By Fr. Louis Molinelli, SDB Province Delegate for Youth Ministry
The past two weeks have been filled with true moments of grace for me as I had the chance to experience the breadth of Don Bosco’s charism. The first event was the gathering of the provincial councils of the InterAmerican Region in Quito, Ecuador for a retreat with the Rector Major, Fr. Ángel Fernandez, from Thursday, February 3 through Friday, February 11. We gathered at Il Centro Espiritualidad San Patricio in Quito for six days of reflection upon our role as animators of our respective provinces. I had the opportunity to meet most of the delegates for youth ministry in each of the region's 13 provinces. I was filled with awe at their zeal for youth ministry and the passion they have for reaching out to the young in their areas, especially the poorest and most in need. I also became aware that I am the oldest delegate for youth ministry in the region and maybe in the entire Congregation! These confreres though set an example that has caused the fire of the charism to be rekindled in my life. I hope to share this now so that we can rekindle the fire of zeal among our Salesian Family.
The second event occurred this past weekend (Friday, February 18 through Sunday, February 20) when I attended Catechist Immersion Day at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. For over 20 years, I have participated in this event by teaching the Preventive System of Education of St. John Bosco to over 100 undergraduate and graduate students in the department of catechetics. These are young men and women filled with the desire to bring the young closer to Christ and their faith through evangelization and catechesis. These young adults inspire me to live our Salesian charism with greater fidelity and apostolic zeal. I always learn more from them than they do from me.
Sometimes when we’re caught up in our own world of ministry with all the day- to-day problems and responsibilities, we can lose sight of how impactful our charism is on the young and in our province. So many people love Don Bosco and want to live his spirit. That should bring us joy, a spirit of gratitude and a great desire to re-inflame our apostolic zeal for our mission!