By Fr. Louis Molinelli, SDB
Our Salesian Youth Ministry Frame of Reference captures for us the meaning of the Oratorian heart for the Salesian Family. We have come to now the four components of the Oratorian heart: the home that welcomes, the parish that evangelizes, the school that prepares for life, and the playground where the young can meet and make friends. These are qualities that must characterize all Salesian ministries. What does all of this imply for the one who ministers with and among the young?
St. John Bosco knew the secret to successfully living out this vision. He had an intense pastoral charity that united a deep love of God and love of neighbor within himself. For Don Bosco, evangelization is the heart of education, and it can only be carried out if one has a passionate relationship with God and with those to whom God sends him/her to serve.
To have an Oratorian heart means that those of us who minister as members of the Salesian Family must be filled with fervor and apostolic zeal. This can only come through a personal and intense relationship with God, which is lived in union with the Church. It is a zeal that sees us through the tough times and the moments when we must start over because of failure. Thus, an Oratorian heart of the Salesian Family has far-reaching optimism.
May you be fueled by this passionate relationship with God, who has called you to this vocation in the Salesian Family, in your ministry.