Turin (Italy) On January 16, 2020, over 400 participants from 43 countries of the world met in Valdocco, Turin, to participate in the XXXVIII edition of the Spirituality Days of the Salesian Family with the title of the Strenna of the Rector Major of the Salesians of Don Bosco, Don Ángel Fernández Artime, “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven (Mt 6.10). Good Christians and Honest Citizens “.
After the welcome at the start of the morning, the official start in the Great Theater of Valdocco was given by the greeting of Fr. Enrico Stasi, Provincial of the Salesians of Piedmont and Valle d’Aosta (ICP):
“Welcome on my behalf, but above all on behalf of Don Bosco and the Rector Major, because a family always needs a home. It is wonderful to think that Valdocco is the home of the Salesian Family of the world. So welcome home, dearest ones!”
The presenters of the Days, Fr Moreno Filippetto, Head of Communication of the ICP Province, and Patricia Longo, Past Pupil, then called to the stage Fr. Eusebio Muñoz, Delegate for the Salesian Family, who stressed the importance of making witnesses of the Gospel in this moment of history: “The Salesian Family Spirituality Days will help us to make the Strenna become a reality. We are fortunate to belong to a family, like the Family of Don Bosco! But we are also invited to reach out to many people who are waiting to share with us the gift received in these days of grace.”
Present in the room were the World Councilor of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians for the Salesian Family, Sister Maria Luisa Miranda; the Delegate of the FMA Past Pupils, Sister Gabriela Patiño; and the FMA Delegate of the Salesian Cooperators Sister Leslye Sándigo.
The Adonai Group, with the meaningful choreography inspired by the theme: “On earth as it is in heaven”, helped the assembly to enter into prayer, which ended with the gesture of the FMA Postulants of the Postulancy of Turin, via Giulio, who pulled colorful canvases from the stage to the audience, culminating in the recitation of the Our Father together. The Adonai Group dances to evangelize: “We represented the disorder that exists on earth and then with the arrival of the Holy Spirit, of Grace, everything returns to order,” explained the founder Cristina Viotti.
The central moment of the afternoon was the Presentation of the Strenna through the video and the words of the Rector Major who, explaining the choice of the title born from the desire to deepen the binomial of life and pastoral action proposed by Don Bosco “good Christians and honest citizens,” proposed the challenge to live faith that is communicated with language that is faithful to the Salesian mission in all the contexts in which it operates:
“I ask the members of the Salesian Family to be more courageous in proclaiming Jesus, in witnessing to the faith. (…) I can testify that around the world I have seen educational miracles in our presences, I have seen how some boys and girls have found ‘Don Bosco’s’ in their lives and have changed. But in this, we can never be tranquil because we can do more.”
After dinner, the animation of the Salesian Novices of the Novitiate of Colle Don Bosco (Castelnuovo d’Asti) allowed the assembly to get to know the members of the 21 Groups of the Salesian Family present at the event, out of a total of 32 existing. At the end of the day, there were prayer and the Good Night by Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, who recalled the reality of the Pinardi Building, now under restoration. In that house, in all the time in which Don Bosco lived, 13 people also lived who today are Venerable, Blessed, Saint, including Don Bosco and Mamma Margherita. A true school of holiness in which to be happy, to give one’s best, to serve, to give oneself was the everyday vademecum. “Do you think this is not possible today? I can assure you that it is possible and as timely as 150 years ago in families, with our children, in communities, with our children. The mystery is the strength of the encounter, of looking into eyes, of full and absolute respect for others, of telling others with your own way of doing ‘You are important to me’. This is creating a school of life.”