By Fr. Provincial Dominic Tran, SDB
From Monday, July 10, to Saturday, July 15, the SDB provincial council, with both Fr. Tim Zak and me, had the annual week of prayer and planning. The week also facilitated some aspects of the transition between the two administrations of the province. This included virtual meetings with some of the delegates and people in various provincial ministries.
The main working document was the province's Strategic Plan for 2022-2026. This plan was the result of the work of our 2022 Provincial Chapter, synthesized by Fr. Tim Zak and his provincial council.
In reviewing the strategic plan, we also reviewed the documents from which the plan was developed:
- The 2019 canonical visitation conducted by Fr. Timothy Ploch, then the regional councilor for InterAmerica;
- The instructions given to the province by the Rector Major, Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, following that visitation; and
- the Rector Major's Action Program for the Salesian Congregation after General Chapter 28.
We also discussed how we could implement the directions that the Rector Major gave to the InterAmerica Region from the team visit in March 2023 in Lima, Peru.
Moreover, we also reflected on the direction Pope Francis is calling the Church to follow.
At the Pope’s invitation to prepare for the Jubilee Year 2025, we spent some time studying the four constitutions of the Second Vatican Council, focusing on the liturgy, the Eucharist, Scriptures, consecrated life, and the call to mission. The focus of our discussion was particularly on the Eucharist in view of the call for Eucharistic revival. Half of the members of the provincial council attended the retreat led by Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez, SDB, in June. His reflections on the Eucharist and his knowledge of the Holy Father’s direction for the Church were very helpful.
At the end of the week, there seemed a clear point of convergence, that is the Eucharist. Of course, the Eucharist is always the point of convergence for us Christians. Yet, now, we are called to revive our faith, hope, and love in the Eucharist.
The Eucharist is the "Sacrament of Presence" of God in whom "we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28). As Salesians, our identity, spirituality, and ministerial style are powered and inspired by God’s presence. By being with us, journeying with us, and listening to us, Jesus renews, sanctifies, then commissions us to be His presence. Jesus’ presence makes us the sacrament of God’s presence to one another and to the people God entrusts to us.
Having lived and while being embraced by the Eucharistic love of God, continuing Don Bosco’s mission, we strive to bring all people to Christ in the Eucharist. Let’s start with the young people and all people in our ministries. Let’s continue this vast movement of people who will draw numerous young people to the Eucharist.