Thursday, May 1, 2008

Director's Meeting in Quito

This past week I was able to go to a Director's meeting in Quito, Ecuador! The picture above is Fr. Tim Zak from St. John Bosco Parish in Chicago, Fr. Santa-Bibiana from Belle Glade, Florida and myself as we prepared to celebrate the liturgy. We shared the week with 25 other Salesians from 9 different countries from our region. Our region includes Salesian provinces from Canada to Peru. The week was a great blessing as we heard talks on the role of the Salesian Director in the community. A special emphasis was given to Don Bosco and Jesus, the Good Shepherd as role models for the Salesian Director to follow. We had lot's of opportunities to share our experiences and our hopes with Directors involved in similar works. The week was a beautiful example of the rich cultural diversity of our Provinces and our region! Don Bosco is alive and well and his charism is being shared with young people all over the world! We are so blessed to be Salesians! Below are some other photo's of the week!

Fr. Santa and I at the Equator!

Fr. Tim and I along with some our Salesian friends from Venezuela in front of Cotopaxi Volcano. We made it to the base of the snow at 15,800 feet! Cotopaxi mountain is Ecuador’s highest active volcano - as well as being one of the most active volcanoes anywhere in Ecuador. It has a perfectly symmetrical shape and is just beautiful to see close up. On a clear day you could see the volcano from the Salesian Center in downtown Quito. The last really big eruption was in 1906 and the last minor eruption was in 1976. Thankfully there were no eruptions while we were there!

Up on the side of Cotopaxi I was really moved to just pray for my family, my community and the Salesian congregation! Being there was really like an invitation to pray. I couldn't help but think of Moses on the Mountain and his encounter with God! There was something so beautiful about it that it put you right away into contact with God!


Miss Meg said...

Padre Steve--
Would you explain the charism and mission of the Salesians of St. Don Bosco to me? I am not familiar with the order. I've been exposed much more to Franciscans, Dominicans and Jesuits (the GOOD ones!). I am always curious about the the various orders and their particular charism.
Thanks for answering God's call to the priesthood!

Padre Steve said...

Well the charism of the Salesians of Don Bosco is completely focused on the young and the poor. We follow the charism and spirit of St. John Bosco who Pope John Paul II called the "Father and Teacher of the Young!" We work in schools, parishes, oratories, social communications and trade schools. Basically we are found anyplace where there are young people to educate to the faith. While we put education to the faith as our top priority, we are not exclusively a "teaching order" as some might call us. We might educate in a playground or youth center as easily as in a classroom. You might want to just read something on St. John Bosco. He was such a lovable and charismatic saint! The Salesians aren't so well known in this country, but we are actually the second largest order in the world! I think we have about 16,000 worldwide. We are strongest in many of the more missionary countries (and, of course, Philippines, Poland, Italy, India and Brazil). We have gotten a lot of press lately due to Cardinal Bertone. He is the Secretary of State at the Vatican and he is a Salesian! Rocco at Whispers in the Loggia calls him the Vice-Pope which I think is pretty funny! I hope that was a help! God bless you! Padre Steve