Jerusalem: SDB Theology Students Learn About the Salesian Family

Video Conference

By Deacon Lenny Carlino, SDB

On Tuesday, March 2, Sr. Denise Sickinger, FMA and Fr. Tom Dunne, SDB got on an 8:00 AM Zoom call to give a presentation to the Salesian Family course of the SDB theology students in Jerusalem. The idea was born when the SDBs of the Canada and Eastern USA province noticed Sr. Denise’s name as editor in their class textbook, the newly published handbook of the Salesian Family, entitled The Salesian Family of Don Bosco.

The topic of the meeting was “The unique relationship of SDBs and FMAs with each other and in the Salesian Family.” Fr. Tom, who had to leave early to teach the Salesian Family course to the pre-novices, spoke about the shared work of the Canada and Eastern USA province in fostering the Salesian Family. He encouraged the SDB students to recognize themselves as truly a part of the family, and not just as their formators and leaders.

Sr. Denise spoke about Don Bosco’s desire for “a true family of brothers and sisters journeying together to heaven.” She shared her personal experience and witnessing of FMA/SDB collaboration in Paterson, NJ and other communities in the province (ex. NYC, Marrero). Our desire needs to be for a “proper love between us, and a desire to work together.” She shared that there are success stories even today, such as the 2018 meeting of the “Forming the Formators” conference in Stony Point, NY, and the “Di Bosco Coffee Company” established by the past pupils. She also encouraged us, as future SDB priests, to recognize our unique role in forming a sense of mission and service to the young in our schools and in the confessional.

Our time together ended with a question-and-answer session and the prayer of Don Bosco to Mary Help of Christians. Overall, for our international community, it was a moment of grace to recognize the richness of our “sibling relationship” with our FMA sisters and to recommit ourselves to our shared mission for the salvation of souls.

March 8, 2021 - 8:09am
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