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Portugal – What are the Salesians like?
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20 June 2019

(ANS - Lisbon) - Only a few months remain until the next General Chapter of the Salesian Congregation, whose main theme will be the profile of the Salesian for today's youth. Sister Rosa Teixeira, of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, wrote an answer to this question.

Throughout history, young people are always young. I would dare to say that the young people of these days need Salesians who have the same spirit as the first ones who, at Valdocco and with Don Bosco, vibrated to the rhythm of the Spirit, tireless farmers of the "Da mihi animas".

In that second part of the nineteenth century our Founder and his first Salesians had no money, but they supported each other with an incredible trust in Divine Providence and the Help of Christians, the Virgin of Don Bosco, who always rewards those who are willing to spend their own life to put it at the service and for the good of the young. The saint of the young burned with an incessant zeal, often also risking his life, and all that pastoral zeal he transmitted, indeed, better, he infected his Salesians. 

For this reason I'd like to highlight that, in my opinion, these days, as in those days, this is how the Salesians must be: happy with the vocational gift received, who spend their lives in the likeness of Jesus and the founder, who cultivate the priority of being on doing and investing every day in the search for holiness in everyday life, well convinced of the profound reasons for their vocation and mission; Salesians who invest their lives and their days in fidelity to the Covenant with God in favor of the educational mission and who, by doing so, bear witness to serenity and peace.

Another essential characteristic is that of conserving "the three white loves" of Don Bosco as credible and concrete devotions: the great love for the Church, represented in the Pope, the filial love for Mother and Help of Christians, and above all love for Jesus the Eucharist.

We must always ask ourselves this question, every day: what kind of Salesians for today's youth? And we shall have the answer in the words of Pope Francis that today's Salesian "must be a concrete man, as was your founder; a Salesian who knows how to look around, sees critical situations and problems, confronts them, analyzes them and makes courageous decisions; a Salesian who is called to go forth and meet all the peripheries of the world and of history, the peripheries of work and family, of culture and the economy, which need to be healed; an educator who embraces the frailties of children who live in marginalization and without a future, leans over their wounds and treats them like a good Samaritan; the Salesian is, finally, the bearer of joy."

By Sr. Rosa Teixeira, FMA

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