By Fr. Lou Molinelli, SDB, Delegate of Youth and Young Adult Ministry
As we continue the reflection on this year’s strenna, Fr. Angel quotes the beginning of the Vatican Council II document Gaudium et Spes (The Pastoral Constitution of the Church in the Modern World, 1965) which states:
The joys and hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the men of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, these are the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the followers of Christ. Indeed, nothing genuinely human fails to raise an echo in their hearts.
These words ring even truer today in the family of Don Bosco. Our youthful zeal and compassion as a family for the poorest and most afflicted young people motivates us to come together for the salvation of their souls and their growth as responsible members of the [Salesian] Society and the Church. We see the stress that Don Bosco put on creating a family at the Oratory. For him, no one was ever in isolation but was always part of a community. Each new young person added to the yeast which continued to grow the family over time in grace and in number. As members of the Salesian Family, we are responsible and committed to building a more livable, more just, and more loving world.
In Fratelli Tutti (11), Pope Francis tells us that "…each new generation must take up the struggles and attainments of past generations, while setting its sights even higher." There is a growing cry of the poor, most of whom are young people. The Rector Major tells us, "We are made for this time no less than Don Bosco was for his." Since we have such strong roots in our Salesian Family and see ourselves as a part of each other, we feel the need to reach out and do all we can to care for each other in the face of great woundedness and vulnerability in our world. Like yeast, we are called to transform the human family from within. We all have a duty and responsibility to care for the family's growth.
As Salesian Family, we are brothers and sisters to everyone. While we have responded to the Lord in our specific vocation and state in life, we see the richness of being part of the human and Salesian Family. Most of us in the Salesian Family are dedicated lay people who have responded to their baptismal vocation. Working together, we all seek to live the charism and mission of Don Bosco for young people in today’s world.
We must see each one in the Salesian Family as an integral member, each being vital for the salvation of the young.