Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Meeting of Salesian Bishops and Cardinals Concludes

The following comes from the Salesian News Agency:

The last day of the meeting of the Salesian Bishops began with Mass in the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians at which Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga, archbishop of Tegucigalpa presided.

In introducing the celebration, Cardinal Rodríguez Maradiaga thanked the Rector Major and his Council for having had the idea for the meeting enabling the Salesian Bishops not only to meet each other but also to study some issues and to take part in various events such as the veneration of the Shroud, the celebration at Colle Don Bosco, and not least the Feast of Mary Help of Christians.

“Ordinary” time which in Catholic liturgy comes after Pentecost, is a time in which everyday actions, illuminated by the Spirit, ought to become extraordinary, was what Cardinal Rodríguez Maradiaga pointed out in his homily which was full of hope and enthusiasm. The grace of the meeting in Turin ought to help the Salesian Bishops as they return to their dioceses, to be like the disciples of Emmaus who communicate their beautiful and joyful experience.

At the end of the Mass the Salesian Bishops and Cardinals went to Don Bosco’s altar. Here Fr Pascual Chávez invited the Bishops to return to their own places with the pastoral heart of Don Bosco, who beyond his wildest dreams had become the Father of an immense family. The Rector Major made his own the three lessons of Don Bosco: believe in the young, offer them the precious gift of education and evangelisation and help them to experience the strength and the sweetness of the Preventive System. With emotion and with their eyes fixed on the casket of the saint of youth, they sang the hymn “Giù dai colli”.

The 24 May to which Cardinal Rodríguez Maradiaga referred did not have for them any specific appointment other than the general programme for the Feast of Mary Help of Christians. In the morning some Salesian Bishops concelebrated with Cardinal Severino Poletto, archbishop of Turin, and some with the Rector Major in the afternoon. In the evening they took part in the solemn procession of Mary Help of Christians. Over 20 thousand of the faithful also took part in the procession and a large number assisted at the Masses celebrated during the day.

At the end of the Mass gathered in the Sangalli Hall the Bishops considered the fifth topic: “Areas for a better form of communication between Salesian Bishops and the Congregation.” Speaking on this question were Bishop Tarcisio Scaramussa auxiliary bishop of San Paolo, Brazil, Bishop Patricio A. Buzon of Kabankalan, in the Philippines and Archbishop Tito Solari Cochabamba, in Bolivia. A short discussion followed which also dealt with some youth and social issues. It was clear that the Bishops see and are carrying out their pastoral ministry with dedication and in a Salesian spirit; concern for the situation of the young emerged to a considerable extent.

At the end of the meeting the Rector Major spoke. “It has been a time for the Congregation, of fraternity and for ongoing formation.” Valdocco and what it has to say, the shared experiences of the four days lived with simplicity and intensity, the celebration and other events created an opportunity to get to know each other and of spiritual refreshment. Memorable were the experience of visiting the Shroud, of celebrating Pentecost and the Feast of Mary Help of Christians.

The texts of the various talks and of some of the homilies are available on sdb.org.

On ANSchannel there is a video summarising the final day as well as of the others for the meeting of the Salesian Bishops.

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