The feast of thanksgiving to the Rector Major, celebrated yesterday 24 June, at the Sacred Heart in Rome, opened with a Eucharistic celebration inside the basilica, attended by over one hundred priests, many Salesians, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, representatives of the Salesian Family active in the Sacred Heart, the World President of the Past Pupils of Don Bosco with his Council, the Salesian Cardinal Raffaele Farina and the Archbishop of Camerino, Msgr. Francesco Brugnaro, Salesian past pupil.
For the occasion, the three communities that directly depend on the Rector Major also gathered: the Community of the Salesian Central See, the Salesian Community of the Vatican and the Community of the Catacombs of St. Callistus. "This is the occasion to thank the Rector Major for his service," said Fr Stefano Martoglio, Councilor for the Mediterranean region, during the celebration of gratitude, "but above all to thank him for his closeness, his sense of fraternity, and animation for the Provinces of the world."
The event was also an occasion to pay homage to the Salesians working at the Salesian headquarters and who this year celebrate more significant anniversaries of priestly ordination or religious profession: Fr Francesco Cereda, Vicar of the Rector Major, for the 50th anniversary of his religious profession; Fr Hilário Passero, and 70 years of religious profession and 60 of priestly ordination; Fr Orlando Dalle Pezze, for the 60th anniversary of religious profession and the 50th anniversary of priestly ordination; Fr Luigi Fedrizzi, for the 60 years of religious profession; and Fr Janusz Zapala, for the 25 years of priestly ordination. With them, homage also to cardinal Farina for his 60 years of priestly ordination.
Speaking, the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, said, "In this place, so emblematic for our Father Don Bosco, the work of the Sacred Heart, a place of many memories ... I cannot but give thanks to God for the beauty of communion and of community. This is an opportunity to thank all of you for the service you render for the good of the Congregation."