|RMG – The Meridian of Colle Don Bosco|
|RMG – iBreviary can pray in ‘Salesian’|
|RMG – Bicentenary: logo and poster for the second year|
(ANS – Rome) – In a few days it will be 16th August, anniversary of the birth of Don Bosco and, as the Rector Major has announced, the changeover between the first and the second stage on our journey to become more familiar with the Saint of Youth. This changeover does not forget about the first stage, history, but launches us into the second, the pedagogy of Don Bosco. To help prepare ourselves for this day, ANS offers some starting points for reflection and indicates a few useful resources.
Don Chávez, in his letter of 31st January 2011 announcing the Bicentenary, describes the content of the second stage of the preparation process like this:
Don Bosco’s Pedagogy: 16 August 2012 – 15 August 2013
Some years ago I spoke about the importance of a deeper study of Don Bosco’s pedagogy; now this needs to become a programme to be put into practice in this second year of preparation for the celebration of the bicentenary. Then I wrote: “Nowadays a deeper understanding is needed of Salesian pedagogy. In other words we need to study and apply that updated preventive system desired by Fr Egidio Viganò… developing its great implicit principles, modernising concepts, guidelines and interpretations so as to express the basic ideas in a modern manner: the greater glory of God and the salvation of souls; living faith, firm hope and pastoral charity; the good Christian and upright citizen; the threefold ‘cheerfulness, study and prayer’; the three ‘S’ (in Italian): health, knowledge and holiness: piety, morality and culture; evangelisation and civilisation. “The same can be said of the great guidelines regarding attitudes: make yourself loved rather than feared; reason, religion, loving kindness; father, brother, friend; familiarity, especially in recreation; winning over the heart; the consecrated educator for the good of his pupils; freedom to run about, play and chatter.” (AGC 394 pp. 11-12).
The Strenna for 2013, ‘Like Don Bosco the educator, we offer young people the Gospel of joy through a pedagogy of kindness’, will help us to understand the theme of this second year. The explanation of the Strenna offers starting points for reflection and practical work for the various groups of the Salesian Family.
August 16th will be a feast day in many parts of the Salesian world. Several Provinces have planned events to mark the passage from the first to the second year.
On the birthday of Don Bosco the pilgrimage of the casket with the major relic of Don Bosco will arrive in Madagascar.
In the Basilica at Colle Don Bosco, birthplace of the saint, there will be an official celebration with a Eucharist at which the Rector Major, Don Pascual Chávez, will preside. Thanks to the production team of Don Bosco Missions, the Mass will be transmitted live at 11am (GMT+2) on the Telepace satellite channel, and in streamed video on www.missionidonbosco.tv. Watch out for the homily that the ninth successor of Don Bosco will preach for the occasion.
Various initiatives and resources have been produced for the entire Congregation:
A few weeks ago the second poster and Bicentenary logo were made available to provide a unified image for the preparation process.
The Prayer to Don Bosco, given in the letter of 31st January 2011, has also been chosen for the lead-up to GC27. In his letter convoking GC27, the Rector Major describes where it fits into the Salesian prayer timetable: “It is the evening prayer that corresponds to the morning prayer of entrustment to Mary Help of Christians.” (AGC 413). A video version of this prayer has recently been produced for downloading and using on portable devices.
The recent update of the iBreviary app, with Proper Salesian Liturgies, is available already for IOS devices in Italian, English and French, and will soon be available for devices using the Android platform.
In the E-SDB section of sdb.org there are also texts of the three biographies written by Don Bosco, Michael Magone, Dominic Savio and Francis Besucco, in Italian and English.