A Salesian May

Message of the Provincial 05.05.22

Dear Confreres,

A blessed month of May to everyone. This month started with Religious Brothers Day, a chance to thank our Brothers and promote the vocation of the religious Brother. Tuesday was the Feast of St. Philip the Apostle, our province’s patron, and tomorrow is the Feast of St. Dominic Savio. We celebrate examples of Salesian holiness each week this month. May is also full of other special events: Cooperators and members of ADMA making their promises, Salesian Family formation days, alumni reunions, proms, graduations, and a variety of celebrations to honor Mary, the Help of Christians. We have plenty of reasons to thank God for our Salesian vocation, and we ask God for the grace to be holy.

In just two months, about 40 SDBs will gather in Stony Point for our Provincial Chapter. Let’s take a moment to look back and see how much has been done. Almost all the communities have met monthly, some with even greater frequency, to discuss the implementation of GC28. We have reviewed the Message of Pope Francis, the Post-Chapter Reflections, and the Congregation’s Action Program. A summary of each discussion was sent to the preparatory commission, which had the difficult task of putting these contributions together on one page for each topic. Confreres received a compilation of data about each Salesian presence in the province, information that is helpful to know the current reality and assess the vitality of the Salesian charism in that presence. Each community has considered the renewal of the Salesian charism at the local level, in light of the renewal of the charism throughout the province. Confreres have had the chance to send in comments about the province handbook. Confreres have also selected their local delegate to the chapter and the delegates-at-large.

At various times through the year, we were reminded to involve young people, especially young adults, colleagues, and members of the Salesian Family in discussions. I am now receiving recommendations for young adults and colleagues who can participate in some of the discussions during the chapter in July from the directors.

Please join me in thanking Fr. Mike Mendl and the preparatory commission for guiding us through all this work. They continue to serve the province in preparing all the details of the chapter. Thanks also to all the confreres who have taken the process of reflection seriously, knowing that this is a way for us to discern God’s will. We have to move along in recognizing the reality of our province. We continue to interpret this reality, using the Gospel and the Salesian charism as guiding lights. By the time we arrive at the chapter, we will be well- situated to make some significant choices which will "revive the gift we have received." Thanks to all of you for keeping the Provincial Chapter in your prayers.

Amid all the ordinary and special events of the month, we must highlight Sunday, May 8, World Day of Prayer for Vocations. You have already received several communications about this. I ask you to take advantage of this day to invite at least one young man to consider Salesian religious life. Later in the month, on Saturday, May 28, at Our Lady of the Valley Church in Orange, NJ, Dcn. Ky Nguyen will be ordained a Salesian priest and Br. Branden Gordon will be ordained a Salesian deacon. Please come to the Mass with young people—youth ministry leaders, altar servers, young catechists, teachers, etc.—who can be inspired to listen to the voice of the Good Shepherd call them by name.

Fr. Tim Zak

May 5, 2022 - 8:00am

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