Last week, our province was blessed to have Fr. Eunan McDonnell, the Salesian provincial from Ireland, preach the retreat in Stony Point. He is an international expert on St. Francis de Sales, and our Salesian confrere guiding us to "Live Jesus!" This week, he is preaching the retreat to the confreres at the St. Francis Retreat Centre, Caledon, Ontario. We are very grateful to Fr. Eunan for spending these two weeks with us in the SUE Province.
For the past two years, I asked each community for their ongoing formation to focus attention on several resources that had recently come from the Congregation. We studied Young Salesians and Accompaniment: Orientations and Guidelines, Animating and Governing the Community: the Ministry of the Rector, The Practice of Meditation in the Prayer Life of the Salesians of Don Bosco, and Pointers and Suggestions for Daily Meditation in the Society of St. Francis de Sales. Copies of these small books were provided for each confrere. We also made available resources on Fr. Paul Albera. Many communities studied the Apostolic Exhortations Amoris Laetitia and Christus Vivit together. Communities have taken advantage of the Strenna each year for their ongoing formation, usually with the groups of the Salesian Family and our colleagues. On top of this, we invested many hours in community discussions preparing for the provincial chapter. Looking back at all of this, I can say our confreres are committed to growing in their vocation. Of course, ongoing formation is not reduced to reading a book or having a community discussion. Still, I am encouraged by the confreres’ willingness to study and share these current topics in community.
This year, I have not required any particular text for the communities to study. Here, I simply present to you some of the short documents that the provincial council studied together during our days of prayer and planning. They all come from the Congregation and are related to our mission to the young. They are all available as a digital document. For some of them, we have PowerPoints or written summaries of the text. Each day, a member of the provincial council made a presentation on one of these small books:
- Youth Ministry and Family, from the sector for Salesian Youth Ministry, June 2021
- The Parish and the Shrine Entrusted to the Salesians, from the sector for Salesian Youth Ministry, October 2021
- Charter of the Charismatic Identity of the Salesian Family of Don Bosco, January 2012
- Volunteering in the Salesian Mission: Identity and Orientation of the Salesian Missionary Volunteer, sectors for Salesian Youth Ministry and the Missions, January 2019
- Missionary Formation of the Salesians of Don Bosco, sectors of the Missions and Formation, January 2013
- The Salesian Missionary Vocation: Reflections, Processes and Operational Guidelines by Fr. Alfred Maravilla, April 2021
- Formation in Integral Ecology: Everything is Connected by Dr. Emanuela Chiang, from the sector of Salesian Youth Ministry
Although we didn’t study it together, it is worth including:
- Salesian Mission Day 2022: Communicating Christ Today, from the sector of the Missions
For the Good Nights, we watched a few of the videos prepared by the Diocese of Rome to accompany the catechesis for the World Meeting of Families.
Constitution 119 states, "Even when he is fully occupied he finds opportunities for renewing the religious and pastoral meaning of his life and of learning to carry out his work with greater competence." What is you plan for ongoing formation this year?
Fr. Tim Zak