Peru – Renewing hope, encouraging integral education: Rector Major's visit to Daughters of Mary Help of Christians

21 February 2023

(ANS - Lima) - Before concluding his animation visit to Peru, the Rector Major, Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, met with the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of Peru on the morning of Monday, February 20, to celebrate the Eucharist with them. Then, at the "Santa Rosa" Provincial Headquarters of Peru (PER), in Lima, he received a visit from the Mayor of the District of Breña, Luis Felipe de la Mata Martínez, who, along with other authorities, spoke about the Salesians and their contribution to society, especially in his district. The Rector Major then closed his visit on a high note, meeting with some groups of the Salesian Family of Peru, in a moment of great joy, sincere reflection, and learning for all.

Especially significant was the Eucharist presided by the Rector Major for the FMA of Peru. In an atmosphere of great fraternity, referring to the readings proclaimed during the Mass, the 10th Successor of Don Bosco emphasized that "the whole history of salvation is a history of effort and weariness"; a journey, long and complex, with steps forward and steps backward, which contains a promise but which must confront a very harsh reality - made up of slavery, hunger, exile, war... "Yet the people of God go forward." Therefore, urged Fr. Á.F. Artime, even today "we must have hope because, as Isaiah states, it is God who continues to lead us."

The Rector Major then established a comparison between the situation of the people of Israel in the Old Testament and his audience, composed of FMA and a few Salesians: even consecrated persons today can face discouragement and pessimism, remembering when their congregations and religious life still flourished with vocations, while today they face numerous difficulties, much smaller numbers …

However, the Rector Major recalled a famous expression of his, uttered since the beginning of his rectorate: "Complaining is forbidden," because "the Lord is present among us, among His people."

The choice is therefore between "Living to survive, or living with hope: doing as the people of God, who, moved by faith, give the only possible and meaningful answer: reliance on God."

This does not exclude, indeed, expressly requires personal commitment: such as "having the human intelligence to do what needs to be done: for example, keeping the charism alive in Salesian works."

And then, besides not giving in to pessimism, "a human phenomenon, but one to be fought," Fr. Á.F. Artime invited everyone to have clear, open eyes, able to see the many miracles that God continues to perform. And he narrated an episode of a Salesian past pupil he met these days: rising early in the morning, he came to him only to say, "Thank you, Don Bosco saved me, he changed my life."

Lastly, thinking about the socio-political situation in the country, and world problems such as corruption or inattention to the common good, he recalled the importance for religious to educate on social justice and sensitivity to the poor.

"It was a true encounter of family and Salesian joy," commented the FMA of Peru.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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