I am again posting the missionary animation newsletter with a considerable delay. I am now giving up sending a
regular monthly sharing because of various activities, but I want to send something whenever I see something
valuable to be communicated. Please, accept my request for forgiveness!
Last March I published a comment from Fr. Cyril regarding a document named “Missionary Formation of the
Salesians of Don Bosco”. It was a document issued last January by the Counsellors of Missions and Formation
together which you can find at
/en/Departments/Missions/Documents. In March Fr. Cyril’s comment was mainly on the
first phases of formation while now he addresses the confreres in ongoing formation. A personal and deep insight
which is worthy reading attentively.
I am again reminding the important event of the annual Salesian Mission Day. You can read in the article some
important features to be highlighted that day and the remote preparation preceding it.
May God bless you and the Love of Jesus replenishes your heart!
Two popular models of looking at life are
either as a step or as process.
When we look at our vocation history as a
step we count the years and the journey is
always upward: years spent as aspirants, in
the pre novitiate, in the novitiate, in the post
novitiate and specialisation as priests
(theology) or brothers. We also remember the
date, the location, the language of study and
more recently, the kind of phones or
computers we were using at that time.
When we look at our vocation history as a
process, we remember how we felt during
moments of adoration, praying the rosary, the
experience in the football field or basket ball
court, the number of times we went for
confessions and what happened, the
resolutions we made, news that we got from
friends and relatives who died or got married
or left the congregation. We also remember
the ‘secrets’ and uncompleted business in our
hearts, situation our biological families, the
youth groups and influences of the new media
in our daily use of time.
For the first model (steps), it is just a
continuation of our primary school
experience, with the ‘report cards’ and marks
with different colours and signatures and
school stamp. The conclusion of the
secondary school is the same: a long waiting
for the ‘great secondary school leaving
certificate’. The similarity is very easy to see.
The professions, renewals, ordinations and
final professions all follow the same pattern.
In the second model (process), there is a slight
difference as there is no card, or certificate or
The quality and
depth of the
the daily psalms
and the reading of
during the mass,
the show of
in the house with people. The understanding
of patience, the increase in the taste for
quality and clarity of virtue, have no
certificates and stamps. However, it can make
one to be better loved (studia di farti amare-
behind the salesian cross) and more effective
in witnessing to Christ. It can also ‘reveal’
what can be ignored and what should be made
a priority in the vicissitudes of life especially
with evil in society coming from the hearts of
Ongoing formation is more in the second
model of process
That is why this kind of formation has been
described as 1. A Natural Continuation: this means that there is no escape from it. We learn from life and it
would be foolish not to desire this natural continuation
2. Necessary Deepening: this presuppose that all the formal skills, attitudes and ‘stages’ lived
in ‘initial formation’ will not survive on their own if not ‘deepened’: they will die!
3. Within the community: the process is a huge task of the Rector with the house council to
‘design’ the lifestyle and daily rhythm of the community in such a way that each member is
‘helped’ to live in an environment of on-going formation
Attitudes to be fostered
Main attitudes Possibilities Remark
1. Desire to give one’s best
2. Interested in New contents and
3. Self assessment of one’s
Creating a support and ‘safe’
place where inner reflections
can be handled and respected.
Lay emphasis on ‘time’ for
reflection and analysis of the
Not to focus on knowledge or
past ‘experience’ but on the
‘significance of ones actions’
The readiness to learn again
what is commitment?
Main contents Possibilities Remark
1. Opportunities and possibilities
to take part in formation
2. Deeping reflections
3. Mission promotion
4. Service opportunities
This can be well done in
collaboration with people in the
same area of expertise or
interest. It’s a good ground to
interact with families and lay
Understanding the new trends
This should be scouted out for
and advertised as much as
The more options the better
Finding deeper meanings
Main experiences Possibilities Remark
1. looking into one’s life
2. moments of divine encounter
3. revisiting the awareness of the
‘call’ when it was first
4. work with a mission group
5. learn new methods of
A forum of different
experiences being shared.
Noticing how there is a variety
Looking at the cultures in the
Seeing the possibilities of
Issues of forgiveness ‘giving |
Issue of justice and protection
of the innocent and vulnerable
Issues of systematic evil trends
and selfishness in the world
Issues of global concern:
nature, conflict. Crime,
security, education, health,
Since 1988 a mission theme has been offered to the entire Congregation. All Salesian communities
are invited to get to know about a mission situation in a particular continent.
It is a powerful occasion for Mission Animation in Salesian communities at the local and Province
levels, youth Groups, in the Salesian Family. Is not an isolated event but rather a chance to involve
SDB communities and educative - pastoral communities in the dynamics of the universal Church,
strengthening a missionary culture.
There is no fixed date for SMD. Each Province can choose a date or time
best suited to its own calendar and rhythm of events. Some traditional
dates in the Provinces (near to the Feast of Don Bosco, or his birthday
in August, Lent, the Feast of the Holy Salesian Missionary Martyrs,
Luigi Versiglia and Callisto Caravario; the month of May; the
missionary month of October; or 11 November). It is above all important
to offer a educational – pastoral programme of several weeks – for
which Salesian Mission Day provides the culmination. SMD is an
expression of the missionary spirit of the whole Educative-Pastoral
Community kept alive throughout the years by various initiatives.
The Missions Department offers material for all the Salesian
communities: a Poster, printed materials, a DVD with short films on the
theme, a CD with the texts, photos in various languages, and other
digital material throughout the year, which can be down-loaded from
www.sdb.org (SMD 2013) and the video which is also available in You Tube. For further copies of
the material it is sufficient to write to the Missions Department (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Missionary prayer intention for the month of:
JUNE: Western Europe Region - Spain, Portugal, France - Belgium (South)
That during the year of Faith the confreres of the region of Western Europe, the most
vocationally arid of all 8 Salesian regions in the world, may continue to build a culture of
vocations with faith, enthusiasm and patience.
JULY: South Asia Region
That there may be an increase of missionary vocations ad gentes in the South Asian Region and
vocational perseverance among young confreres who are missionaries.