EAO Good Night Talk (58)
Becchi (Colle Don Bosco)
1st January 2019
#For you too: Serve the Lord in holy Joy!
Dear Salesian confreres, Salesian Family members and friends of Don Bosco,
Heartfelt greetings for the New Year 2019 from the holy places of Don Bosco!
I am privileged to spend a week of personal spiritual retreat here, praying in a special way for each one of you on this holy ground, so dear to all of us sons and daughters of Don Bosco.
Fifteen years after the previous invitation to holiness (Strenna 2004 – Fr Chávez, on the 50th anniversary of Dominic Savio’s canonisation) the entire Salesian Family across 136 countries receives another wake-up call or strong motivation for holiness in daily life. We hope that all EAO Salesian Family members will soon receive the official Commentary on the Strenna 2019 in their own respective languages (God bless our translators!). It will be a year’s worth of spiritual nourishment for each of us.
My first thought goes to the well-known holy members of the EAO Salesian family: Saints Aloysius Versiglia and Callistus Caravario, our proto-martyrs in China, the Venerable Vincent Cimatti in Japan and Servants of God Frs Carlo della Torre in Thailand, Andrej Majcen in China and Vietnam and Carlo Braga in China and the Philippines. Morever we could be inspired by other confessors of faith in China or other excellent Salesians like Fr Fortunato Giacomin in Myanmar. We have the opportunity to gradually get to know them more and more especially since they have been living in our countries.
My second thought goes to the champions of Salesian youth holiness like 14-year-old Mak Kam Yun (+1944, China-Macau), 15-year-old Roderick Flores (+1984, Philippines) known for his generosity and goodness, 23-year-old Sigmund Occasion (+2000, Philippines), 18-year-old Joseph Chiminello Dorilag (+1983, Philippines) or 19-year-old martyr Akash Bashir (+2015, Pakistan) and many others in our region. My hope is that these models will be accepted along with the challenging invitation of Pope Francis: #Holiness is for you too!
My third thought
is simply a personal statement: since 2013 I have always kept Pope Francis’
first Apostolic Exhortation ‘The Joy of the Gospel’ (Evangelii Gaudium)
in my luggage, but last June I also added a copy of ‘Rejoice and be Glad’ (Gaudete
and Exsultate). I would suggest you keep these precious pages close to your
bed during this year.
Whenever I am in the Philippines North – Malaysia (FIN) province, I am always deeply touched by the by now traditional greeting used in our communities: ‘Serve the Lord – in holy Joy!’ I hope that all of us can bring this deeply Salesian greeting into our life too!
Fr. Václav Klement, SDB
EAO regional councilor