Thursday, August 27, 2009

Another Salesian Saint?

The Following comes from the Salesian News Agency:

Father René-Marie Picron could be the next Salesian to be proposed as a Servant of God. In the view of the postulator general, Fr. Picron is the person in Salesian Africa today who has enjoyed the greatest reputation for holiness.

This appeal to Salesian holiness in Africa is more relevant than ever due to providential circumstances: the second extraordinary assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Church in Africa (October 2009); the 150th anniversary of the founding of our Congregation and the special year dedicated to the memory of Blessed Michael Rua; fervent prepara-tions for the second centennial of Don Bosco’s birth; the pilgrimage of the saint’s relics; and the centennial of the arrival of Salesians in Africa (2011).

Father Picron was above all a great missionary. He completed his studies in the Salesian school in Ixelles-Liege, entered the Congregation, and made his first vows on August 29, 1924. In 1933 he was ordained a priest at Grand-Halleux, Belgium. He left immediately for the Congo. He was pastor at Kafubu, a few miles from Lubumbashi. He was the delegation superior for Congo, then provincial in Belgium from 1952 to 1959, when North and South Belgium, Congo, Rwanda, and Burundi made up a single Salesian province. It was Father Picron who energetically fostered the religious independence of the Congo.

So when the Central Africa Province was created in 1959, he made himself available for this province. Over ten years he was director, master of novices, teacher, confessor, spiritual director, province delegate for the past pupils, music teacher, and animator of various mission activities. When his health began to decline in 1972, he retired to the formation House in Butare, Rwanda, where he continued his special service as confessor and spiritual director until he died. His body lies in the gardens at the novitiate in Butare.

It will be up to the provincial, Fr. Gabriel Ngendakuriyo, to carry out preliminary investigations, and if these are convinc-ing, to present the Rector Major with a formal request for introducing the cause.

No comments: