Friday, December 18, 2009
150TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE FOUNDATION OF THE SALESIAN CONGREGATION!
Today is the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Salesians! All of 2009 has been a year of special grace for us as we remember the 150 years of our congregation! Today Salesians all around the world renew their profession to live obedient, poor and chaste for the sake of the Kingdom of God and for the salvation of souls! The following are the words of our Rector Major, Fr. Pascual Chavez:
On the evening of 18 December 1859 at the Oratory of Saint Francis in Don Bosco’s room a group were gathered together, their intention “to promote and maintain the true charity that is needed in the work of the festive Oratories for youth abandoned and in danger”; as Fr Alasonatti writes in the minutes of this meeting. In the same minutes we then read: “The above mentioned participants decided therefore to band themselves into a Society or Congregation while, while aiming at the sanctification of each member by mutual assistance would strive to promote God’s glory and the salvation of souls, especially those in greater need of instruction and formation.”
1859 therefore is the year of the birth of our Congregation. So I want to propose to all the Confreres that we live 2009 as a year of grace, remembering where we come from, who we are, are where we are heading. With this celebration of our charismatic identity the pilgrimage of the casket of Don Bosco begins in all the Regions of our Congregation and in this way preparation starts for the bicentenary of his birth in 2015.
This event will be for all of us a spiritual and pastoral journey, that will begin with the Solemnity of Don Bosco on 31 January 2009, that will have as key moments the 24 June, his name-day, and the 16 August, his birthday, and will culminate on 18 December 2009 with the renewal of profession by all of us Salesians. We shall give special thanks to Mary on 25 May, the Solemnity of the Help of Christians. In this way we are given the opportunity to “start afresh from Don Bosco”, Founder of our Congregation, of the Salesian Family and of the vast Salesian Movement.
Please pray for us Salesians that we might remain close to the heart of the Don Bosco and close to the young people whom God has called us to serve!