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Taking part in the meeting were novices and formation personnel from the Salesian novitiates in Pinerolo and Genzano (Italy), Poprad, (Slovakia), Lyon-Fourvière (France) and Czerwińsk (Poland). Also present was the community of the postnovitiate of San Tarcisio in Rome. It was organised for the feast of Mary Help of Christians 24 May, an important day also in view of the 150th anniversary as the Rector Major pointed out in his letter.
“You are called to become like John Cagliero who faced with the prospect of giving his life to the Lord for the young said: ‘Monk or no monk I am staying with Don Bosco!’”, the Rector Major told them.
Underlining the importance of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Salesian Congregation, Fr Chávez referred to the 4 fundamental element mentioned in his last letter (ACG 404), which are at the basis of Don Bosco’s dream and apostolic plan.
As well as making the point that Salesians need to have special care for the young, those directly involved in the beginning and the development of the Congregation and for the Salesian Family, the Rector Major focused in particular on the consecration of the Salesian and on observance of the Constitutions.
“A Salesian is not a social worker nor a volunteer, but someone consecrated to God! He gives his whole life to the Lord,” Fr Chávez pointed out. “Don Bosco asked his young men to sanctify their lives; you do the same!”. Nowadays religious life is being called to give meaning to human life which has lost its fundamental values.
Study, meditation, putting into practice the Salesian Rule of Life written in the Constitution ought to be the constant and continuous activity of every Salesian. “On 18 December next we are all being called to renew our offering to the Lord, uniting ourselves in spirit to that first group of 18 young men who a few steps from here gave life to our Congregation. Dear young novices, you are the generation of 2009, the year of the 150th anniversary! Through the observance of the Constitutions be also like Michael Rua who knew how to incarnate to the full the spirit of Don Bosco”.
Before the end of the meeting the Rector Major greeted and thanked the Directors of Novices of the five novitiates present in the room: Fr Vladimir Fekete (Slovakia), Fr Daniel Féderspiel (France), Fr Adam Homoncik (Poland) Fr Carlo Maria Zanotti and Fr Angelo Santorsola (Italy).