Missionary Day Commemoration
11 October 2013
Hymn: How good it is to dwell (Pray Sing 14)
A very good evening to everyone gathered here! A fundamental requirement and a sure way of
fulfilling our Salesian vocation is the aspect of living and working together (Community life).
As religious we distinguish ourselves with the community life besides the evangelical counsels.
Moreover, a special and inevitable aspect of our Salesian life is the „family spirit.‟ This family
spirit brings lots of joy to our ascetical life (prayer and sacrifices), religious life (vows) and our
mission with the young (apostolate).
This aspect of living and working together is much more essential in our missionary life.
Today, as we commemorate the Salesian Mission Day, let us thank God for this wonderful gift of
community life and pray to God that drawing inspiration from the Holy Trinity, we may live
together in our own communities and evangelize the young through our joyful life together.
(Distribute papers cut in the shape of a heart and arrange for burning those papers).
God the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit live in ultimate unity. Psalm 133 says that it is
blessedness for brothers to live together. But many a time we have failed to cherish the
community life and accept others as they are. Let us now write in the heart-shaped paper the
moments when we judged others and did not accept others or let us write the names with whom
we find difficult to relate with genuine love. After a minute of silent prayer, let us come forward
and burn the hearts as a sign of offering our repented heart to God.
O Most Holy Trinity, the example of perfect unity, we beseech thee, as we celebrate the
mission day, to instill in us a heart that goes out in love for one another, correct each other, share
the joys and sufferings of one another and thus become good missionaries through our love for
one another. We make this prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Don Bosco Speaks
Our father and founder St. John Bosco is not only a writer, not only a pedagogue, not only a
miracle worker but above all he is a spiritual master. As we are in the year of Bosconian spirituality, let us listen to what he himself gave to the first missionaries who went to Patagonia.
On November 11 1875, the saint instructed them how to love each other and how they can
become effective missionaries. Today, he addresses us. Let us listen carefully to these practical
tips point by point.
“Love one another, advise one another, correct one another, and do not be carried away by
either envy or rancour. Let the good of one become the good of all, and let the troubles and
sufferings of one be regarded as the troubles and sufferings of all, and let each one strive to
banish or at least to mitigate the sorrows of others.”
Gospel Reading: Mt 18: 15 - 20
In the Gospel, the Lord is very clear that we never have a smooth sail in living together. He is
also very practical. After saying that we are sure to have difficulties in community life he gives
three steps. First, personally we confront the person. This implies that we have an urge not to
miss that relationship and that we are courageous enough to confront others face to face. Second
step comes only if you or he make something go wrong in the first step, then we get a few more
into this deal. Even then if there is some problem, then we take it to the Church.
The Lord as well as our spiritual master St. John Bosco tell us very clearly that we need to
practically and courageously deal with our relationships and that we make personal effort to keep
the bond of love strong through the grace of God. As we reflect today on the community life and
the family spirit, and our missionary life, we realize that it is very important that we live together
in love and happiness so as to be the signs and bearers of God‟s love to the young.
Let us thank God for the great gift of brothers to live with. In case of some struggles, let us begin
today to follow the commandment of God and the instruction of our father and founder St. John
Missionary for Imitation
Fr. Peter Maggioni
Fr. Peter Maggioni was born on 27 March 1909 at Legnanello (Italy), to Giuseppe and Carolina.
As a young lad, he attended the Salesian centre at Legnano and completed his high school
studies. Then, he took a diploma in architecture and worked for four years as a designer. He
was a dynamic leader in the Catholic Action Movement, serving as its Secretary, while Fr.
Egidio Sola, also from the same place, was its president. He was an active member of the parish and used to play the organ for the Church services. At the age of 20, he felt the call of God and
entered the missionary aspirantate of Ivrea. He made the novitiate at Villa Moglia and professed
on 14 September 1933. Soon he left for India and studied philosophy at Shillong. After his
practical training in the office of the Archbishop of Madras, he went to Bandel for theology and
completed it at Mawlai. He was ordained on 26 October 1940 at Shillong.
Back in Madras after his ordination, Fr. Peter served in various capacities at Wandiwash, Refuge
(Madras), Tirupattur, Dehra Dhun camp… At the end of 1945, he did the pioneering work at
Kotagiri to begin the philosophate there in 1946. From 1946 to 1970 he worked at St. Mary‟s
Co-Cathedral. For some years he was also the Chancellor of the Archdiocese and Director of the
Catholic Centre. He served on the archdiocesan Council for 25 long years. During his tenure at
St. Mary‟s, he renovated the Church, conducted the services with superb decorum and
punctuality and organized works of piety and charity.
In 1971, Fr. Maggioni was appointed administrator of the Rinaldi Juniorate. He spent the
remaining years at the provincial house, working tirelessly to raise funds to support the
numerous works of the province. Fr. Maggioni‟s architectural skill can be seen today in about 28
buildings dotting the province at Madras and Bangalore. He planned many buildings for the
Salesian Sisters too.
Fr. Maggioni who had defied doctors up to the age of 74 had a cerebral stroke in May 1983. He
spent nearly five months in Hospital utterly helpless and for the most part semiconscious or
unconscious. But on October 22 1983, he regained consciousness, thanked and blessed the sisters
and died peacefully.
1. Compassionate: Fr. Maggioni‟s charity was proverbial. He preferred to be cheated than
to run the risk of turning away someone who was in real need. He reached out to
hundreds of poor people with timely assistance.
2. Fun and Humour: He had a good collection of jokes and anecdotes to brighten up any
occasion, though no special occasion was needed for him to surprise everyone with a
side-splitter. He was quick to see the incongruencies of human life and knew how to
laugh at himself too.
3. Quick to Forgive and Apologize: While trying to live a life of fidelity and attachment
to the Congregation, characterized by a sense of duty and a spirit of relentless work, it
was not easy for him to adjust himself to changes. At times he would lose his temper. He
would say jokingly, “When God was distributing patience, I had gone for a walk, but he
gave me a double share of work.” He was quick to forgive and if he involuntarily hurt
anyone, he was quick to apologize. 4. Tireless Industry: Throughout the day he could be seen with piles of letters, writings,
stamping, classifying or he was seated at his outdated but complicated drawing board,
calculating, measuring, drawing or erasing with infinite patience.
Let us implore from God the spirit of love and of peace so that we may build up a true
Father, you have willed that living and working together should be a fundamental
need and a sure way for the realization of the Salesian vocation:
-help us to build up a community where mutual love leads to the sharing of
everything in true family spirit.
Calling us to live in community, you entrust us with brothers to love:
-grant us your spirit that, becoming one heart and one soul, we may be signs of
love and unity for the youth of our time.
Enlighten us so that, despite difficulties, we may daily discover the presence of
-make us open to fraternal correction, capable of offering affection, esteem and
encouragement to all.
O God, in the fullness of time, you reveled yourself to us as a communion of persons,
calling all of us to live as brothers. Grant us, as we celebrate the Salesian mission day, the grace
to become more missionary in living as messengers of fraternity. Through Christ our Lord.
Hymn: “To follow the Lord and find freedom” (Pray Sing 410).