Peru – "Welcome, don Ángel!" Beginning of Rector Major’s Animation Visit to "Santa Rosa" Province

14 February 2023

(ANS - Lima) – Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major of the Salesians of Don Bosco, arrived in Peru from Italy on Monday, February 13, at 7:05 p.m. local time. The 10th Successor of Don Bosco was welcomed by the Provincial Superior of the "Santa Rosa" Province of Peru (PER), Fr. Manuel Cayo, SDB, and by Fr. Juan Pablo Alcas, who will be installed as Superior of the same Province precisely on the occasion of the Rector Major's visit. As soon as he set foot on Peruvian soil, the first words spoken by the Rector Major were, "Every time I come here, I feel at home."

Fr. Á.F. Artime was then pleasantly surprised when he arrived at the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Lima and was warmly welcomed by a group of young people, members of the Salesian Family and some of his Salesian confreres who had come to Lima from various parts of the country specifically to meet him. On that occasion, the youth of the Youth Center of the Breña neighborhood work sang "don Ángel, amigo, ya eres peruano" (don Ángel, friend, you are already Peruvian) over and over again, an attestation of esteem and affection to which the 10th Successor of Don Bosco responded with gestures of affection and closeness.

Before concluding this fraternal meeting, the Rector Major addressed those present with these words, "I’m very happy to meet with the Salesian Family, with the Salesian Youth Movement, with the missionary presences in Amazonia." Then, aware that the country’s current political and social situation is complicated, he added, "We have prayed a lot for you, for the Peruvian people, for peace in Peru."

Subsequently, he also said that "after nine years as Rector, I can assure you that our Salesian Family and the Salesian Congregation are more alive and fresher than ever. And this is thanks to all of you!"

The evening ended with the blessing of Mary Help of Christians, and in an atmosphere of joy and sharing, he promised to take many photos with all the young people.

Partly because of the current social and political difficulties that the country is going through, the Rector Major's visit to Peru is a much-awaited event for the entire local Salesian Family, which expects encouragement and guidance from the presence of the Tenth Successor of Don Bosco.

For his part, Fr. Á.F. Artime also showed himself especially attentive and paternal to the people of Peru from the beginning, and already a few days prior to his trip he had expressed the following message via video: "I greet you with great affection, dear Salesian confreres in Peru, dear Salesian Family, dear young people. I greet you from Valdocco, where the memory of our father, Don Bosco, stands. I would like to tell you that it is with great pleasure that I come to meet you. I come with my heart ready to share, to listen, and to be together. I send you my embrace and my prayer. And I promise you that I will offer our meeting to the Help of Christians and our dear Don Bosco."


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