|RMG – The work of the 4th World Congress of the Salesian Cooperators on the way|
|RMG – World Congress of Past Pupils of Don Bosco|
(ANS – Turin) – The World Congress of Past Pupils of Don Bosco has opened. Over 280 Past Pupils and Salesians from all over the world are present.
On April 26, the day of arrival, the first informal activities of the Congress took place. In the evening there was a guided visit to Don Bosco’s rooms, where the vice-Provincial of the Province of Piedmont and Valle d’Aosta (ICP), Fr. Valerio Carlìn, gave a brief greeting in the style of the traditional Salesian Good Night. The World President, Dr. Francesco Muceo, presented the various World Delegations: Italy, Germany, France, Slovakia, Malta, Portugal, Spain, South Belgium, Congo, Philippines, Argentina, Brasil, Guatemala, Ecuador, Domenican Republic and Mexico. Some Delegations presented what has been done for the occasion of the Centenary of the Association in their own Provinces, Federations and Confederations.
Yesterday morning, April 27, the Congress was officially opened. The welcome greeting was given by the Rector Major of the Salesians, Fr. Pascual Chávez, the Provincial of ICP Fr. Stefano Martoglio, various authorities, among whom where the Hon. Buttiglione, Vice-President of the Chamber, the Hon. Roberto Cota, President of the Region of Piedmont, the Hon. Piero Fassino, Mayor Turin, Dr. Antonio Saitta, President of the Province of Turin, the Hon. Magdi Cristiano Allam, and Judge Giancarlo Caselli, and finally the World President f the Past Pupils, Francesco Muceo. Magdi Cristiano Allam stated that “to be a Past Pupil of Don Bosco means to have acquired those values which are inalienable and the knowledge of those rules which are the foundation of our humanity and which represent today the basis of civilized communal life.”
The address of prof. Fr. Cosimo Semeraro followed, entitled “Fr.Philip Ronaldi and the World Association of the Past Pupuils of Don Bosco”. The address recalled how Fr. Rinaldi had been the inspirer and organizer of the Past Pupils of Don Bosco, and also of the Past Pupils of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians. Fr. Semeraro stressed that “Fr. Rinaldi knew how to win people over, irradiating a holiness which reproduced the essential elements and characteristics of the holiness of Don Bosco: apostolic interior life, pastoral zeal, fatherly kindness. He brought the figure of the Father really to life before everybody, so as to be defined as his ‘ living image’, and as Fr. Francesia added ‘he only needed Don Bosco’s voice – he had all the rest’ “.
After an address from Schneider Electric, who contributed substantially to the setting up of the Congress, a Charter of Intention was signed between the firm and the Association of Past Pupils, the Region of Piedmont, the City of Turin and the Province of Turin.
Greetings from the Delegations and from the groups of the Salesian family present were resumed: the Salesian Cooperators, the Past Pupils of the FMA, the Volunteers with Don Bosco, the Community of the Mission of Don Bosco, the Presidencies of the OMEEC and of the UNAEC. The Delegations continued to present the activities carried out on the occasion of the Centenary.
Mons. Giovanni Brugnaro, Past Pupil and Archbishop of Camerino-San Severino Marche, gave a greeting as representative of the Past Pupil priests: “The Past Pupil who loves and works for mankind loves and works and works for God. We are called to make Don Bosco present in society bearing witness to the values of the Preventive System.”
In the afternoon a guided visit was made to the centre of Turin, in which the principal monuments were visited, in the first place the Cathedral and Piazza Castello.
In the evening Fr. Adriano Bregolin gave the traditional Good Night thought in the Church of St. Francis of Sales. The Prayer of the Past Pupil was said, in which, among other things the Past Pupils promise: “to commit ourselves to fight against injustice, blackmail, superficiality, indifference and to defend at all costs the values learnt from Don Bosco, with social, political and economic commitment; in a special way: life, freedom and truth.”