Zak & Fernandez

Dear Salesian Family,

Last month I was in Rome for the course for new provincials. I had the chance to speak with the Rector Major about his visit to our province in September. He shared that he is enthusiastic about being with us. He emphasized that this is a fraternal visit; his purpose in coming to Canada and the USA is to be close to the confreres. On behalf of the province, I expressed to Fr. Angel the excitement and joy in having him with us for ten days.

Just two days ago, Fr. Dominic Tran sent to the communities the itinerary of the Rector Major’s visit. Jakeline Magalhaes has made it available through our social media. Now the confreres and members of the Salesian Family have the details to arrange for their participation in this historic event. The publicity includes contact information for the various sites. For some of the events—for example, the meal after the perpetual professions and the meal after the jubilees—it is necessary to make reservations, so we can be prepared with enough food. Thanks to the central committee for their work in helping us be prepared for Fr. Angel’s visit.

The publicity for the visit presents a general theme, “Accompanied by Don Bosco.” We can interpret this as Fr. Angel, the tenth successor of Don Bosco, accompanying the Salesian Family in Canada and the USA. As mentioned above, the primary purpose of the visit is for the Rector Major to be close to the Salesians, close to the young, close to the Salesian Family. In this sense, we are accompanied by Don Bosco. We could also interpret this theme as a call to renew our missionary vocation. Those to whom we are sent, the young people and their families, feel accompanied by Don Bosco because we are with them. In this sense, the example of the Rector Major to go out to the provinces inspires us to go out to meet the young, to listen to them and dialogue with them and share the Good News as Don Bosco did. Each of the four sites of the Rector Major’s visit includes some encounter with young people, moments on the journey at which we can let the young know by our presence that they are accompanied by Don Bosco.

The preparation for the visit of the Rector Major to Canada and the USA includes developing a communications plan: press releases, quality photographs with captions, articles for Salesian News and InfoANS. Once again, thanks to the central committee and the local communications contacts for preparing this aspect of the visit. Besides the usual material to be preserved in archives and the “selfies,” there is an important story to tell during this visit, that of the Salesian mission in our presences. In these remaining weeks before the Rector Major’s visit, we have the opportunity to identity the specific ways we educate and evangelize the young, especially the poorest and those most at-risk. We can reflect on our Salesian vocation, counting the many blessings we have received as we serve in the Salesian mission. We can see that there are still many young people in our neighborhoods who cry out like the Samaritan woman at the well, “Give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty” (John 4:15). What is the story of the Salesian mission in your presence that you will be able to tell?

Our summer ministries will be finished by the time the Rector Major visits. Let us take advantage of the remaining days or weeks in these apostolates to let the young know they are accompanied by Don Bosco.


Fr. Tim Zak

July 12, 2018 - 4:21pm

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