Rome (Italy). The second of the Salesian Family Spirituality Days (GSFS), which take place online from 15 to 17 January 2021, gets to the heart of the theme “Moved by hope. Behold, I am making all things new” with insights into the Salesian Family, present throughout the world and made up of 32 Groups.
After the Marian prayer led by the Novices of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of the Novitiate Sister Teresa Valsè Pantellini of Rome, the General Councilor for Formation of the Salesians of Don Bosco, Fr. Ivo Coelho, introduces the figure of Fr. Paul Albera, second successor of Don Bosco, Rector Major of “world-breath”. In the interview with Mr. Paolo Vaschetto, Salesian Coadjutor, a scholar of Salesian history, there emerge the large number of journeys undertaken by Fr. Albera emerge to visit all the houses in America and reach the SF Groups and ensure that the works for young people did not fail even in times of war. On the occasion of the first centenary of his death (1921 – 2021), the “Don Bosco House Museum” in Valdocco (Turin) organized the exhibition “Don Albera, the world in his eyes”, which can be visited online.
The program continues with the ‘journey’ around the world to get to know some groups. With video testimonies, the following are presented: the Charity Sisters of Jesus, the Damas Salesianas Association, the Cançao Nova Group, the Daughters of the Divine Savior, the contemplative Fraternity Mary of Nazareth, the Witnesses of the Risen One. The presentations are interspersed with reports on the group work of the previous day, by the coordination centers: Rome (Italy), Lisbon (Portugal), Madrid (Spain), Brasilia (Brazil), Quito (Ecuador), India and Sri Lanka, Poland.
The Rector Major, Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, closes the first part with a concise thought: “It was wonderful to see so much variety. What is not known is not loved. The commitment is to know each other more and more as a Family, to create communion.” In this regard, he presents the new edition of the book “The Salesian Family of Don Bosco”, which aims to make known the vitality and give visibility to the identity and educational mission of the SF.
In the second part, the testimonies and work in small groups continue, coordinated by the regional centers. Present at the program in Italian is Fr. Rossano Sala, SDB, Professor of Pastoral Theology and Youth Ministry at the Pontifical Salesian University of Rome (UPS) and Special Secretary for the Synod of Bishops of 2018 on ‘Young people, faith, and vocational discernment’. Fr. Rossano answers some questions from the presenters, Marta and Giovanni, about young people and hope: “Entering the logic of hope means learning to look up towards a broader relationship, also through experiences that put in crisis, such as this time of pandemic. The dynamics of desire can emerge in a new way: young people need promises, truth, the urge to look up. Salesian education can give them this.”
At the end of the group work, the Rector Major addresses the Italian participants with a thought of the Salesian Good Night in which, taking up his vocational experience, he talks about his dreams and hopes: “My hopes and dreams are very simple : to be happy as a Salesian. My life went ahead saying ‘yes’ in everyday life, until I arrived here. Don Bosco’s dream of being together as a Family is a gift for all of us, sons and daughters of a Charism.”
The XXXIX Edition of the Salesian Family Spirituality Days ends on 17 January 2021 with the Sunday Eucharistic Celebration presided over by Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime from the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Rome, live streaming on the page Facebook di ANS and on ANS Channel.