contact youth through the work of the parish." This is all very well, but such activity on behalf of youth must be intense and of a very high quality, because if not, then these same confreres could be used elsewhere in the organization of a much richer apostolate for youth.
18th May, 1965 - - At the close of the discussion on oratories, the
Rector Major expounded some other fundamental ideas on the topic.
This matter of the ´oratory´ is a responsibility for us just as much today as in the past. Our vocation for youth becomes an urgent matter today, when youth is becoming the ´fourth state´, so to speak, of society.
The youth of today can give a decisive turn to the history of our ti me, just as happened during the French Revolution with the ´Third State´.
Schooling by itself is not sufficient to satisfy the spiritual needs of today´s youth. Furthermore, we cannot afford to ignore the fact of the migrations taking place within our great cities and their suburbs. Today as yesterday, our responsibility and vocation remain always the same.
The oratory is really the formula which meets the demand so well; to reach youth by catechizing, but in our own style, and according to discipline and obedience. Don Bosco and the Constitutions wish to see an oratory attached to every single Salesian house, which shows the importance the congregation attaches to the oratory. Having a house close by, is a providential boon for the oratory, providing it with both means and personnel. qon Bosco could not conceive of a house which lacked this lung but a lung must be something alive and breathing, not atrophied. Whole nations and entire generations have benefited by the work of the oratory.
Let us ask ourselves: In the houses of my Province, is there something which really merits the name of oratory? What could be done to set on foot a programme of oratory activities? Is a man of culture, degreed or well-qualified, considered wasted if he is Rector of an oratory?
A day school is not an oratory, It is a very good thing to gather together so many boys, but it still remains a gathering of a rather elite group. We must contact also those who do not come to our schools.
It is necessary, moreover, to set up oratories as pilot schemes. incorporating a´so new methods to meet the new needs. This has been
called for in the proposals made to the Chapter, namely, to study means
o organizing experiments which wall vary according to place. Something
can and must be done along these lines. This will serve also to give
an outlet for the zeal of so many confreres who are alive to the apostolic
problems invoiced. The purely festive oratory is now a formula which
is too limited, and insufficient to meet the needs of the times.
In conclusion : let each one carry away this idea as a message. but with the intention of putting it into effect : factores verbi estate!
21. APOSTOLATE APART FROM YOUTH
20th May, 1965 - Since there had emerged from the discussion the idea
of modijying art. 8 of the Constitutions, the Rector Major felt it necessary
to make certain precise clarifications:
in a spirit of fraternity and loyalty, it is necessary, he said, to explain certain ideas. The forms of apostolate here discussed must evidently develop inside the field of our works, and within religious discipline. It is therefore necessary that to those newly-emerging and functioning sectors of apostolate not for youth, there be given the necessary ideas and enrichment, in order that they may be brought into step with the needs and the sound tastes of today, and so avoid being swamped by the times, It is not to be imagined that each single Province should or could initiate all these activities listed, but there are some of the sectors which must not be either underrated or disregarded. I am quite certain that Don Bosco would never allow neglect of the press, or, as they say today, of the instruments of social communication. One need only think of his heroism, and of the sufferings he underwent for the sake of spreading good literature. Today we must be religious of perception, always looking to the future to foresee what is developing within society.
Let us fix three guiding principles to bear in mind during our future work:
al The General Chapter has the duty of establishin_, with great clarity the hierarchy existing amongst the works to which the congregation is called.
h) We cannot in the world of today continue to ignore the parents of our pupils especially when the presence of their sons in one of our
institutes is perhaps the only means through which they may be involved in the life of the Church. What would our adversaries do in such a case?
c) The lay teachers called to work side by side with us are now numbered in their thousands. Can we afford to dispense ourselves from the duty of organizing them well, in order to form them in all seriousness?
All of this is an abiding duty, not a novelty.
17th May 1965 - When the document concerning the co-operators had been
approved by popular acclaim, the Rector Major, at the request of some
members of the Chapter, thought fit to make the following statement:
This approbation by popular acclaim lays an even greater responsibility on the conscience of us all. Today, when the Church places so much store by the various forms of lay apostolate, let the Salesians dedicate themselves seriously to the duty of caring for our third family, and this in a dynamic and modern way. This is necessary also from the point of view of our own scarcity of personnel, and the precious collaboration the co-operators can give to us.
He who through obedience works outside of the scholastic field, and devotes himself zealously to the care of souls is never to be considered a heterodox Salesian. (applause)
23 AUXILIARIES OF DON BOSCO
3rd /une, 196i -- Faced with the danger of an excessive widening of
our field of work, the Rector Major made the following precise observation:
Here there is no question of branching out into new works, but rather q f seeking a higher quality of collaboration in our apostolate, by means of these new forms of lay consecration. Auxiliaries as Fr. Ziggiotti has already observed, may be considered as an avant-garde group among women co-operators
24. DEDICATED LAYMEN
24th June, 1965 -- Following upon the communications concerning the Auxiliaries
of Don Busco, the Rector Major asked about possible experimentation
of the same nature for men, including some form of ´dedication´, either
but vows or by simple promises. When various points of view had been
heard, he brought the discussion to its conclusion as follows:
Today there are many laymen who wish to place themselves at the disposition of the Church´s hierarchy, and the different congregations. Is it for us to ignore these possibilities, or to foster them?
We are agreed that the idea seems very good. Let us see if, in the various countries and different types of apostolic work, there arise possibilities of starting some attempt at an activity of this nature. if experience is gained in the matter, let us hear about it.
25. INSTRUMENTS OF SOCIAL COMMUNICATION
2nd May, 1965 With the intention of underlining the importance of this
particular document, and the validity of the observations made, the
Rector Major had the following to say:
Let us take a realistic look at the person we are to educate. Can we educate and form him in the way we did at a time when our houses were proof against the influence of the world; or must we not rather form him according to the circumstances in which today the confreres actually find themselves? We run the risk of creating two different levels which never really meet; that of the person who is performing the task of formation, and that of the subject being educated. Formation of the Salesian educator must therefore he one of our ;realest pre-occupations. Can we go ahead using only prohibitions? If we do not really form the conscience, prohibitions by themselves remain ineffective.
The atmosphere of evil which we everywhere breathe is more deadly than smog; it is an atmosphere of the dolce vita. The problem of formation requires the fusing together of two wills, that of the Rector and that of the confreres. We must ask ourselves whether there are not many deficiences in the formation we give. On many occasions
1 have the impression -- I fee; mortified in saying this that the coy `,tires are too little formed, culturally and artistically Have we not perhaps contributed towards this state of affairs?
There arc, for example many persons in the world who feel no great need for cinema-going, and many too who even despise it, What then must we say about the Salesian who cannot live without it, and who goes to the cinema driven by an almost irresistible longing for distraction? This also is a problem of formation.
The same thing applies in the case of our boys. In entertainments we must not limit ourselves to films. There are other possibilities. which other non-Salesian educationalists know how to employ so much better than we do, as for example music, plays, sketches, touring, etc
We have confined ourselves so far to a rather negative view of films. But there is also a very positive aspect, valuable in the education of the confreres to a true human and priestly dignity. In this connection we need a lead to follow, a methodology, and enlightened ideas. These means of social communication will become increasingly more powerful and of moment, and therefore we must find a way of makin g, use .nl them to come to grips with the needs of our day.
26. DAILY MASS
5th. Pine, I965 - After two days of heated discussion on this question
the Rector Major intervened and said:
This discussion has been ample and passionate, sometimes harrowing, but always free. Everybody here loves Don Bosco and loves the souls for which we are responsible, but there are different ways of giving this love concrete expression. Hence the debate has been so rich and so profound over the last few days. Let us now in all sincerity come to some conclusion, avoiding every ambiguity, so that we shay: have clear ideas and clear directives which do not lend themselves to warring or harmful interpretations
This problem is critical and essential, because we are not only Catholic educators but Salesian educators. If it is true that we are not questioning the value of daily Mass, we must decide how we
can use daily Mass more positively, making it acceptable and richer in fruit. We must ask ourselves if, in the method we have followed hitherto, we have not fallen victim, perhaps are not still falling victim, to the perils which have been pointed out to us. Is it not possible, perhaps, that the fundamental reason for all the unfavourable reactions towards daily Mass has been the undue overloading of the whole business of piety, making it heavy and wearisome.
Given therefore that the Mass is essential, as all recognize, we must adroit that in certain places a method has often been used that was in no way suitable. Now, faced with the problem of assistance at Mass, are we to make good our mistakes with a hatchet or make an effort to make assistance alive? In other words, have we to use a therapy which is going to lead to the death of the practice, or a therapy which will animate, which will give new life to our tradition? If this instrument is not functioning in many places, then we must ask ourselves the reason.
We have heard a lot of ta.k of the boys, of their psychology. hut there has heen very little emphasis upon the educators themselves. What have these educators done, what are they doing to carry into effect some method which wiii help the boys to assist consciously, with active, fruitful participation the kind of participation we have been talking about? Has it been the fault of the Mass, or has it been our fault? Now this problem, like every other problem, is not something self-contained. The method of participation at Mass is connected with the diversity of country and with the complexity of our works, which are so heterogeneous in their rotas. What have we done not just this year, but in the past, to face this problem methodically? We must say something, by way of reminder, to the confreres who are expecting some sort of statement from this Chapter.
What, for example, have we done at the beginning of the school year in order to encourage those boys who have barely arrived in the college to assist and to participate with interest and with fruit at holy Mass? Many of them are coming to college for the first time and scarcely know what the Mass is. Nowadays, methods, complete methods, to ensure that the Mass shou ´d he duly prized and should become the real centre of the day.
Again, we should ask ourselves, would the practical elimination of daily Mass improve the situation, helping us to make good whatever we have lost?
We must face the fact that the growth of our work has been almost like the growth of a tumor --- at times I call this growth elephantine - for we have boys with different needs, we have diversity both in numbers and in age groups. At times I have observed with pain how boys of ten and boys of twenty have gone into church together; this is a practice which is certainly not formative. There are local differences and multiplicities of work which have found no mention in this document. There are other countries in which the problem does not exist, as for example in Vietnam and in Ireland, where few begin the day without holy Mass.
It seems to me therefore, that the solutions which have been proposed should he revised. They should be presented, above all, in a positive, concrete form. The entire congregation should be reminded of the responsibility which every confrere has of educating the boys to a perceptive conscious Christianity of the kind the Church demands today. The commission, setting great store by the observations made, should put before the assembly other proposals, at the same time preserving the principles at stake and taking into account the varied situation. (applause)
9th June, 1965 - Voting having been completed on article I of the document
concerning daily Mass the Rector Major considered it opportune to clarify
the authentic meaning of this approved text and he spoke as follows:
There can be no doubt that with this vote the entire Salesian community, all our confreres, have been mobilized for the sacramental education of our pupils. What, after such long discussion, we have voted on now becomes for us an immediate duty: if we do not observe it we shall be faced with failure. We must tackle the whole matter in a concrete way. We must always keep advancing.
I am talking to Salesians about Salesians. In this document there has been used a word which today is not very favourably received, even psychologically: obligation! This is a word which concerns first of all the Salesians. They must feel their obligation, as educators and as priests, of making the boys love the Mass, making them under-
stand it, making them live it. This is an obligation for men of principle, the priests, the Salesians. Anyone who already finds himself in conditions which favour daily Mass must feel himself obliged to improve such conditions. No educator ought to deceive himself about this question of participating at Mass; in other words it is not enough to have a merely passive presence reluctantly put up with. This is something which we must call to the attention of those who are in authority, so that they may fall into line with ideas of this kind. The first need is to make people understand the problem: in other words, Mass must not be seen as a practice carried out in obedience to a law, but as the means of nourishing our whole life, today and tomorrow.
Consequently, it is necessary that we develop the spirit of Salesians along these lines: if the problem of daily Mass is a hard one, difficult and thorny, this is to be attributed in large part not to the boys, but to the Salesians. I do not intend to indulge in generalizations. Let us try to create this spirit of understanding of enthusiasm. But to believe in this we have first of all to be convinced of it. Let us work hard to ensure that participation at Mass is not merely physical - that is not enough - but conscious and active. To achieve this our efforts need to be gradual, systematic, intelligent. We have to be quite clear what we want and where we are going to get it. It is not enough to send the boys into church in great numbers; we are concerned with educating them, with carrying them along with us, heart and soul and will. We have therefore to work out some complete method which will bring them to the conscious practice of assisting at Mass. Now, here there arises naturally a whole series of problems which will differ from country to country, according to the age of the pupils, I t is therefore no use being content with mere improvizations. We need to meet together, to study the question at different levels, whether interprovincial, provincial or local. It is not merely a question of the catechist or the Rector doing their part, but of the whole community: in other words this a question of collective responsibility.
This deliberation must mean a step forward, not backwards. It is true that the third article of the document takes into account the particular situations which may arise for a variety of causes. But
having taken this into account, the general principle remains valid, and this deliberation must be considered as a forward drive and not as a cancelling out. We must all of us feel it our duty to go forward.
Permit me another observation. In every country we have particular responsibilities towards the Church, even before our responsibilities to the congregation. What have we done in our schools to form an elite? Today this is most important; if an elite is not coming from our Catholic schools, where is it to come from? Are the few hours of school each day enough for this task? Do not let us deceive ourselves : we have to make our mark on souls. Let us face this task
what are we doing to build for tomorrow? It is not enough to be content with the passing satisfaction of the moment: we have to concern ourselves with cultural, religious, sacramental, eucharistic formation. We all know, and we are all convinced, that it is much more important to form a true conscience than to cling to some mere external practice. Let us therefore face the practical consequences.
We have all of us been profoundly impressed by the steady development of Communism. We do not. however, defend ourselves against it only by instituting social reforms, but, above all, by forming true Christians. We need a sound religious basis.
We, therefore, have to go out from here full of conviction which we are going to pass on to our own confreres. Our programme is this: the formation of an elite. We must achieve this; we must strive with determination towards this end. Such must be the interpretation of the document we approved yesterday, if we are not to betray Don Bosco and the Church. (prolonged applause)
27. VARIOUS MATTERS
10th. June, 1965 -- The following are the replies made by the Rector
Major, following some questions made on the previous evening.
The history of the congregation: It will be the duty of the superiors to develop fully the history of our institutions and of all that is best in our system. However, in order to carry out this programme, it is necessary that there should be collaboration between all those who can help.
Poverty: There is a saying that is already becoming quite common : The Salesians are rich." It is true that many confuse the grandeur of our buildings and undertakings with affluence. However, let us try to make sure that we do not give any support to such regrettable comments. Let us seek to act at all times with discretion, and let us show that sense of economy and of frugality which people expect from us.
It has also been noted that there is a great deal of difference of treatment in the different houses, The Provincials should see to it that these differences are reduced to a minimum. There should not be any excesses in those houses which are blessed with more financial means, and steps should be taken to cut down any abuses. In the the equipment of our own living quarters we should also observe the criteria of poverty. The higher the level that we achieve in those parts of the house which are devoted to the education of the boys, according to the needs of the country, so much the greater should be our own dedication to poverty in our personal lives.
Permissions ; Do not let us get the idea that once we have permission everything is all right. Let us remember what our own Mgr. Olivares used to say to Rectors : "Even with all our carefully obtained permissions it is still possible to go straight to hell." This is a responsibility which we should all face.
Second Novitiate : This is a problem which is worthy of our study, even if it does present some difficulties. We do not wish to put any obstacle in the way of this generous appeal... this desire which has been expressed by so many confreres. The idea should be studied and elaborated so that we can arrive at some kind of initial experiment.
28. CONCLUDING DISCOURSE
10th June, 1965, eleven o´clock - amidst the obvious emotion of all
those present the Rector Major said a few fatherly words by way of conclusion
to so much hard and generous work.
So many times we have raised our hands in order to express our vote, our will. Today we can raise both our arms as we send up to the good God a cry of gratitude.
As one looks back it is staggeringly impressive to see the mountain of work which we have been able to realize. "A terrifying labour" in the words of one of the delegates here present. So many have in fact laboured into the night! Not only the members of the Chapter but all the collaborators, beginning with the secretaries, have been prodigal of their services in this way. Together with them, behind the scenes, how many other confreres have co-operated in order to bring about the success of this General Chapter! Think of all the various offices which were involved in bringing our work to completion. To all these we give our thanks and our grateful prayers. I would wish that this collaboration, so generous, so ready, so full of self-sacrifice, but always cheerful and joyous, should serve as a great lesson, as a message to our confreres: it should serve to remind us that our work must be a work of solidarity, based on a united community, all aiming at the same ideals.
Apart from thanking God and all those who have co-operated with us, allow me to make to all a most heartfelt invitation to go forth from this Chapter with one heart and in perfect agreement. We have engaged in lively discussions, sometimes rather keenly, but always with a keen priestly and Salesian feeling. With this meeting, however, the time of discussion comes to an end and there begins the fruitful period for putting it into practice. Let us seek above all to persuade our own confreres that they may be ever more convinced. Secondly, let us seek with all our power to promote the execution of what has been decided here. Let us strive with wise firmness to be the energetic executors of whatever has been laid down, following not only the letter but also the spirit. Only by such unanimity can the enormous labours of these two months be transformed into living reality. As a spur we have the encouragement directed to us by Pope Paul VI in the unforgettable audience which he gave to all the Chapter.
Let us remain united even if our work sometimes keeps us apart. It is with painful regret that I see come to an end this period that we have lived together in a climate of such affection and heartfelt communion, even though we have at times expressed different ideas. Let us remain united in caritate, in the memory of these laborious months, in the will to be of help to our confreres.
Together with Mary! Do you remember that thought which 1 gave to you
a little while ago : We with you and you with us"? and that other
thought: "Mother of this Church, Mother of the congregation? "
With her help we can see to it that every day each one of us is a factor
verhi, a doer of all that has been said, discussed, decided upon.
Let us all become doers in order to build up a living Don Bosco in this second century of the existence of our congregation. Let us be humble but efficacious doers of the word? Fuxit Deus! Let us go forward for Don Bosco and for the Church!
At this moment which is so charged with emotion for all of us, I invite you to turn your hearts and your minds to those confreres who are separated from us by painful circumstances which we all know. Let us turn to them a thought and a prayer which is warm with love. Liberu eos ex omnibus tribulationihus Buis. May q ur Lord hear our prayed
MESSAGE FROM THE MEMBERS OF THE 191h GENERAL CHAPTER TO ALL MEMBERS OF THE SALESIAN CONGREGATION
Rome, 17th May, 1965.
1. We are near you with a fraternal memento, and with our
prayers; we are thinking of you, spread as you are throughout every continent in your own native countries or abroad in mission lands, witnesses to Jesus Christ, enjoying liberty or suffering in silence.
You it is who have prepared this General Chapter with apostolic
zeal and preoccupation to an extent never seen in previous Chapters
We know that you are following our work with lively attention
with hope, and perhaps with some uneasiness; there can be no doubt that you are following it with fervent prayer.
Be assured that whilst you are in the field working for souls, we are working for the same souls as your true representatives, making your problems our own, hoping not to belie your hopes.
In the Chapter we have felt the presence of all the congregation; and we hope that this message will he a proof of our true union with each one of you.
2. We think that we can affirm that this Chapter will take on a particular significance in the history of our congregation.
In the encyclical Ecclesiam Suam, Pope Paul VI has defined the work of the Council in these words: "We believe that today it is the Church´s duty to deepen the knowledge it should have of itself and of the mission it must fulfil in the world."
Analogous to this is the fundamental task of our Chapter: to help the congregation in this decisive phase in the history of the Church to deepen its knowledge of itself, of its originality, of its vocation in the mission of the Church.
Our strong desire is to learn The will of God as regards our congregation today, and then to carry it out faithfully.
To reach this goal we are trying first of all to go back to our authentic origins: to the spirit, to the intentions, to the charisms proper to Don Bosco, the saint so clearly raised up by God.
Knowing that the will of God is shown forth in providential events, we proclaim our firm, prompt, and generous adherence to the decisions of Vatican Council II and to the apostolic renewal to which it has given rise.
Following Don Bosco, we wish to re-invigorate in ourselves that senstus Iicclesiae, our awareness of being in and of the Church, and to give our support to its gigantic efforts in this historic moment.
In particular the Church in the Council has reawakened to the fact that it is the ´Church of the poor´. We also proclaim that it is our firm resolution to dedicate ourselves to all modern youth but particularly to the young who are poor and abandoned, to those children of the working class to whom we have been called as sons of Don Bosco
We resolve to get to know the youth and people of today better, to love them in the reality of their true situations and to answer their needs and their most urgent appeals.
3. We have begun this task of orientation in our Chapter. It is a complex one; we are 150 in all, representatives of a congregation that is spread over 69 countries of the world. Problems differ from one place to another. We differ in age and experience, and still more in mentality and sensibilities. It is not surprising therefore, that although we all have the same love for Don Bosco and the young, we have experienced some difficulty in finding a uniform solution to our problems. But it is one of the beauties of the Salesian family spirit that it allows for frank and open discussion and mutual exchange of opinions. After a period of keen and arduous research and study, in that truly universal spirit of St. John Bosco, we have attained to
happy unity centred around the person of his sixth successor, Fr. Aloysius Ricceri. Whilst we respect the differences that exist amongst us and fraternally overcome them, we wish to enrich ourselves with the contribution each one has to offer. In the same apostolic spirit expressed in the motto of Don Bosco da rriihi animas, and in the spirit of constructive charity, with mutual comprehension and esteem we work for the up-dating of our congregation.
4. Our work is in progress and it will continue yet for some weeks. We have dealt with vocations and aspirantates, with liturgical life and piety, with our apostolate amongst the young and in the parishes, with our co-operators, past pupils, oratories, and with the adult apostolate.
Conscious of our responsibilities and with an eye on reality, we wish to make a clear examination of our problems, excluding none and evading none that have a real and urgent importance. Whilst we prepare new orientations and dispositions we need the support of your loyal confidence, and we know that this you will give us most willingly.
5. But allow us to remind you, and first of all to remind ourselves, what our revered Fr. Ziggiotti pointed out to us when he presented us with the list of subjects to be discussed at the Chapter: All external changes and new orientations, he said, however excellent they may he, will he of no avail if our hearts as religious apostles are not re-inflamed and our spirits deeply renewed. It is to this renewing of our religious and apostolic conscience that in this most important hour we call all confreres from the youngest to the most venerable, novices clerics, coadjutors and priests.
The essential element of this renewal is this: let us renew in ourselves the sense of our religious consecration to Jesus Christ and to God, our Father.
Let us acquire a deeper conviction of this truth, that it may sustain and animate our life in a practical way each day.
It is Christ Himself Who through His Church invites us to seek for souls redeemed by His Precious Blood, and Who is the only saving force and Who makes use of us in proportion to our religious fervour, and to Whom we offer with joyful loyalty the holocaust of our vows
it is this offering which predisposes us to the love of souls and to the service of the Church, as His Holiness Pope Pau´ VT attests in his paternal exhortation.
6. Let us renew in its totality and with trust the practice of religious obedience, the holocaust of our own will offered to God by submission to lawful superiors who exercise their authority with respect and with father;y affection and brotherly love.
It is filial and docile obedience that will make it possible to assume many and heavy responsibilities, and to face up with greater courage to the new tasks that await us.
The love of a poverty freely embraced, which sets us free from earthly lies, will be strengthened by the flight from seeking for ease and comfort which undermines religious life; let it be a practical poverty as required by the modern nature of our apostolate, but let it always be a means of self-denial and of sacrifice for every single member, for the community, and for the furtherance of the work itself.
Let chastity he our joy and shining witness, a chastity reinforced by our interior union with Jesus Christ to whom we have consecrated all our affections and our whole body. In the exercise of continual mortification and carefu; custody of the senses, and in the uncompromising severity of our evangelical and Salesian ideals, let us firmly maintain our capacity to love Jesus in souls so violently attacked by naturalist doctrines and worldly behaviour.
7. With one heart and one soul in the bonds of fraternal charity let us share in the riches of community life, generously accepting the daily demands it makes on us, since it permits us by its guarantee of family discipline to love and serve Jesus Christ with greater enemy
The Salesian, in the totality of his religious consecration, closely united to the life of Christ, has the certainty of being a true apostle, a man abounding in energy and happy in the thought of his complete dedication.
May the anguished reminder of our father Don Bosco in his last wit! and testament comfort us and urge us on: "Let us be on our guard, lest love of the world, undue affection for our relations or the desire for an easier life lead us to make the great mistake of profaning
our sacred vows and so trample on our religious profession by which we have consecrated ourselves to Our Lord. Let none of us take back what he has given to God."
8. Concluding this message, we turn to her whom Don Bosco called the real foundress of the congregation, the most loving Virgin Mary, whom our new Rector Major, Fr. Aloysius Ricceri, recently called Mater huiias Ecclesiae, the mother of this capitular assembly, and still more the mother of the entire congregation. We are here as though in the cenacle where she is present. She is more than ever our helper. To her fidelity to the congregation let us respond with our fidel ´ty, renewing our consecration to her.
9. We shall have the privilege and the joy of bringing to our common Father, Pope Paul VI, in a special audience which he will accord us before the feast of Mary Help of Christians, these sentiments of ours which are most certainly yours also.
We shall listen with attentive and fervent hearts to the directives which the Holy Father will give our congregation, and as sons of Don Bosco we shall pledge him full loyaity and generous obedience
Dear confreres, a difficult and magnificent task awaits us in the Church of today. Let us thank God for having bestowed on us the immense honour of allowing us to work for Him in the Salesian congregation. Let us be generous in fulfilling our duty so as not to fail the multitude of souls awaiting us.
In union of prayer and with fraternal sentiments, we are
The members of the 19th General Chapter.
CHRONICLE OF THE 19th GENERAL CHAPTER
The special news-letters sent out to the houses during the General Chapter
have already given the confreres a good knowledge of the Chapter´s proceedings,
and accordingly this chronicle proposes to be only a resume of the events.
1. The retreat in preparation for the General Chapter began on the evening of April 8th at the PAS, Rome. The instructions were preached by the Very Rev. Fr. Joseph Gonzalez del Pino, Provincial of the Antilles, and the meditations by Very Rev. Fr. Peter Zerbino, editor of the Italian "Salesian Bulletin". Holy Mass was concelebrated daily by the Very Rev. Rector Major, Fr. Renato Ziggiotti, together with six members of the Chapter three Provincials and three delegates.
After the retreat, the members of the Chapter were able to assist at the various Holy Week services held in the Roman basilicas, and on Easter Sunday they were present at the Holy Father´s Mass and the celebration held in St. Peter´s Square.
2. A list of those taking part in the General Chapter is given elsewhere. Of note is the absence of the Provincial from the North Polish Province, whose government refused an attendance-permit. Similarly, Hungary, Bohemia, and Slovakia were not represented.
Present by special invitation of the Rector Major, but without voting rights were : Very Rev. Fr. Sante Gat-elk, delegate of the Rector Major for the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians; Very Rev. Fr. William Ainsworth, provincial delegate for South Africa; and, for some sittings, Fr. Charles Fiore, of the Salesian youth centre.
The following confreres were invited as experts on the capitular commissions, and, according to their special qualifications, were present at various meetings of the Chapter:
Bro. FRANCIS BERRA : member of the central technical office for the Salesian professional schools.
Fr. GINO BORCOGNO: national delegate for oratories
Fr. PETER BRAmmO : president of the I.S.P. (The Higher Institute of Pedagogy).
Fr. CAIPTAN BRUNO: dean of the faculty of Canon Law at the PAS.
Fr. Al.orstus CALONGHI : professor of methodology and statistical psychology at the I.S.P.
Fr. GINo CORALLO: lecturer in pedagogy at the state university of Bari.
Bro. FRANCIS CRIVF.LI.ARO: head of the professional school at
Ponte Mammolo, Rome.
Fr. LAD!SLAO CSONKA: professor of methodology and the history of catechetics, at the I.S.P.
Fr. jUVENAL DUO: professor of pedagogical methodology at the I.S.P.
Fr. Emil. FOG1.fAsso : professor of public Church Law at the PAS. Fr. CAIETAN FRANC1 : secretary to the head offices of the Salesian professional schools
Fr. j osE.Pll GEMMEL1.ARO : professor of social doctrine at the PAS. Fr. PEi ER GIAKOLA : lecturer in pedagogical methodology at the 1.S.P.
Fr, PETER GRASSO: professor of social psychology at the I.S.P.
Fr. EMMANUEl, GUTIERRE7: professor of differential psychology
at the I.S.P.
Fr. ANTHONY IAVIERRE : dean of the theological faculty at the
Fr, GuSTAVUS LECLERC : professor of international law at the PAS. Fr. VINCENT SINISTRERO: professor of law and school legislation
at the I.S.P.
Fr, Al.ptloNsus STICKLER: Rector Magnificus of the PAS.
3. The General Chapter began its work on Easter Monday, April 19th. Al´, the members of the Chapter gathered ,in the chapel for the singing of the Venn Creator, after which the Very Rev. Rector
Major outlined the chief motives behind the calling of .the Chapter, namely, the election of the Superior Chapter and the study of questions of supreme moment for the whale congregation. He remarked that the amount of material contained in the proposals sent in from the various Provinces was extremely vast, and this had been carefully examined, sorted and co-ordinated by the Superior Chapter and the, pre-capitular commissions, He therefore urged those present to invoke .the light of the Holy Spirit upon the work awaiting them. Benediction was then given.
The Chapter members then went into the hall used for the plenary sessions, where they were given copies of the various schemes prepared by the pre-capitular commissions. Also on view and available were the proposals sent ,n by the Provinces, and by individual Salesians.
The Rector Major nominated as secretaries. according to the norms of the Constitutions: the Very Rev. Frs. Michael De Paolis. Francis Laconi and Bernard Tohill; after his election to the Superior Chapter, the Iatter was replaced as secretary by the Very Rev, Fr. John Ter Schulte. Later, because of the difficulty and the amount of work involved, it was found necessary to nominate another team of secretaries to aid the first. The members were: Fr. No Paltrinieri, Fr. Rosario Stroscio, and Fr. Decius Teixeira. The two teams shared out the work, one covering the morning session and the other the afternoon session. Similarly, the Very Rev. Rector Major appointed another Moderator to aid the original sole Moderator, the Very Rev. Fr. Archimedes Pianazzi, the second Moderator being the Very Rev. Fr. Peter Garnero, and these also alternated in the exercise of their duties.
The following commissions were established : I. organization 2. apostolate for youth. 3. apostolate other than youth work. 4. coadjutors and professional schools. 5. formation of the young. 6. Salesian formation. 7. Constitutions and Regulations. 8. regulations for the Genera! Chapter. 9, capitular publications.
Each of these commissions divided up into sub-commissions, according to need, and set about its work.
During the first week, the Chapter members heard two most interesting conferences, one entitled "The origins of Don Bosco´s
work" - given by Fr. Peter Braido, the other entitled "The Second Vatican Council and the Salesian congregation" - given by Fr. Peter Brocardo. These had as their objective to throw light on the two guiding principles of the General Chapter, namely, the spirit of Don Bosco and the spirit of the Council.
qn Sunday the 25th April. the Chapter members attended the solemn ceremony at which H:s Eminence Cardinal Callori di Vignale took possession of the temple of St. John Bosco as his titular church. His Eminence is descended from a family whose members were great friends and benefactors of Don Bosco.
4. When the commissions had completed their work, the first document
to be discussed in a plenary session was on the regulations for the
The election of the Rector Major took place on April 27th, after Very Rev. Fr, Renato Ziggiotti had celebrated the votive Mass of the Holy Spirit. On the previous evening, at the Good Night, the Rector Major had made it quite clear, as he had at other times hinted, that he had the intention of declining acceptance of an eventual re-election. Fr. Antal was similarly minded. Before the election of the Rector Major, there were first elected - according to the Constitutions - the secretaries, in this instance, Fr. Mario Picchi and Fr. Henry Delacroix, and the scrutineers, in this instance, Fr. Mario Quilici, Fr. Aloysius Fiora, and Fr. foseph Costanzo.
There were two ballots for the election of the Rector Major. After the second, when he had obtained the absolute majority of votes, and had accepted election, the Very Rev. Aloysius Ricceri was solemnly proclaimed Rector Major. His first words may be read in their entirety in the text included in the documents. After referring to the limitations Ile felt regarding the office assigned to him, he said: "Amongst all these limitations there is one from which 1 feel I do not suffer. namely, a limitation of my dedication and obedience to God and to the congregation." The members of the Chapter then paid their respects to the Rector Major. passing before him individually to receive his embrace.
That evening, after supper, the confreres gave utterance in many languages - as at a new Pentecost to their gratitude
towards the Very Rev. Fr. Renato Ziggiotti, ahd their heartfelt good wishes for Very Rev. Fr. Aloysius Ricceri.
5. After this central event, the commissions continued their work, and a number of plenary sittings were held until Monday, May 3rd., the day on which the members of the Superior Chapter were elected. In the morning at the first ballot and by absolute majority, the following Very Rev. Fits, were elected : Fr. Alvin Fedrigotti (prefect general), Fr. Modesto Bellido (catechist genera]), Fr. Roger Pilla (economer general). In the afternoon, again at the first ballot, the following Very Rev. Frs. were elected as Consultors. : Fr. Guy Borra, Fr. Peter Garnero, Fr, Ernest Giovannini, Fr. Archimedes Pianazzi, and Fr. Bernard Tahiti
6. On May 7th, in the plenary session, the Very Rev. Rector Major gave an important talk on the spirit of peaceful union, which at the same time respects the liberty and the opinions of all. He called on the Chapter members to work in a spirit of enlightened and brotherly understanding, with the object of achieving an evermore constructive and speedy collaboration.
Although the work of the commissions continued almost through to the close of the Chapter. nevertheless, various documents had been sufficiently elaborated to allow an almost continual succession of plenary assemblies, starting immediately on May 8th, There began therefore the discussion on the themes ´care of vocations´ and ´aspirantates´.
On May 8th, in the evening, the co-operators of Rome came in great numbers to pay enthusiastic tribute to the new Rector Major and his Chapter. Included in this gathering were various dignitaries, such as Cardinal Frederick Callori di Vignale, His Excellency the i-lonourahle Bernard Mattarella, Minister for Foreign Trade. Doctor Amerigo Petrucci, Lord Mayor of Rome and His Excellency Ernest Eula, President of the international Institute for the Unification of Law. The celebration proved to be homely, most friendly, and yet solemn at the same time, not only by reason of the personalities attending but especially on account of the very moving tributes of esteem, in the paying of which the orators vied with one another, when they spoke either of the Rector Major himself or of the work of the Salesian congregation.
7. The first part of May saw the visits of yet other important personages, notable amongst whom were His Eminence Cardinal Cicognani, Secretary of State of His Holiness, His Eminence Cardinal Aloysius Masella Cardinal Protector of our society, His Eminence Cardinal Fernando Cento, Major Penitentiary and Mgr. Dell´Acqua, Substitute for Ordinary Affairs to the Secretary of State.
The Honourable O. Scalfaro, a member of the Italian parliament, and a friend of the Rector Major and of the Salesian work in general, said, amongst other things, during a dinner speech to the members of the Chapter: "Amongst all the things which you have accomplished during the Chapter, the thing which so far has made the greatest impression upon public opinion has been the retirement of Don Ziggiotti. This is a new illustration o a most important lesson for the lives of many people, above all in the Iife of the Church. We are all too accustomed to admire those climbing up the rungs of the ladder, and here it is a case of underlining the truth that a man is so much the nobler in descending that ladder with such great dignity."
On Sunday 16th May, the Rector Major. accompanied by all the members of the Chapter, went to bless the site of the future institute of pedagogy of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, which will he erected less than half a mile away from the buildings of the PAS.
During these days the themes under discussion were ´liturgical life and piety´, ´apostolate to youth´, ´parishes´ and `oratories´. The topic of the past pupils was briefly touched upon, but the appropriate document was not fully discussed, as certain negotiations and understandings with the movement´s organizers were not yet complete. The document on ´co-operators´ was approved by popular acclaim, without discussion, in tribute to Fr. Ricceri, until recently Consultor for the cooperators. There was discussed instead the document, the apostolate other than youth work,´
On Friday the 21st May, all the members of the Chapter went to the Vatican to he received in audience by the Pope. This was a day ea-;erly awaited, a :f_iy of emotion and of enthusiasm, The Pope´s speech to the Chapter members will be found on page 295 but not included are certain asides which the Pope inserted into the prepared text, phrases which aroused the greatest enthusiasm amongst the hearers, as for example : "And who is there who does not wish the
Salesians well?"... "You do not lack courage. Indeed how could it be possible for the sans of Don Bosco to be wanting in courage?..."
8. After May 20th, discussions began on the topic ´means of social communication´, the document varia was examined, and then, at last, there came the document which was at once both the most eagerly-awaited and the most far-reaching in its implications, namely, ´organization of the congregation´. The debate on this topic lasted until the end of the month. When this was completed there began the examination of the following documents : ´religious formation´, ´houses of formation´, ´the Salesian coadjutor´, ´the missions´, ´the formation of youth´.
The rhythm of work was fast and constant, the whole day being taken up with plenary sessions or commission meetings, these latter often continuing into the night. In spite of this, no topic was any less intensely examined when it came up for discussion.
On June 4th, His Eminence Cardinal Antoniutti, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of Religious, honoured the General Chapter with a visit, and gave a most important discourse on the religious life, the full text of which may be found on page 301.
9. June 8th saw the beginning of the examination of the document on the revision of the Constitutions and Regulations. There were studied also certain items from other documents which had been referred to the commissions for revision. The document ´our religious life today´ was discussed and approved. This matter had not found a place as an independent document during discussions prior to the General Chapter. although it was a matter in which many confreres and provincial councils had expressed lively interest. According to the wish of the Very Rev. Rector Major, this document was sent out immediately as a message from the Chapter to the whole congregation anticipating the official promulgation of the capitular deliberations.
On the 9th June, the moderator of the Chapter read out a motion which called on the Major Superiors to consider the possibility of introducing the cause of beatification and canonization of the revered Fr. Peter Berruti, and to recommend Salesians all over the world to imitate his virtuous life, and invoke his powerful interces-
son, that God might be glorified in this most faithful servant of His, This motion was greeted by the assembly with enthusiastic applause.
During the course of the same meeting there was introduced another motion, signed by 90 members of the General Chapter, which requested the transference of the mother house from Turin to Rome. Amidst applause, the Rector Major emphasized the convenience and desirability of such a move, provided that the many technical factors requiring study could all be worked into a satisfactory plan
On fune 10th, there was held the 64th and final plenary meeting of the I9th GeneraI Chapter. In his closing discourse, the Rector Major expressed his thanks, and bade the members farewell, in the words which will be found elsewhere in this chronicle, together with the text of his other speeches.
When the Rector Major had finished speaking, the moderator - with the assent of the whale assembly - declared the 19th General Chapter closed, and signed the official minutes of its proceedings.
LIST OF MEMBERS OF THE 19th GENERAL CHAPTER
1 FR. RENATO ZIGGIOTTI, Rector Major
2. FR. ALVIN FEDRIGOTTI, Prefect
3. FR. JOHN ANTAL, Spiritual Director
4. FR. ROGER PILLA, Econamer
5. FR. ARCHIMEDES PIANAZZI, Consultor for Studies
6. FR. ERNEST GIOVANNINI, Consultor for Schools of Arts & Trades
7. FR. GUY BORRA, Consultor
8. FR. ALOYSIUs RICCERI, Consultor
9. FR. MODESTO BELLIDO, Consultor
10. FR. TIBURTIUS LUPO, Secretary
11. FR. ALOYSIUS CASTANO, Procurator
PROVINCIALS AND DELEGATES
12. FR. ADAM CIESI,AR (Cracow, Poland) 13. FR. AUGUSTINE DZIEDZIEI.
14. FR. EMIL CORRALES (Zamora, Spain) 15. FR. EMMANUEL LORENZO
16. FR. VINCENT GARNERO (Cordova, Argentine)
17. FR. VICTOR GIRAUDO
18. FR. ALOYSIUS RAMASSO (Buenos Aires, Argentine)
19. FR. MARIUS PICCHI1
20. FR. PETER GARNERO (Sao PaOIO, Brazil) 21. FR. MARIUS QUILICI
22. FR. ALFRED COGLIANDRO (Philippines)
23. FR. CHARLES BRAGA
24. FR. CAESAR ARACRI (Novara, Italy)
25. FR. IVAN PALTRINIERI
26. FR. SECONDO DE BERNARDI (Central America)
27. FR. MICHAEL OBANDO
28. FR. ALOYSIUS PILOTTO (Subalpina, Italy)
29. FR. ALOYSIUS FIORA
30. FR. JOSEPH GILIBERTI (Rector of Mother House)
31. FR. JOHN DAI.KMANN (Japan)
32. FR. CI.ODovEO TASSINARI
33. FR. AI.RER1 LopEz ( Mexico City Mexico)
34. FR. MAURO RoDRIGUEZ
35. FR. JOSEPH GONZALEZ DEL PINO (Antilles)
36. FR. MARIUS BORGONOVO
37. FR. BARTHOLOMEW TOME ´ (Venice, Italy)
38. FR. EVARISTO MARCOALDI
39. FR. ALOYSIUS LE1NFELDER (Munich, Germany)
40. FR. GEORGE SOLL
41. FR. PHILIP SALVERTI (La Plata, Argentine)
42. FR. EMIL HERNANDO
43. FR. FRANCIS LACONI (Middle East)
44. FR. WILLIAM MORAZZANI
45. FR. BERNARD THRILL (San Francisco, United States)
46. FR. JOSEPH COSTANZO
47. FR. JOSEPH S´rRUS (Lodz, Poland)
48. FR. STANISLAUS ROKiTA
49, FR. XAVIER DE BONIS
50. FR. ROGEI.IO
51. FR. PETER CICCARELLI (Genoa, Italy)
52. FR. JOHN RAINERI -
53. FR. LOUIS ZANELLA (Verona, Italy)
54. FR. ANGELO BLANCO
55. FR. GERARD GR1ISPEERT (St. Peter, Belgium)
56. FR. ROGER VAN SEVEREN
57. FR. PAUL. COENRAETS (St. Lambert, Belgium)
58. FR. HENRY DELACROIX
59. FR. JOSEPH PEERLINC.K (Central Africa)
60. FR. MARCEL VINC..K
61. FR. ANTHONY MARRONE (Naples, Italy)
62. FR. ADOLPH L´ARCO
63. FR. ORESTES PAVIOTTI (Gauhati, India)
64. FR. RR SIO MORRA
65. FR. ALOYStu5 GONZALEZ (Guadalajara. Mexico)
66. FR. FRANCIS SANCHEZ
67. FR. MAXIMILIAN FRANCOY (Madrid, Spain)
68. FR. JULIAN OCANA
69. FR. AuGi:S DINE BENITO (Cordova, Spain)
70, FR. PACIFICO MEDINA
71. FR. ALOYSIUS VIOIANTE: (Bari, Italy)
72. FR. NICHOLAS NANNOLA
73. FR. PErER PRADE (Belo IIoriz[Inle, Brazil)
74. FR. DF.CIUS TEIXEIRA
75. FR. ALGUSTUS BOSIO (New Rochelle, United States)
76, FR. JOSEPH TYMINSKI
77. FR. GERARD GRIES (Austria)
78. FR. GEORGE N ITSCH
79. FR. A>_:Rr.r_IUS PISC:IIEDDA (Cuenca, Ecuador)
80. FR. ALOYSIus CAR07.I.U
81. FR. EMIL HERNA NDEL (Bilbao, Spain)
82. FR. AI.OYSIUS PUYADENA
83. MICHAEL GHIGO (Manaus, Brazil)
84. FR. ALOYSILIS VENZON
85. FR. MICHAEL DE PAOLIS ( Uruguay)
86. FR. ANDREW RUBIO
87. FR. ISAIAH OIEDA (Venezuela)
88. FR, JESUS CALDERON
89. FR. JOHN TER SCHURE (Holland)
90. FR. QUIR INUS MUTI1
91. FR. OSCAR VALENZUELA (Chile)
92. FR. GILES VIGANO
93. F. CAJETAN SCRIVO (Rome, Italy)
94. FR. PETER BROCARDO
95. FR. ELIO SCOTTI (Ancona, Italy)
96. FR. HECTOR MARIOTTO
97. FR. ALFRED BORTOLINI (Porto Alegre, Brazil)
98. FR. VIRGINIO FISTAROL
99. FR. PETER JELLICI (Thailand)
100. FR. ANDREW SANIT
101. FR. ALOYSIUS RODRIGUEZ (Bogota, Colombia)
102. FR. HECTOR JARAMILLO
103. FR. JOHN BRIZIO (Rosario, Argentine)
104. FR. ROBERT CROCE
105. FR. CHARLES CORDERO (Perù)
106. FR. EUGENE PENNATI
107. FR. CALOGERO CONTI (Catania, Italy)
108. FR. VINCENT SCUDERI
109. MARIUS BASSI (Milan, Italy)
110. FR. HUG!I DE CENSI
111. FR. JOSEPH ZAVATTARO (Centrale, Italy)
112. FR. HERMENGILD MURTAS
113. ALOYSIUS MASSIMINO (China)
114. FR. ALEXANDER MAC.IIL´Y
115. FR. GERARD CAMPOS (Recife, Brazil)
116. FR. ALOYSIUS ARAUJO
1I7. FR. LEONARD JACUZZI (Campo Grande, Brazil)
118. FR. NELSON POMBO
119. FR. JOHN GLOMBA (Bahia Blanca, Argentine)
120. FR. ITALO MARTIN
121. FR. IDELFONSO GIL (Medellin, Colombia)
122. FR. AI.OYSIUS FORERO
123. FR. WALLACE CORNELL (Australia)
124. FR. JOHN MURPHY
125. FR. EMIL PHALIPPOU (Lyons, France)
126. FR. JOSEPH AUBRY
127. FR. RAYMOND Di.AS (Paris, France)
128. FR. RENE GAUDILLIERE
129. FR. ALOYSIUS DE FIORE (Madras, India)
130. FR. JOSEPH MANJIL
131. FR. GEORGE WILLIAMS (Anglo-Irish)
132. FR. THOMAS HALL
133. FR. WILLIAM AINSWORTH (Delegate from South Africa)
134. FR. FRANCIS OLIVAN (Barcelona, Spain)
135. FR. ISIDORE SEGARRA
136. FR. JOSEPH CARBONELL (Valencia, Spain) x^
137. FR. ANTHONY MELIDA -
138. FR. AMBROSE DIAL (Seville, Spain)
139. FR. JOSEPH Ruiz OLMo
140. FR. WILLIAM DIEBOLD (Cologne, Germany)
141. FR. ALPIIONSUS MARTIN
142. FR. BENEDICT NUNES (Portugal)
143. FR. AMATORE ANJOS
144. FR. MARTIN JURCAK (Jugoslavia)
145. FR. NICHOLASLUBOVic
146. FR. HUMBERT SOLIS (Quito, Ecuador)
147. FR. ERNEST ALVAREZ
148. FR. MAURO CASAROTTI (Calcutta, India)
149. FR. ROSARIO STROSCIO
150. FR. JOSEPH GOTTARDI (Bolivia)
151. FR. ALBERT ARAMAYO
COMMISSIONS AND SUB-COMMISSIONS OF
THE 19th GENERAL CHAPTER
First Commission: Structure of the Congregation.
V. Rev. Fr. ROGER PILLA
Experts: FR. ALPHONSUS STICKLER
FR. PETER BRAIDO
FR. EMIL FOGLIASSO
Sub-commission A. General Chapter, Superior & Provincial Chapter
Fr. Caesar Aracri Fr. Peter Garnero
Fr. Secondo De Bernardi Fr. Thomas Hall
Fr. Michael De Paolis Fr. Stanislaus Rokita
Fr. Aloysius Fiora Fr. Clodoveo Tassinari
Sub-committee B. Provincial, Rector
Fr. !talo Martin Fr. Emil Corrales
Fr. Orestes Paviotti Fr. Augustine Dziedziel
Fr. Cajetan Scrivo Fr. Aloysius Leinfelder
Fr. Decius Teixeira Fr. Evaristo Marcoaldi
Fr. Paul Coenraets
Sub-commission C. Houses and Works
Fr. Marius Borgonovo Fr. William Morazzani
Fr. J. Baptist Brizio Fr. George Soli
Fr. Joseph Carbonell Fr. John Ter Schure
Fr. Virginip Fistarol Fr. Noysius Violante
Fr. Idel£onso Gil
Second Commission: Apostolate of Youth.
V. Rev. Fr. GUY BORRA
Experts: FR. GINO BORGOGNO
FR. PETER GRASSO
Sub-Commission A. General Apostolate - Day and Boarding Schools. ,
Fr. Gerard Campos Fr. Aloysius Massimino
Fr. Wallace Cornell Fr. Pacifico Medina
Fr. Joseph Giliberti Fr. Marius Quilici
Fr. Alexander Machuy Fr. Nicholas Nannola
Fr. Joseph Manjil Fr. Isaiah Ojeda
Fr. Hector Mariotto
Sub-commission B. Oratories, Parishes
Fr. Peter Ciccarelli Fr. Gerard Grieb
Fr. Adam Cieslar Fr. Martin Jurcak
Fr. Joseph Costanzo Fr. Bartholomew Tome
Fr. Robert Croce Fr. Aloysius Venzon
Fr. Rogelio Duarte Fr. Marcellus Vinck
Fr. Rene Gaudillere
Third Commission: The Apostolate - other than Youth.
V. Rev. Fr. ALOYSIUS RICCERI
Experts: FR. ALOYSIUS CALONGHI
FR. JOSEPH GEMMELLARO
Sub-commision A. Means of Communication. Apostolate for different
groups. Daughters of Mary Help of Christians. Various Points.
Fr. Jesus Calderon Fr. George Nitsch
Fr. Raymond Deas Fr. John Raineri
Fr. Ambrose Diaz Fr. Aloysius Ramasso
Fr. Sante Garelli Fr. Oscar Valenzuela
Fr. Hector Jaramillo
Sub-commission B Co-operators. Past Pupils
Fr. Augustine Benito Fr. Anthony Marrone
Fr. Charles Cordero Fr. Nelson Pombo
Fr. Xavier De Bonis Fr. Andrew Sanit
Fr. Joseph Gonzales de Pino Fr. Humbert Solls
Fourth Commission: Coadjutors, Professional Schools.
V. Rev. Fr. ERNEST GIOVANNINI
Experts: FR. CAJETANFRANCHI
FR. PETER GIANOLA
FR. VINCENT SINISTRERO
COAD. FRANCIS CRIVELLARO
Sub-commission A. Formation of Coadjutors
Fr. Augustus Bosio Fr. Marius Picchi
Fr. Henry Delacroix Fr. Aloysius Pilotto
Fr. Emmanuel De Lorenzo Fr. Aurelius Pischedda
Fr. Joseph Gottardi Fr. Philip Salvetti
Fr. Quirinus Muth Fr. Joseph Strus
Fr. Julian Ocana
Sub-commission B. Professional Schools
Fr. Marius Bassi Fr. Ivan Paltrinieri
Fr. Gerard Grijspeert Fr. Aloysius Puyadena
Fr. Anthony Melida Fr. Aloysius Rodriguez
Fr. Francis Olivan Fr. Rosario Stroscio
Fifth Commission: Formation of Youth, Regulations for the Houses.
V. Rev. Fr. JOHN ANTAL
Experts: FR. GINO CORALLO
One Commission only
Fr. Joseph Aubry Fr. Peter Prade
Fr. Mauro Casarotti Fr. Joseph Ruiz Olmo
Fr. Hugh De Censi Fr. Elio Scotti
Fr. Victor Giraudo Fr. George Williams
Fr. Emil Hernando Fr. Louis Zanella
Fr, Alphonsus Martin
Sixth Commission: Salesian Formation.
V. Rev. Fr. ALVIN FEDRIGOTTI
Experts: FR. JUVENALDHO
FR. ANTHONY JAVIERRE
Sub-commission A. Recruiting of Vocations
Fr. Aloysius Araujo Fr. Mauro Rodriguez
Fr. Alfred Bortolini Fr. Joseph Tyminski
Fr. Alfred Cogliandro Fr. Joseph Zavattaro
Fr. William Diebold
Sub-commission B. Formation and the Vows
Fr. Ernest Alvarez Fr. John Murphy
Fr. Amatore Anjos Fr. Michael Obando
Fr. Peter Brocardo Fr. Eugene Pennati
Fr. Vincent Garnero Fr. Andrew Rubip
Fr. Aloysius Gonzalez Fr. Isidore Segarra
Fr. Leonard Jacuzzi
Sub-commission C. Houses of Formation
Fr. Calogero Conti Fr. Hermengil Murtas
Fr. Aloysius Di Fiore Fr. Benedict Nunes
Fr. Aloysius Forero Fr. Emil Phalippou
Fr. John Glomba Fr. Roger Van Severen
Fr. Emil Hernandez Fr. Nicholas Zubovic
Fr. Adolph L´Arco
Seventh Commission: Constitutions & Regulations, Missions.
V. Rev. Fr. MODESTO BELUDO
Experts: FR. CAJETANBRUNO
Sub-commission A. Constitutions and Regulations
Fr, Williarn Ainsworth Fr. Francis Laconi
Fr, Robert Aramayo Fr, Albert Lopez
Fr. Angelo Bianco Fr, Francis Sanchez
Fr. Maximilian Francoy Fr. Giles Viganb
Sub-commission B, Missions
Fr. Charles Braga Fr. Remo Morra
Fr. Aloysius Carollo Fr. Joseph Peerlinck
Fr. John Dalkmann Fr. Vincent Scuderi
Fr. Michael Ghigo Fr. Bernard Tahiti
Fr. Peter Jellici
Introduction by the Rector Major. 1. The Salesian at the centre
of it all. -- 2. The Congregation at the turn of the road.
3. Rendering alive the principles and rules. 4. Responsibility of superiors. - 5. Reorganization of our Work. 6. Our activities need first things first. -- 7. Conclusion:
Go Forward! 3
The Structure of the Congregation. General Introduction. 17
Chapter 1. THE GENERAI. CHAPTER. Deliberations. 1. Differ
ence between norms and counsels. 2. The Rector Magnificus of the Pontifical Salesian Athenaeum and the General Chapter. - 3. Time and manner of the Elections.
4. Secrecy. 18
Chapter 2. THE PROVINCIAL CHAPTER. Deliberations. 20
Chapter 3, THE SUPERIOR COUNCIL, Preliminary. Delib
erations: 1, General structure of the Superior Council. - 2. Duties of members of the Superior Council. - 3. Further explanations concerning the Consultors in charge of groups
of Provinces. - 4. Acts of the Superior Council. 21
Chapter 4, THE PROVINCES. Preliminary. Deliberations:
I. Size of Provinces. -- 2. Provincial Conferences. - 3. The Provincial Council. --- 4. Provincial Delegates. 5. Teams
of experts . - 6. Particular considerations. 27
Chapter 5. THE HOUSES. Preliminary. Deliberations : 1. The Rector. - 2. Preparation of Rectors and their `aggiorna,nento´, -- 3. The house Council. --- 4. The Prefect or ViceRector. 5. The Catechist. - - 6. The Consultor of studies. Prefect of studies. - 7. The President - Headmaster. ---- 8. Coadjutors in the structure of the Congregation. - - 9. Co-responsibility and collaboration of all confreres of the
Chapter 6. CONTROL AND DEVELOPMENT OF OUR WORK.
1. Qualifications of personnel and consolidation of works.
2. Programme for the re-drafting of our work. - 3. Simplification of Houses which are too large. -- 4. Elimination
of works which are too small. 43
Appendix. Varia: 1. Clerical habit. - 2. Collections -
3. Reading at table for confreres. - 4. Reading for
the pupils. 5. Mortuary Letters. - 6. Smoking. 46
The Apostolate for Vocations. Deliberations. 48
Houses for Aspirants. Preliminary. - Orientation. 51
Formation of Personnel.
Chapter 1. THE NOVITIATE. Preliminary. Deliberations. Recommendations. 54
Chapter 2. THE STUDENTATE OF PHILOSOPHY. Preliminary.
Proposals of the Commission. - - Recommendations. 56
Chapter 3. THE PERIOD OF PRACTICAL TRAINING. Prelimin
ary. Deliberations. 58 Chapter 4. STUDENTATE OF THEOLOGY. Preliminary. -- Pro
posals of the Commission. 61
Chapter 5. THE PASTORAL COURSE. Preliminary. - Pro
posals of the Commission. Recommendations. 62
The Salesian Coadjutor.
Chapter 1. THE NATURE OF THE COADJUTORSHIP, Foreword
a) An essential part of the Salesian Society; h) The Coadjutor answers need of Church; e) The position of the Coadjutor: juridically, educationally, pastorally, doctrin -
ally. - Deliberations. 65
Chapter 2. FURTHERANCE OF COADJUTOR VOCATIONS. 70
Chapter 3, THE FORMATION OF COADJUTORS. Its character
COURSE OF FORMATION 1. The periods of form
ation. 2. Aspirantate. - 3. Novitiate. - 4. Post-novitiate training. 5. Tirocinium. -- 6 Higher Qualification. - Study referred to Provincial Conferences
Our Religious Life Today. Preliminary. 76
Chapter 1. Necessity of a more personal convnatment. Principles. --
Chapter 2, Discovery of fresh riches in our Religious Life. Principles, Value for the individual person -- Value for the community - Value for the apostolate. Summary. Deliberations. 78
Chapter 3. Study of some aspects of our Poverty. Principles. Deliberations. 81
Chapter 4. Study of some aspects of our Chastity. Principles. Deliberations. 83
Chapter 5. Study of some aspects of our Obedience. Prin
ciples. - Deliberations. 85
Chapter 6. Study of some aspects of our Community Life. Principles. - Deliberations. 87
Chapter 7. Conclusion -- Unity and Fidelity. Principles. Deliberations. Recommendations. 89
Liturgical Life and the Life of Piety. Preliminary. Deliberations. Special practices for the Houses of Formation.
Spiritual Directions of the Confreres. Principles. 1. The Salesian Rector a) Superior of the House; b) Prefect or Magister Spiritus for all those in formation; c) Spiritual father or director of conscience for confreres. Elements of doctrinal justification a) in foro externo; bl in faro interno. 95
Chapter 1, General Observations. Resolutions. 101
Chapter 2. Schools. Preliminary. Deliberations, -Board
ing schools. Preliminary. -- Deliberations. -- - Semi-Board
ing and Day schools. --- Preliminary. Deliberations. 104
Chapter 3. Hostels. Preliminary. -- Deliberations. 109
Chapter 1. The care for the young worker in the light of
the life of St. John Bosco_ the teaching of the Church, and the needs of the modern world. The Oratory. Hostels for young workers. Christian and technical preparation for life. The Church, upholder of the people and the worker. The present-day education of the worker.
Chapter 2. The education of the young worker in the Salesian Society today. The Salesian education of the worker and the demands of contemporary society Problems of adaptation to the times and peoples. New Trades. Vast and complex works. Opening of new schools, --- Norms put forward confined to general principles. -- Statistical services. - Preparation of confreres, clerical and lay. - Rules for non-Salesian lay staff. - Suggestions relating to pedagogy and didactics: a) Service for Scholastic and Vocational Guidance: b) International study of Industrial Methodology for the learning of a trade; ci Further Education of the Young Worker. Utilisation of the available documentation.
Chapter 3. Proposed Deliberations. Commission for the education of the young worker, -- Pedagogical and didactic aims. - The Principal - The President -- The Head of Department. Administrative tasks. Outline of the head of Department and his functions. The Coordinator. - Conclusion. 125
Parishes and Oratories.
Chapter 1. Parishes. Preliminary. Deliberations. 130
Chapter 2. Oratories (Youth Centres). Preliminary. - clarification limitation: Reason for this a) Causes in the sociological order (external); b) Internal causes.
Other Forms of Social Apostolate.
Chapter 1. General Norms. Preliminary. - Deliberations. 141
Chapter 2. Catechizing Adults. Preliminary. - Deliber
ations. Recommendations. 144
Chapter 3. The Family Apostolate. Preliminary. De
liberations. Recommendations. 147
Chapter 4. The Apostolate to Non-Salesian Teachers. Preliminary. Deliberations. 149
Chapter 5. The Apostolate to the Workers. Preliminary. Deliberations. Recommendations. 151
Salesian Co-operators. Preliminary.
Orientation. 1. Understanding and Sutdy. - 2. Personnel.
3. Organization in every house. The goal of our educative work. -- The people best qualified to become Co-operators.
The title of the Union. 154
The Past Pupils. Preliminary.
The special end and activity of the movement. - Organization of the movement. 160
Assistance to the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.
Declarations. Recommendations. 164 Retreat Houses. Preliminary. Deliberations. 168 Means of Social Communication. Preliminary.
Chapter 1. For the means of social communication in general. Directives. 170
Chapter 2, The indiridual means of social communication.
The Press; Theatre and Cinema; Radio and Television. 172
The Missions. Preliminary. Deliberations. Orientation, 178 The Formation
of the Young.
Chapter 1. Some guiding principles for our mission as educators today. The aims of Salesian Education. - The characteristics and needs of modern youth. Understanding and respecting the young - A keen sense of liberty. -- A keen social sense. -- A keen sense of belonging to the modern world, -- The presence of sin and symptoms of weakness, Appropriate action. The position and tasks of the Salesian educator, The Salesians. Non-Salesian helpers.
The Church, 182
Chapter 2. Catechetics. 187
Chapter 3. Piety and the Liturgical life. 1. Daily Mass.
2. Days of Obligation. - 3. Daily Prayers. 4. Monthly day of Recollection. - -- 5. Retreats, - 6. The Liturgical Commission. 188
Chapter 4. The spiritual direction of the young. 192
Chapter 5. Education for love and purity. General lines to
he followed in educating to Christian Love. Directives for the guidance of the young: a) Education of the affections;
h) Education for purity. 194
Chapter 6. Free time and the Holidays. 198
Chapter 7. Salesian Associations for youth and the apostolate of the laity. 200
Chapter 8. Centres and aids for formation. 201
Regulations for the General Chapter. Presentation. 202 Chapter 1. The General Chapter and its convocation. 203 Chapter 2. Members of the General Chapter. 205 Chapter 3. Opening of the General Chapter. 206 Chapter 4. Norms for the discussions. 209
Chapter 5. The elections that take place at the General Chapter. 211
Chapter 6. The closing of the General Chapter. 217 Modifications to the Constitutions.
1. Definitive substantial modifications. 221 2. Modifications "ad experimentum". 227 3. Emendations or Juridical Aggiornamento. 228
4. Purely formal emendations. 232 i. Note - concerning proposals not approved by Sacred
Regulations of the Salesian Society. Modifications. 237
1. Discourse of the Rector Major to His Holiness Pope Paul
VI. during the Audience given to the members of the 19th General Chapter. 293
2. The discourse of His Holiness Pope Paul VI to the members
of the 19th General Chapter of the Society of St. Francis
of Sales. 295
3. Address of His Eminence Cardinal Antoniutti, Prefect of
the S.C. of Religious - to members of the Salesian General Chapter. 301
4. Some Messages of encouragement received by the 19th General Chapter. 309
5. Interventions of the Superior General at the 19th General Chapter 1. The election of the Superior General. 2. Exhortation to members of the Chapter. 3. Structures.4. The Provincial Council. -- 5. Re-shaping of our work. -6. Aspirantates. -- 7. Coadjutors. -- 8. Meditation. -- 9. Quarterly Retreat. 10. Spiritual E.cercises. 11. Spiritual Direction. - 12. Reading at table. --- 13. Smoking. 14. Formation of Youth. 15. Schools, 16. Professional School 17. Day schools and semi-hoarding schools. 18, Hostels. 19. Parishes. - - -20. Oratories. 21. Apostolate apart from Youth. -- 22, Co-operators. 23. Auxiliaries of Don Bosco. - 24. Dedicated laymen. 25. Instruments of social communication. -- 26. Daily Mass.27. Various Matters. 28. Concluding discourse. 312
6, Message from the members of the 19th General Chapter to
all Members of the Salesian Congregation. 342
7. Chronicle of the 19th General Chapter. 347
8. List of members of the 19th General Chapter. 355
9. Commissions and sub-commissions of the 19th General Chapter. 360
GENERAL INDEX. 365