How would you define your position with regard to the Rector Major?
We are always very close; when we are in Rome, our offices are nearly adjoining, I take care of his agenda, his program of interviews, audiences, talks with the Salesians; I try to help coordinate each trip and the communication with those who organize the program of each visit, except the one to Spain, where the Rector Major participates directly, since he plays “at home”. The image I could use is that “I have to participate in all feasts, because wherever the Rector Major goes on a visit, it is always a feast. But I am like the little donkey of Jesus in Jerusalem, that is at the centre of everything, but it is there as a little donkey””.
But we notice that Fr. Ángel has a great consideration for you, sometimes he calls you on the stage, he always mentions you with affection…
The Rector Major is always so kind to present me and to share the experiences of his trips in a plural way, because we live them in a plural way; in fact, after each trip, we share together our impressions; in this sense, I consider myself as a persons he trusts, a person with whom he can express in a more informal way what he has felt or thought at a certain moment, even if what he says in public is what he really feels. Besides, I can assure you that the encounter with the confrères is something very precious and very beautiful; he says that the encounter with a group of confrères by itself already justifies a trip.
Very often, after a visit, we look at each other and he tells me: “How beautiful it is to be Salesians!” Especially because of what we see, because of the witness of the confrères, for the work we see all over the world, in the Salesian mission, and especially with the Salesian mission incarnate in diverse cultures, all this makes us overcome the hardship of the trips and of the programmes.
Are you missing something of your previous Salesian life in this new phase of your life?
I certainly miss the direct contact with the youth, but I have an immense possibility of witnessing the service so many confrères and lay people render to the young of all the world through the Salesian charism.