Bellflower (United States). The World Feast of Gratitude for Mother General, Mother Yvonne Reungoat, was celebrated in Mary Immaculate Province (SUO) at Bellflower, California on April 26, 2019.
Present were Sr. Chantal Mukase Ruzagiriza, Visiting General Councilor, Bishops, priests, Salesians of Don Bosco, FMA from the Interprovincial Conferences NAC and CIMAC, representatives of the Educating Communities, and the members of the Salesian Family, young people, and friends.
On the morning of April 25, Mother met with the Provincials of the Interprovincial Conference of NAC and CIMAC to share the opening of the Interprovincial Community in Monterrey, Mexico. The new community, Casa Monarca, will begin in September 2019 and is a response to the invitation of the XXIII General Chapter to respond to the reception of migrants through interprovincial collaboration.
In the evening in the chapel of the St. Mary School in Boyle Heights, California, the vigil of World Gratitude Day was held. The students of St. Mary’s School artistically interpreted the psalms of evening prayer with songs and dances. Mother Yvonne thanked the young people saying: “You are the heart of our life, you are our joy; you give meaning to our lives!” And then, speaking to everyone present, Mother emphasized: “Love changes the world, love gives life, love is a source of joy, love is contagious”. The evening ended with a time of conviviality and the performances of the school children.
On April 26 after Morning Prayer, the sisters of each Province of the Interprovincial Conference of NAC and CIMAC expressed their gratitude to Mother. Then, at the Hollywood Sports Park in Bellflower, the members of the Salesian Family offered Mother gifts to express their joy and share a moment of fraternity.
At 3.00 pm there was the Solemn Eucharistic Celebration in the Parish of St. Domenic Savio in Bellflower, California. Bishop Marc Trudeau, Bishop of Los Angeles, presided over the Eucharist, concelebrated by two Salesian Provincials from the United States Provinces, Fr. Ted Montemayor and Fr. Tim Zak, and twenty Salesians. In his homily, Msgr. Marc Trudeau emphasized: “Everything we do flows from this altar of gratitude to the world that needs the life we can share. We show the world how grateful we are for what God has given us”.
At 7.00 pm everyone gathered in the Church of St. Thomas the Apostle to listen to the Cantata on the life of St. Mary Mazzarello written by Sister Phyllis Neves and Patricia Rico. The choir was composed of students of St. Domenic Savio, Saint Mary, St. Thomas, some sisters, aspirants, and postulants. The young people of Saint Thomas Parish presented the “I entrust them to you” scene representing every continent in the world, describing the characteristics, the beauty, and the problems present in every society. The representation concluded with the scene in which Mary Help of Christians entrusted five sisters with the needs of the young people of each continent.
Mother Yvonne spoke to those present expressing the joy of being together as a Salesian and Ecclesial Family: “I have never been here before, but it seems that we have always known each other! You have a multicultural parish because you are from many different countries. This is a sign of the fraternal unity that we are called to live”. Mother recounted how the Blessed Virgin entrusted the young women to St. Mary Mazzarello: “The Lord always entrusts someone to us, there is always someone who needs us”. Then she recalled how Mother Mazzarello had always gone out in search of the young and how she always did it with joy, quoting her letters: “Joy is the sign of a heart that loves the Lord very much. I want all of you to have a heart that loves Jesus very much. If you feel loved by Jesus, you are happy! Because there is no greater joy than being loved by Jesus!”.
Mother Yvonne invited the young people to feel God’s call to bring His Word to the ends of the earth for their whole life.