Reflections on Strenna 2023: Conclusion

SYM Corner 03.22.23

By Fr. Lou Molinelli, SDB, Province Delegate of Youth Ministry

During the past few days, I had the pleasure of spending time with the Salesian Family in Louisiana. There is great joy and enthusiasm among our family on the "Westbank!" Our Salesian Family is composed of Salesian priests and Brothers, Salesian Sisters, Cooperators, dedicated lay collaborators, families, and, of course, the young. Our Salesian Family has been there since 1933, when the Salesian priests and Brothers, began to work in the Hope Haven Orphanage in Marrero. From there, the family grew and is now interwoven into the very culture of this piece of Louisiana. Thanks to the members of our Salesian Family who keep evangelizing, catechizing, and witnessing to their Catholic faith in these ministries!

This visit fits in so well with the end of the commentary on the strenna by the Rector Major. After going through examples of holiness given to us by lay members of the Salesian Family, the Rector Major addresses all of us in the Salesian Family to be leaven in our world.

For Don Bosco, it meant giving due weight to all that is positive in the life of individuals, in creation, in the events of history. This led him to accept the genuine values present in the world, especially if pleasing to the young; to place himself in the flow of culture and of human development in his own times, encouraging the good and refusing to lament about the evil; wisely seeking the cooperation of many people, convinced that each one has gifts that need to be discovered, recognized and put to good use; believing in the power of education which provides support for the young person’s development, and encouraging him to become an upright citizen and a good Christian; and always and everywhere entrusting himself to the providence of God, perceived and loved as a Father.

We are being challenged this year to claim our vocation as baptized Catholic Christians and to respect and honor the call of each member of the Church. The gift of our lay collaborators is a vital component of our Salesian spirituality. This was so deeply rooted in Don Bosco’s vision of the Salesian Family and in his educational project. We empower our young people and our collaborators to embrace our Salesian spirit, to make it part and parcel of their everyday life and to go out into their world as missionary disciples and work for the building up of the Kingdom of God.

In his closing address and the end of the Second Vatican Council in 1965, St. Paul VI says this:

Lastly, it is to you, young men and women of the world, that the Council wishes to address its final message. For it is you who are to receive the torch from the hands of your elders and to live in the world at the period of the most gigantic transformations ever realized in its history. It is you who, receiving the best of the example of the teaching of your parents and your teachers, are to form the society of tomorrow. You will either save yourselves or you will perish with it....and build in enthusiasm a better world than your elders had.

Isn’t it time for us as Salesian Family to embrace this call and put it into action? Let us, all members of the Salesian Family, embrace and live this historical moment!

March 22, 2023 - 8:00am

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