By Fr Richard Ebejer, SDB
He encouraged people to spend some time in prayer that day, either as individuals or in community prayer, and in particular to pray for vocations to the Salesian Family. In his invitation Fr Eunan underlined that “Each one of us has a vocation by virtue of our baptism.” He invited those who were free to join him in making a pilgrimage on the day to Knock Shrine, a very devout Marian Shrine in Ireland.
On arrival, the Salesian pilgrims first gathered at the Prayer Centre in Knock where Fr Eunan shared a reflection on our Lady and how he led the group in a guided meditation on the Annunciation. This was followed by a video reflection on Don Bosco and how he saw his mission among young people as being Mary's own initiative as the Help of Christians who seeks to reach out to the people of God in their need.
In the afternoon people were free to do their own personal devotions before gathering in the Majestic Basilica for the Holy Eucharist which was presided by Fr Provincial. In his homily he shared how he had personally witnessed Mary's intervention while he was on the missions. He said that he is confident that Mary still continues to be present in our daily life, especially in our ministry amongst the young.
Immediately after the Mass, in a simple ceremony at the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, Fr Eunan accepted Leo Pinto's request to start his immediate preparation for the novitiate.
Different members of the Salesian Family participated in the Pilgrimage, including Salesians and Salesian Sisters, as well as Salesian Co-operators and Collaborators in our different works.
Commenting on the event, Fr Eunan said that “Praying for vocations, as Jesus invites us to do, cannot be a one-day event, but a constant commitment of the entire community Therefore, as we are preparing to commemorate the Centenary of the first Salesian presence in Ireland, I invite all to continue with a prayerful disposition and initiate an awareness in our communities and places of ministry, so as to create a culture of vocations.”