|RMG – The Feast of Don Bosco and of his successor|
|RMG – The Feast of the successor of Don Bosco in 2012|
(ANS – Rome) – On the day on which the Congregation and the Salesian Family gather round the Rector Major witnessing to their unity in the charism and in fidelity to the mission, Fr Chávez, referring to the prophetic figure of St John the Baptist appealed to the Salesians to make their own the theme of the 27th General Chapter, and be witnesses to the radical approach of the Gospel.
It was precisely the Mass which was at the heart of the day. Among those present in addition to the members of the Generalate community as some from Germany, were the Provincials from Poland and East Europe, the Delegate for the Ukraine Rino Pistellato, Fr Joaquim D’Souza and Fr Carlo Nanni respectively the Superior of the Vice Province and Rector Magnificus of the Salesian Pontifical University, Mother Yvonne Reungoat, Superior of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and some of her General Council.
“Thank you for loving Don Bosco as you do” – the Vicar of the Rector Major Fr Adriano Bregolin, said introducing the celebration. “In these ten years as Rector Major in many ways and always with great conviction you have urged us to look to Don Bosco, to know him, to pray to him, to imitate him. We feel that you carry him in your heart. You make him present to all of us very well.”
In his homily Fr Chávez re-echoed the appeal for witness to the radical approach of the gospel. The figure of John the Baptist was offered as the model for the Salesians to meditate on in their duty to prepare the coming of the Lord among the young and in history. “It is a duty for every believer, but in a particular way for all those like us who have made profession to be, as was the Baptist witnesses to the presence of Jesus among us. To let him grow and ourselves diminish. To prepare means more than to proclaim. It means putting oneself at the service of Jesus and of his plan of salvation not only in words but in the whole of life. This is precisely the aim of the GC27.”
Every Salesian is invited to open himself to the Spirit, to give a new face to Salesian Life. “This will never cease to be a life of following and imitating the Lord Jesus, never cease to be based on conforming oneself to Christ obedient, poor and chaste, never cease to be the expression of the seed of the new humanity redeemed and arising from the death and resurrection of the Lord, never cease to be incarnated in the world, especially among the poor and those in need.”
“Religious Life in general and Salesian Life in particular has always needed to return to what is more essential, freeing itself from so many forms and structures which reduce its vitality and credibility and make it less attractive; to focus on the Word listened to and proclaimed without compromise and without remaining on the threshold of the Gospel; to recover the attraction and the freshness of the origins, those which made it innovative and fruitful; to be always more, life, more religious and more Salesian in order to escape from the cage of ‘spiritual worldliness’, which under the appearance of good, places us and not God at the centre of our lives and what we do. It is from this point of view that the figure of John the Baptist is enlightening and encouraging. Yes, nowadays, the Church needs prophecy and this has always been linked to the religious life, raised up by God to show the radical approach of the Gospel, its counter-cultural nature, the novelty of God.”
In the afternoon the Rector Major attended a concert by the young seventeen year old Stefano Mhanna who performed pieces by Bach and Paganini playing alternately on the piano and the violin.