Rector Major

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Commentary on the Strenna 2018



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Video text (English template - captions)

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Commentary of the Rector Major

ENGLISH: STRENNA 2018 - Comment ENG.docx

ITALIANO: STRENNA 2018 - Commento ITA+.docx

PORTUGHESE: STRENNA 2018 - Commento POR.docx

SPANISH: STRENNA 2018 - Commento ESP.doc


JAPANESE: STRENNA 2018 (Intro, July 2017) ストレンナ2018要点180111.docx

Strenna 2018-indonesian.jpg

Dear brothers and sisters of the whole Salesian Family in the world,

   "As per tradition, at the end of the year I present the Strenna to our sisters, the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, and from that day it becomes a gift for our whole Salesian Family, in every part of the world. 

The purpose of the Strenna and of its commentary is to help us have the same heart and look in the many initiatives in all our works and in the mission each one is called to carry out according to the specific charismatic vocation of the groups of our Salesian Family.

   I can testify to you that, in the hundreds of meetings I have had in these four years with young people from the five continents, I have gained the certainty that in the houses and works led by the groups of the Salesian Family there are thousands and thousands of good young people, open to life, eager to be formed, to learn; young people in search. Many of them have a great and generous heart, and wish to serve others, to do something for others, to help, to donate themselves.

         They are young people who request our help to continue to grow and mature in their faith. And there are others who do not ask explicitly, but who feel a great need for a personal encounter and for being listened to. There are many who would be willing to take a personal and communal path of discernment and accompaniment.


         So I ask myself: What are we waiting for? Why do we not decide to be much more available to accompany all our young people in what is most important to their lives? What is holding us back? Why "being busy" or "spending time" in other things when this is a real priority for education and evangelization?

                 We will take many more significant steps, my dear brothers and sisters, on the day when we will truly convince ourselves that more important than the things and activities we offer to the young people and their families, is our presence, our listening and our openness to dialogue." 

  This is the initial strong motivation in the 20 page long official Commentary to the Strenna for 2018 published today by the Rector Major.

 The video commentary is available on the Youtube ANS Chanell from today and the full text in the main Salesian languages is available on the Boscolink as well.

 The Poster of the Strenna in different languages and the respective translations to the EAO languages are available on the provincial websites.



ANS - Rome) – Many and important are the messages the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, intends to convey with Strenna 2018 on the theme: "'LORD, GIVE ME THIS WATER. LET US CULTIVATE THE ART OF LISTENING AND ACCOMPANIMENT." While waiting for the complete comment to be presented, as per tradition, the poster is already available towards the end of the year. Here, then, ten points to best appreciate this next year's theme:

Many thirst, and many are the glasses and lives that are empty and tired that ask to be replenished with meaning.There is much good soil with good seed waiting to be "awakened" from the inexhaustible source of Life that springs from Jesus.

Don Bosco is full of the living water of Jesus, a well that provides water to everyone, especially young people, water that gives Life, commitment, and hope.

The Samaritan woman: a foreigner, refused, confused, tormented ... She meets with Jesus and everything changes.

Jesus, the Source of Living Water.

Mary Help of Christians, always careful, who maternally reminds us: "Do what Jesus says."

The water of inexhaustible love flows from the ribs and heart of Jesus. The encounter with the Samaritan was in the sixth hour, the same that Jesus died on the Cross when blood and water came out of his broken heart.

The task of adults is to collaborate, accompany, cultivate.

Water quenches thirst, irrigates, washes, allows seeds to sprout, vivifies, changes the desert into a garden.

The Spirit of God works and donates willpower to man.

Different ages, different experiences, different races, languages ​​and cultures, but the same humanity, the same thirst, the same intense joy in receiving Jesus as Living Water.

The poster, available in 6 languages, will soon be made available and send to all the Salesian circumscriptions worldwide. In the coming days, it will also be made available in high definition on and ANSFickr

The poster is designed by a well-known Spanish artist, Patxi Velasco Fano, who signs his work simply as "Fano", his mother's surname, who when called by her first name is called: "Fe", which in Spanish means 'Faith'. "So I can say that I'm definitely the son of Faith."  Married, father of three children, Fano teaches at the elementary school "María de la O" in Malaga, in a context of marginalization and poverty, but full of life, joy and hope.

The designer Mauro Borgatello and the Communication Team of the South Italy Province (IME Communication) also participated in the global design of the poster.


  • ?
    vaclav 2018.01.03 20:46
    0 Sir, give me
    this water
    0 Let us CULTIVATE
    0 the art of LISTENING
    0 and of ACCOMPANIMENT
    1 A young man participating
    in a boat race got lost
    2 and in the middle of
    that vast ocean,
    3 he no longer
    could find his way back.
    4 However, he picked up his oars
    and bravely began to row his boat.
    5 After a few hours
    of uncertain wandering,
    6 struck by the hot Sun
    and being thirsty for water,
    7 his strength
    began to fail him.
    8 The young man
    lost his enthusiasm
    9 and he fell
    to the bottom of his boat.
    10 Large container ships
    and gigantic cruise ships
    11 were also sailing
    that part of the ocean
    12 at great speeds.
    13 “Water!” the young man cried out,
    his voice too feeble to be heard.
    14 A cruise ship carrying a group of famous
    doctors and scientists passed that way.
    15 Filled with
    empathy and humanity

    16 they explained to the young man
    the miraculous qualities of H20,
    17 and that his body was in need
    of at least two litres of water a day.
    18 From aboard a military ship,
    a fervent chaplain
    19 preached a sermon to the young sailor
    and said that his desire was legitimate
    20 and that the water
    he so earnestly desired
    21 ought to make him think of
    something higher and more important.
    22 From a yacht, a cheerful dandy
    brandished a bottle of liquor,
    23 with the assurance that
    it was definitely better than water.
    24 After all, they were surrounded
    by so much water.
    25 Everyone sailed past
    on their ships,
    26 on their high-speed
    motorboats and yachts.
    27 The young man remained at
    the bottom of his boat lost in the ocean,
    28 crying out with
    an increasingly faint voice:
    29 “Water!”
    30 My dear
    Salesian Family members,
    31 as is customary every year,
    A STRENNA 2018
    B Rector Major
    C Fr Ángel Fernández Artime
    32 I have the opportunity
    to address you all
    33 with the strenna.
    34 This year, the theme has been
    suggested to me by Pope Francis,
    35 who for the
    Synod of Bishops,
    36 wanted the title:
    37 “Youth, Faith and
    Vocational Discernment”.
    38 In my many journeys
    this year,
    39 I met thousands and thousands
    of young people,
    40 from all over the world
    and from different cultures.
    41 In them I was able
    to feel their desire to live,
    42 to grow and to be ready
    to give the best they have.
    43 At the same time, I have seen
    young people who feel insecure,
    44 and who
    really need us.
    45 They need adults who are capable
    46 of walking with them.
    47 They need adults
    who are responsible,
    48 who feel responsible for their
    journey with the young,
    49 who from that moment are convinced
    of their duty to be credible,
    50 and able
    to give authentic witness.
    51 This is what
    this particular strenna is about.
    52 In the life of us all,
    as in each person,
    53 there are encounters that touch our being and existence profoundly.
    54 The same thing happened
    to the Samaritan woman,
    55 who finds herself by chance with Jesus,
    56 with the Lord.
    57 That encounter transforms her life.
    58 In fact, the Samaritan woman
    could be an authentic icon,
    59 a model of how
    we can meet and walk together,
    60 along the path of life.
    61 Every meeting begins
    with listening and understanding.
    62 Jesus is a person who seeks
    the good of the other person,
    63 creates a personal relationship
    with the one he meets,
    64 and does not make
    a moral judgment,
    65 of disapproval or reproach
    to the Samaritan woman.
    66 Instead of accusing her, he speaks to her
    and makes certain proposals.
    67 His language and his words go straight
    to the heart of the person.
    68 In his dialogue
    with the Samaritan woman,
    69 Jesus proceeds calmly,
    without hurry,
    70 awakening in her little by little
    that interest in gaining access,
    71 to a source of water for a special,
    different and better life.
    72 In the dialogue
    with Jesus,
    73 this interest keeps growing
    until she says:
    E “Sir,
    give me this water!”

    74 Thus, the Lord who is an expert in humanity,
    75 accompanies the journey of peoples,
    76 knows their interiority, understands
    their rhythms and inner processes.
    77 The same thing happens
    with the young peole of our time.
    78 As Pope Francis says:
    79 “The Lord reawakens a wonderful
    charm in many young people.”
    80 And this has to do with two elements:
    81 with faith,
    and with the call that God gives
    82 to each one, to each boy or girl,
    83 a call that is an invitation
    to live the joy of their vocation in love.
    84 But we know well
    that it is not always the case,
    85 and our young people do not always
    have the opportunity and the chance
    86 to be accompanied in this way.
    87 This reality challenges us
    and tells us what we can do,
    88 as educators and evangelizers.
    89 There are many proposals that
    have emerged. I list only a few of them.
    90 We must continue to walk with
    young people, with families,
    91 with those who need
    to be accompanied.

    92 Because the moment
    is favourable.
    93 Because there are many
    young people who want to do,
    94 something beautiful
    with their lives.
    95 They want to grow,
    they want to dream.
    96 They want to give the best
    of what they have.
    97 We must be able
    to accompany them,
    98 to allow God himself
    to work in them,
    99 to make them grow
    in the depths of their hearts,
    100 knowing that we are close to them,
    not to interfere,
    101 but ready to offer them our witness,
    as I have already said,
    102 a witness that is credible,
    an authentic testimony of faith,
    103 of great human,
    ethical and moral quality.
    104 As educators,
    105 dear members of the Salesian Family
    throughout the world,
    106 we cannot allow
    the story to end.
    107 We must respond
    in different ways.
    108 It is something
    that comes naturally to us,
    109 born of the essence
    of the Salesian charism,

    110 which we have received
    from Don Bosco.
    111 Don Bosco had some
    exceptional travelling companions.
    112 The great companion of his
    human and spiritual journey,
    113 was his own beloved mother,
    Mamma Margaret.
    114 We also know,
    and he himself tells us,
    115 of the significance
    of Father Calosso,
    116 and his friend Louis Comollo,
    117 and Father Cafasso,
    118 who accompanied him
    and prepared him for pastoral life.
    119 It was all this that later
    allowed Don Bosco,
    120 to have a great wealth to share
    with his children.
    121 This is why Don Bosco
    is a pastor and educator,
    122 who is concerned about creating an
    educational environent that is attractive,
    123 full of formative proposals
    and beautiful human relationships.
    124 Don Bosco is a great
    spiritual companion for us.
    125 Don Bosco always tries
    to ensure that,
    126 the climate be
    one of mutual knowledge, trust,
    127 friendship and
    spiritual fatherhood,
    128 which is the consequence and the mature
    fruit of educational fatherhood.
    We must be capable of
    accompanying and giving answers,
    130 to those who have this thirst
    and ask for that water,
    131 in such a way that we are able,
    as with the Samaritan woman,
    132 to bring them to a
    closer encounter with Jesus.
    133 It seemed to be
    a slow and inexorable agony.
    134 But an old boat
    drew near.
    135 In it there were
    other young people.
    136 They quenched his thirst,
    137 listened to him,
    138 healed his wounds
    139 and finally reached
    a safe harbour together.
    And I end
    this year’s strenna
    141 asking myself what
    the Samaritan woman would say,
    142 if she took us
    by the hand
    143 and accompanied us
    to an encounter with Jesus,
    144 after the experience
    that she has had.
    I think she would invite us
    to be always open
    146 to the gift
    that comes from God.
    147 She would say:

    148 “You must accomapny each other,”
    149 just as she was able
    to learn from Jesus,
    150 to be more human.
    151 She would undboubtedly invite us
    to continue to grow,
    152 in this experience of humanity.
    My dear
    Salesian Family,
    154 my brothers, sisters
    and friends,
    155 this simple presentation
    of this year’s strenna ends here.
    156 Let all this lead us
    to say again,
    157 from the depths
    of ourselves:
    158 “Sir,
    give me this water.”
    159 See you soon!

List of Articles
No. Subject Author Date Views
22 Rector Major - GLOBAL NOVENA TO MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS file vaclav 2018.05.11 688
21 Rector Major - April 2018 Salesian Bulletin message file vaclav 2018.04.13 575
20 RM - Timor Leste & Indonesia visit talks 2004-2018 file vaclav 2018.02.15 929
19 RM - SYM Message 2018 file vaclav 2018.01.30 723
» RM - Art of listening and accompaniment - Strenna 2018 1 file vaclav 2017.12.25 3133
17 RM - Missionary Appeal 2017 December file vaclav 2017.12.13 1011
16 Message to the Young - 2017 Don Bosco's Feastday 2 file vaclav 2017.01.30 644
15 RM - We Are Family - Strenna 2017 file vaclav 2017.01.08 1417
14 RM - Missionary Appeal 2016 December file vaclav 2016.12.25 610
13 God is born in Siberia, Mongolia and Myanmar, too.... (RM-December 2016) file vaclav 2016.12.07 1067
12 Dream about Missionary Salesian Family - RM November 2016 vaclav 2016.11.15 368
11 RMG - Meeting with the Provincials halfway through their term of office: the Rector Major’s reaction ceteratolle 2016.10.06 366
10 "My dear young people, ALLOW YOURSELVES TO BE CAPTIVATED BY JESUS!" Message of the Rector Major to young people file ceteratolle 2016.01.31 930
9 STRENNA 2016 file ceteratolle 2015.12.31 1159
8 RM - Dear confreres 5 Don Bosco is Alive (DB200) file vaclav 2015.11.26 507
7 RM - Dear confreres 4 file vaclav 2015.09.05 526
6 RM - Five dreams (Fruits of the DB200) ACG 421 letter file vaclav 2015.08.08 650
5 Francis to the Salesian Family DB200 file vaclav 2015.07.17 398
4 RM - Strenna 2016 WITH JESUS.... file vaclav 2015.07.09 766
3 RM - Dear confreres 3 file vaclav 2015.07.08 427
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