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(ANS – Gressier) – Last Saturday, May 19, in Gressier, the closing ceremony of the celebrations for 75 years of the presence of the Salesians of Don Bosco in Haiti was held. The Vicar General, Fr. Adriano Bregolin, was present.
About 3,000 people took part in the ceremony, coming from the various houses and regions where the Sons of Don Bosco are present. Opening the proceedings, Fr. Sylvain Ducange, Superior of the “Blessed Philip Rinaldi” Vice-Province of Haiti, welcomed the Vicar of the Rector Major and then the other personalities present: Fr. Agustin Pacheco, from the Mission Office of Madrid, Fr. Juan Linarès, former Provincial of the Antilles and various friends and benefactors of the Dominican Republic.
In his homily, Fr. Bregolin expressed his joy at being with the Salesians of Haiti to celebrate the 75 years of presence. He spoke to the young people about three values to follow: life, education and faith.
“Life – he said – is not limited to the gift received at birth and consumed in the natural cycle, it is a dream to be fulfilled, an ideal to follow, a vocation and mission to be accomplished.” In the same way, education is not just the scholastic experience, but all that that is implied by human growth and the development of true values. Finally, faith, should be understood as a fundamental virtue for man on earth. Quoting the Gospel Fr. Brigolin said: “What profit does a man show who gains the whole world and destroys himself in the process? (Mk, 8, 36).
Speaking to the Salesians, Fr. Bregolin exhorted them not to forget the attitudes in keeping with their charismatic calling: cultivation of a thankful heart; consciousness of the mission they are called to, and attention to discern the signs of the times.
In the afternoon the youngsters of Thorland performed their musical on Don Bosco “The life of Don Bosco in song and music”; then it was the turn of the small children from “Lakay” (street children’s centre) with their drums to delight the people present.
Still in connection with the closing ceremonies for the anniversary, yesterday, Sunday May 20, a solemn Mass was celebrated, at the Salesian Centre of Pétion-Ville, in which many representatives of the whole Salesian Family took part.
The Salesians arrived in Haiti on May 28 1936 with an expedition led by Fr. Pierre Gimbert. Severely tried by the earthquake of January 2010, the Sons of Don Bosco are committing themselves, through education and re-evangelization, to rebuild not only their centres but especially the social framework of Haiti.