In this letter, I would like to share with you a variety of reflections and information.
The Salesian Cooperators of the Eastern USA held their Congress at the Sacred Heart Retreat Center in Newton, NJ from Friday, July 23 through Sunday, July 25. An important part of this Congress was the election of a new Cooperator provincial council. Congratulations to Nick Magrogan, who was chosen as the new provincial coordinator, and to all the members of the council. Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to prepare for this weekend, especially Fr. Tom Dunne and the SDB delegates who participated in the Congress.
Just last week, the provincial council and I spent the weeklong “days of prayer and planning” in Lackawaxen, PA. We were able to both get to know each other and the reality of the province better. We discussed the province strategic plan and the province SEPP, as well as the annual plans of animation of the province delegates. The beautiful nature and quiet neighborhood allowed us to serenely move through our agenda. The annual plans will be updated and sent to the confreres at the beginning of September.
On Saturday, July 31, Craig Spence was ordained a Salesian priest by Abp. Gregory Aymond at St. John Bosco Parish, Harvey, LA. Family, friends, members of the Salesian Family, students, alumni, and parishioners joined in this celebration. It was truly an experience of Don Bosco’s family spirit. From the Salesian Family gathering on Friday night to the Mass of Ordination and the following reception at Archbishop Shaw High School to the first Mass and reception in Mississippi, we felt God’s goodness and grace. Congratulations to Fr. Craig. Let us support him with our prayers as he now goes to his new assignment at Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School in Washington, DC.
Today, Thursday, August 5, is the first professions and perpetual professions of the FMAs in Hawthorne, NJ. We will have the SDB first professions and renewal of professions on Sunday, August 15 at 2:00 pm ET in Stony Point, NY. Perpetual professions will be Saturday, August 21, at 10:00 am ET in Stony Point. Follow our province social media for photos and updates about these special events. Once again, we recognize the blessings God bestows upon our Salesian Family for the salvation of the young. We also feel the urgency of the mission and renew our commitment to accompany young adults toward vocational discernment.
There are valuable resources from the Congregation that can help us in our accompaniment of the young today. I recommend:
- Spiritual Accompaniment: An Educational and Spiritual Journey with Young People in the Way of Don Bosco;
- Salesian Spiritual Direction: Accompaniment and Prayer; and
- Fr. Paul Albera: Master of the Spiritual Life.
You can find a brief description of the first two books here. We will place an order from the Salesians in the UK for the spiritual accompaniment and spiritual direction books. We will also print the Albera book. If you would like a copy of any of these three books, please send me a text or email. For this order only, each book is $25, including shipping. I would like to place the order by Monday, August 16. These resources are not only for our personal enrichment, but can be used in our ministries in being formed in the Salesian charism with our colleagues and members of the Salesian Family.
Throughout this month of August, may Our Lady, Help of Christians, protect us and guide us.
Fr. Tim Zak