At 4 pm on February 6, 2020, the Rector Major left the airport's Arrivals gate, greeting those waiting for him. He was welcomed, with gestures of great fraternity, by his Salesian confreres, and was then accompanied to the Provincial House, where he was welcomed by young Salesians in initial formation, staff, members of the Salesian Family and students of the Don Bosco Technical School.
"We could see that his presence filled us with courage, comfort and hope. It revives our commitment to continue building our future on the basis of the values of the Gospel," commented a Salesian who was waiting for him with warm expectation.
"Encourage all of us Salesians to continue fighting for young people. His visit is very special, because he wants to be at the side of the young," added another Salesian. And yet another continues: "I thank God for the presence of the Successor of Don Bosco, especially for the historical moment we are going through. His presence will spiritually encourage the Salesians and the Salesian Family. We look forward to hearing your message." Finally, Fr Montenegro hopes that this visit of the Rector Major "will be an opportunity to renew our serious, strong and determined commitment to building the civilization of love in our country ... We need it so much!"
The Rector Major shared dinner and evening prayers in fraternity with the community of the Provincial House. At the end of the day he offered the Salesian "Good Night" with a message full of hope and joy for this new meeting with his confreres from Venezuela.
In fact, Fr Á.F. Artime visited the Salesians of Venezuela as early as 2014 at the beginning of his six-year term. Now, on the threshold of the 28th General Chapter, he has returned, and has begun his second visit with simplicity and joy. "I want to be with my confreres to accompany them, to be with them, and to show them that I always think and pray for the whole Salesian Family in Venezuela and, especially, for young people," the Rector Major said.