By Fr. Louis Molinelli, SDB, Delegate for Youth Ministry
Happy New Year! I hope that you and your families had the joy of spending time together rejoicing in the birth of our Savior. Along with the Sacred Scriptures, the Church’s Liturgy gives us so much to reflect upon these days. There is a sense of joy, hope, and exuberance. "Your light has come Jerusalem; the Lord will dawn on you in radiant beauty" (from the Liturgy of the Hours). May this hope keep us focused on a vocation as Salesians committed to our Catholic Christian faith amid the tough times.
Every year since the time of St. John Bosco, the Rector Major gives to the Salesian Family a practice for all of us to embrace and make our own. We call this a "strenna" (gift). This year, we are celebrating the 400th anniversary of the death of St. Francis de Sales. In order that we might see the great Salesian foundation given us through him, our Rector Major, Fr. Angel Fernandez Artime, SDB, is asking us to rediscover St. Francis de Sales. I would like to spend the next few columns in Salesian News looking at our strenna from the point of view of our youth and young adult ministry. You will be able to read the commentary online if you go to www.sdb.org.
Fr. Angel tells us that St. Francis de Sales and St. John Bosco are "...two giants who are in continuity with one another in the Salesian charism." Don Bosco knew of St. Francis de Sales, who lived two centuries before him. The Introduction to the Devout Life provided a means by which holiness could be achievable by all people in their everyday lives. Don Bosco translated the spirit of St. Francis de Sales into a spirituality known as the Preventive System. You can hear this echoed in Don Bosco himself when he says things like:
- Do the ordinary things of life extraordinarily well.
- Frequently raise your mind and heart throughout the day to the Lord.
- It is enough for you to be young for me to love you.
I hope and pray that each of us in the Salesian Family can take the time to open the life of St. Francis de Sales and rediscover the roots and heritage of our Salesian vocation!