With submissions by Mrs. Rosina Di Felice, Salesian Cooperator; Fr. Richard Authier, SDB; Ms. Julia St. Clair, Province Communications Director; and Mrs. Jennifer Passerino, Director of Events & Public Relations, Don Bosco Prep, Ramsey, NJ
The feast of St. John Bosco took place on Wednesday, January 31. Here is how four of our communities in Canada and the Eastern USA observed Don Bosco in a spirit of Salesian joy.
St. Benedict Parish celebrated the feast of St. John Bosco at weekend Masses on Saturday, January 27, and Sunday, January 28. At the Sunday 12:45 p.m. Mass, the Salesian Cooperators renewed their promise. The community’s director, Fr. John. Puntino, presided.
In honor of Salesian Family Day, a luncheon took place after Mass, with SDBs, FMAs, Cooperators, ADMA, past pupils, VIDES, and Salesian friends and family. Various representatives of the groups were on hand for the cake-cutting. There was a brief presentation on the strenna. Fr. Branden Gordon introduced a video project that he and the youth ministry core team had worked on. Everyone watched the video produced by the youth ministry team members, who spoke about their dreams. A discussion and small group sharing took place afterward.
On Friday, January 26, the community held its Friday night “faith space” for its youth and animators. Two clips were shown from the life of Don Bosco. One showed how the Italian government tried to shut down the Valdocco Oratory. The next one showcased Don Bosco’s illness and his mother’s arrival to the Oratory. These video clips showed how Don Bosco heroically defended his mission for the young to the point of even sacrificing his health. He did all this to remain faithful to his dream at nine years old.
Next, two Masses were celebrated on the feast day itself. The first one was offered in the morning for the lay staff of the three branches of the community’s mission: the Don Bosco Youth Centre (DBYLC), Don Bosco Mission Office, and Don Bosco Latino Ministry. The second Mass occurred in the evening for Salesian Cooperators. During both Masses, the theme of the homily was the Rector Major’s Strenna for 2024: “The Dream That Makes You Dream.” Everyone appreciated the Rector Major's stress on the importance of putting this dream into action today.
Then two more Masses were celebrated in the neighboring parishes. The first Mass took place at Maria Ausiliatrice Parish with a Mass and supper in honor of Don Bosco. Many parishioners and their families were present. Some DBYLC animators organized games for the younger children, and Salesian Cooperators helped to serve meals. The warm atmosphere made the event a success. The next Mass was at St. Joseph Parish where Mass in Spanish was offered in honor of Don Bosco. The Latino population has brought new life to the parish. Don Bosco’s dream is really contagious.
These were all beautiful events in honor of Don Bosco, with a wide impact on the world around us. These celebrations prove how Don Bosco’s dream continues to come true today.
On Wednesday, January 31, Salesian High School celebrated the feast of St. John Bosco with a Mass at Holy Name of Jesus Church. The Director, Fr. Tim Ploch, celebrated the Mass, and then Bishop Edmund James Whalen arrived after having been delayed by traffic. He received a warm welcome from all in attendance. Overall, the Mass was full of joy, encouragement, and gratitude.
Along with Salesian High School students and faculty, staff members from Salesian Missions and the Salesian Provincial Center were invited to attend. The community also welcomed one Christian Brother and three communities of Sisters. The faculty, staff, and friends of the Salesian Family then celebrated a festive luncheon together on campus in the Cassin Commons.
On Wednesday, January 31, the Don Bosco Prep community celebrated Mass for the feast of St. John Bosco. The school welcomed the Most Reverend Joseph A. Espaillat from the Archdiocese of New York.
Bishop Espaillat’s captivating homily reflected the importance of the qualities of St. John Bosco, and how the students can apply them to their own lives. The Mass was concelebrated by members of the Ramsey Salesian community. Everyone was blessed to have been able to welcome Bishop Espaillat to Don Bosco Prep!
The province office of communications thanks everyone who submitted Don Bosco celebrations. All confreres are encouraged to share their Don Bosco celebrations if they have yet to do so (either in a Microsoft Word doc or as text in the body of the email) with 1-2 photos attached separately all in one email to firstname.lastname@example.org.