"Pray Without Ceasing"

Message of the Provincial 09.02.2021

Dear Confreres,

"Pray without ceasing." (1 Thes. 5:17)

A heartfelt "thank you" to all the SDBs and members of the Salesian Family who sent consoling messages at the death of my father. Your kindness to my family during this time of loss was a true expression of fraternity and family spirit. It was very encouraging to know so many people were praying for the eternal repose of my father and the consolation of family and friends. God bless you all. We continue with that same commitment to prayer and fraternal support to Fr. Junji Zarate, who lost his father, and Fr. Dennis Donovan, who lost his mother.

We also pray for everyone affected by Hurricane Ida. Thank God for the preservation of life and no catastrophic damage to Salesian property. We are in solidarity with our confreres and the groups of the Salesian Family as they serve the people in the Salesian mission in area that had not fully recovered from Hurricane Katrina 16 years ago. In the days ahead, we’ll get a better sense of how we all might be able to help.

We offer prayers of thanks to God for the men who made their first profession, renewed their religious profession, and make their perpetual profession as Salesian religious. Their witness encourages us all to renew our own commitment to the Salesian vocation and also to accompany young people on the spiritual journey toward vocational discernment. Although we know that journey can take years, when we see young men answer God’s call to be Salesians, we know the patient work of accompaniment is worthwhile. We join in prayers of thanksgiving for Pascal Mukuye and John Taylor, who were formally admitted to the prenovitiate on Sunday, August 29. They will give more attention to their human, spiritual and Salesian growth as they enter this next phase of initial formation. We promise our prayers for Br. Branden Gordon, who will receive the ministry of acolyte on Sunday, September 5 at the 10:30 am ET Mass at Our Lady of the Valley Church in Orange, NJ.

Many of our Salesian works face significant challenges which can make us feel overwhelmed. We remember Don Bosco and the many difficulties he overcame by turning to Mary Help of Christians. Whether we face obstacles to announcing the Good News in a secular society, financial problems, the formation of our colleagues in the Salesian charism, issues related to the pandemic, developing the community plan of life, or creating safe environments in all our Salesian presences we turn to Mary with filial confidence and know that she wants to see her children close to Jesus and will intervene for us in our need as she did in Cana.

This past Monday, I met virtually with leaders from the groups of the Salesian Family in our province to evaluate last year’s action program and propose this year’s program. On Tuesday, I met with the province delegates to review the common calendar. I ask you to pray for these men and women, who are entrusted with the service of leadership. We can include the SDB directors and provincial council, as a lot is asked of them. We turn to Jesus the Good Shepherd and pray He walks closely side by side with our province leaders, so they don't become discouraged or disheartened.

In all circumstances and at all times, let us follow St. Paul’s admonition to the Thessalonians, "Pray without ceasing." Along with prayers of petition and intercession, we also offer prayers of praise and thanksgiving to a God who loves us.

God bless you all,

Fr. Tim Z.

September 2, 2021 - 8:00am

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