148th Salesian Missionary Expedition - Valdocco
By Cl. Anthony Lo Po Tak, SDB
Missionary from CIN to GBR
Turin, Italy, 24 September 2017 -- On Sunday, September 24, after 24 days of immediate preparation (new missionary course) there is the traditional Missionary Expedition Eucharist in the Mary Help of Christians Basilica (Italy, Turin - Valdocco) presided by the Rector Major Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, the 10th Successor of Don Bosco. Together with 22 SDB also 15 FMA Sisters receive today the missionary Crucifix. For the FMA sister this year is the 140th anniversary of their first missionary expedition to Uruguay in 1877.
For the new SDB missionaries last 10 days was a very intense time of pilgrimage to the roots of the Salesian missionary charism in Piedmont, in the places of Don Bosco and his first disciples as well the traditional animation visit to the first SDB missionary aspirantate in Ivrea.
The new missionaries participated also yesterday at the Vigil prayer of 400 young people from Italy and other European countries at the 'Harambèe 2017' with the inputs of Fr. Pierluigi Cameroni (SDB General Postulator) with his input about missionaries among the 170+ Salesian Family saints. Also the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, and the FMA Mother General Yvonne Renguat ans.
Fr. Angel reminded the whole Congregation - "We cannot forget our origins and our charismatic identity." It's a blessing for those who have welcomed the missionary call ad gentes and shall dedicate themselves, heart and mind, to the needs of the missions. A life that is anything but easy, one that takes time and dedication, but above all absolute willingness in helping others, but bears its fruit: in recent years there have been increasingly more vocations in countries where the missionaries have been present: "Try through good example and words to save souls wherever the Lord has destined for you," Don Bosco would say!
Some of us already met the new province confreres (especially those with the destination for Project Europe) in Great Britain, France and Belgium. For all those who cannot be physically present, the celebration is broadcast on live streaming on the "Don Bosco Missions" www.missionidonbosco.org.
Our 148th missionary expedition group got a special touch also with the presence of both (outgoing and incoming) members of the Mission Sector - Fr. Alfred Maravilla (PGS Viceprovince superior) and Fr. Gianni Rolandi (former AFE Provincial) who did accompany us for past 24 days. In the words of Fr. Alfred: "This is the 10th and final group of new SDB missionaries I am facilitating since 2008. Indeed it is an honour and a great responsibility to form young new SDB missionaries at the start of their missionary life. With this course I officially conclude my 10 years of service in the Missions Sector at the SDB Generalate. I will be ever grateful for this unique opportunity which widened my Salesian and ecclesial horizons!"
The 148th missionaries from/for EAO region are grateful for your concern and accompaniment!
Please, continue to pray for the new missionary vocation!