(ANS – Colle Don Bosco) – On Saturday, 24 September at Colle Don Bosco Harambée 2011 was attended by 400 young people, Salesian, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, enthusiastic about the missions, and with them the members of the 142nd Salesian Missionary Expedition.
Early in the afternoon they were welcomed by the Leaders of the Missionary Groups of the Piedmont and Val d’Aosta Circumscription and from Lithuania in the courtyard of the Institute filled with stands, games, music and dancing.
The young people from the Province of Sicily led the prayer in the Basilica of the Colle during which the beauty of the various continents was presented- a reminder of Don Bosco: “Whenever he glanced at a world map he would heave a deep sigh and seeing so many regions still lying in the shadow of spiritual death he would eagerly long for the day he would carry the light of the Gospel to places not opened up by missionaries.” (BM III, 383).
Then in the theatre each Provincial Group from Italy gave a presentation with stories, photos and videos of the missionary experiences they had had during the summer accompanied by SDB and FMA: in Italy, Africa, South America, Russia and Eastern Europe and the treasured memories they had brought home.
To give everyone a chance to listen and to speak small groups were formed and they described their experiences and their dreams of being called to be “salt of the earth and light to the world” and to being involved in safeguarding human rights.
In the evening there were games and group dances learned by the youngsters in their missionary travels. Mother Yvonne Reungoat, Superior General of the FMA stayed with the young people and with them said the travelling missionary Rosary. At each station there was a short moment of silence and an account of missionary life.
At the end of the Rosary, in the Basilica, the Mother General gave the traditional Good Night encouraging everyone to live with hope and courage their own missionary vocation: each young lay person, each Salesian, each FMA, united together are a “force for God.”
The first day of the weekend prior to the meeting with the Rector Major at Valdocco and Mass, with the distribution of the crucifixes, ended with a firework display lighting up the sky of Colle Don Bosco.