by Bro. Salvatore Sammarco

As I reflect on my life of 50 years as a consecrated Salesian of St. John Bosco, whether in the classroom, camp, or youth center, I am so grateful for the gift of my vocation.

I realize, more than ever before, how blessed I’ve been by accepting the call to live poor, chaste, and obedient after the example of Jesus Christ as a brother in the Salesian Family. I understand a little better now, too, that God has called me through the motherly hand of Mary Help of Christians for the mission to serve youth, especially the poorest; and the blessing the young have been in my response to God’s invitation to serve them.

From the very first moment I met the Salesians, priests and brothers, and saw them working together cheerfully in their life of God’s service, I was moved to say “yes” to becoming a Salesian of St. John Bosco serving the young. Over the years, living in the community, living the vows, and living our mission of serving the young in the Church, I’ve been enlightened by the gift God has given to me. To be sure, I’m overjoyed and can’t wait to continue serving youths in need. Any suffering I’ve had to bear is nothing compared to the joy of serving the Lord. Youth is a very special gift in and for the Church and to the world. I am happy to make a small contribution in service to God’s plan.

The brother’s Salesian life is a holy, mysterious one that most don’t understand and can’t even imagine, except if they’re enlightened by the gift of the Holy Spirit.

I believe that by accepting God’s plan, the Church, the young, and the world are better off. I don’t hesitate to invite others to do as I and other brothers have done. If they’re attentive to God’s quiet voice in their lives, they’ll find happiness and will never regret it.

When I first found out about St. John Bosco, I was moved because he was a boy attentive to helping young people his own age live right for God. Mary’s hand helped little John assist the young to become good citizens and Christians in this life and for the next.

As a matter of fact, I would say that, like Don Bosco, that my life has been all about Mary’s response to God’s call. She  answered God in so many ways, even to assisting each Salesian to respond to God’s call in serving the young.

Finally, I am grateful to all who have assisted me in responding to God’s call, especially my family, so many good Salesians in community, great Salesian missionaries, all the many youths and dedicated lay collaborators, and, above all, the absolute grace of God, through Mary Help of Christians’ guiding hand.

Praise God!

September 5, 2018 - 10:52am

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