(ANS – Rome) – On Tuesday 19 June there was the publication of n. 58 of the “Ricerche Storiche Salesiane” (RSS), the six-monthly magazine of the Salesian Historical Institute (ISS).
“After the first thirty years,” writes Fr José Manuel Prellezo, the new Director of the ISS –“in view of the bicentenary of the birth of Don Bosco, the Rector Major, Fr Pascual Chávez, has indicated ‘some tasks to which the Historical Institute needs to give priority in these years 2012-2015.’” Among these there is an appropriate programme of research and special attention being given to the RSS.
In the “Studi” section of the magazine there are two contributions. The first is the “’Vade mecum’ of Fr Giulio Barberis: points examined and an overall view” by Fr Mario Fissore, who studies and compares the first two editions of this document (1901; 1906) identifying the sources, highlighting the criteria followed in the selection, organisation and drawing up of the material, and finally presenting the spiritual and ascetical elements characteristic of the Salesian identity. Particular attention is given to the topic of humility and to the edifying value of the memories of deceased confreres.
The second contribution is that of Fr Bruno Bordignon entitled “Salesians as religious-educators. Positions and roles within the Salesian community”. In this issue the first part is published: “Documentation, organisation and government in a Salesian house”, which in the central section analyses some still unpublished manuscript texts, which were used in preparing the printed text of the “Regulations for the houses of the Society of St. Francis of Sales (1877)” and its sources.
In the “Fonti” section there is the first part of the critical edition of the “Unpublished Circular Letters of Don Michael Rua. 1) Prefect General of the Salesian Society (1878-1884)” edited by Fr Prellezo. Under consideration are the monthly circular letters written prior to 1887, by Don Rua as Prefect General; as well as personal circular letters sent to members of the Salesian Society with particular responsibilities in the internal government of the Congregation, between 1878 and 1907. In practical terms the study provides readers with the critical text of personal circulars as yet unpublished by Don Rua.
Also included in the RSS n. 58 are: a Note by Fr Juan Bottasso on “The Salesians and the Shuar (Jívaros) language”; some book reviews and a news item on the newly restructured ISS, “Appointments and roles in the Salesian Historical Institute”, by the Secretary of the ISS, Fr Stanislaw Zimniak.
As planned, Number 59 of the RSS should appear by December 2012. In addition the ISS is working on the project of “the publication of a collection of the main Salesian sources,” requested by the General Chapter of 2008 and has begun a series of research items especially for the celebration of the Bicentenary of the birth of Don Bosco.