Rector Major (8) SDB Guidelines for 2020-2026
Acts of the General Council
n. 433,13-54: Full text for dowload
GC28-RM Guidelines 2020.docx (ENGLISH)
Eight Guidelines for download (one by one)
Þ 1. SALESIAN OF DON BOSCO FOREVER. Six years for growth in Salesian identity:
Þ 2. In a Congregation where we are invited by the “DA MIHI ANIMAS, CETERA TOLLE”
Þ 3. To live the “SALESIAN SACRAMENT OF PRESENCE”
Þ 4. Formation for being SALESIAN PASTORS TODAY
Þ 5. ABSOLUTE PRIORITY for the poorest, abbandoned - marginalized young
Þ 6. TOGETHER WITH LAY PEOPLE IN THE MISSION AND IN FORMATION.
Þ 7. IT IS TIME FOR GREATER GENEROSITY IN THE CONGREGATION.
Þ 8. Accompanying the young towards a SUSTAINABLE FUTURE (Laudato Si)
My dear confreres: let me conclude these guidelines by inviting you to accept them not just as a simple letter, but as a message and programme that seeks to be an expression of the beating heart of the Congregation today throughout the world.
I am proposing two important elements as attitudes with which to tackle the wonderful opportunity of the next six years:
Þ The first of these is to do with a virtue: hope. Only with hope can we tackle the future, in the confidence that the Lord will bring to completion, with our humble contribution, what we propose here.
Þ The second has to do with our attitude before God himself. I would like to ask our Congregation that over these six years we allow ourselves to be guided much more by the Holy Spirit; that it will be He who truly moves our hearts and our human capacities for animating and governing the Congregation and provinces and communities, so that each of us can end up making all the Salesian houses in the world other Valdoccos that offer a response to the youngsters, the youth of today, as Don Bosco did in his time.
With regard to hope, I would like to emphasise that, as we well know, it is a virtue that has so much to do with our Christian faith; it is a different way of looking at the future. Christian hope is a way of living, a way of journeying, a way of looking at things.
Hope is the fruit of an encounter with the Lord Jesus and is the fruit of acceptance of His Spirit in us. Hope is not the result of calculations and forecasts. “Neither pessimist nor optimist, the Salesian of the 21st century is someone filled with hope because he knows that his centre is the Lord who can make all things new (cf. Rev 21:5). Only this will save us from living in an attitude of resignation and defensive survival. Only this will make our lives fruitful.”
On the need to allow ourselves to be guided much more by the Holy Spirit of God, He who is the true inner Teacher, I make my words those of the Patriarch of Constantinople, Athenagoras I, who met Pope Paul VI (today Saint) in Jerusalem in January 1964. The result of that encounter in the Spirit of God was the abrogation of the mutual excommunications that existed up until that moment and that had deeply wounded the heart of Christ in his Church.
This is the thought:
“Without the Holy Spirit,
God is far away,
Christ stays in the past,
the Gospel is a dead letter,
the Church merely an organisation,
the mission propaganda,
liturgy a memorial,
and Christian action a slave morality.
But in the Holy Spirit
the cosmos is mobilised to generate the Kingdom,
the Risen Christ is there,
the Gospel is power and life,
the Church brings about Trinitarian communion,
authority is transformed into service,
the liturgy is memorial and anticipation,
human action is deified.”
Let us bring this message into our prayer.
My dear Salesian confreres, this is what I felt I had a duty to communicate and ask of you all. I invite you to accept these challenges, this road map for the journey over these six years, with all your heart and with a profound desire to bring it to reality in the provinces and communities. Certainly, with the grace of God and the maternal presence of our Mother the Help of Christians, they will be years of fidelity on the part of the Congregation and of courageous and also prophetic response to the signs of the times today. May our Mother, the Help of Christians, continue to look after our Congregation and to “do everything”, as with Don Bosco.
May Her mediation and that of all the Salesian holiness of our Family be for us a blessing in the one important thing of our mission from God: “To be in the Church signs and bearers of the love of God for young people, especially those who are poor” (C. 2).
I accompany each and every one of you with a memento and prayer.
Ángel Fernández Artime, sdb
Rome, 16 August 2020
205th Anniversary of Don Bosco’s birth
 Francis, Message to GC28, quoting his homily on the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord for the 21st World Day of Consecrated Life, 2 February 2017.
 The words are by Patriarch Athenagoras I, even though some attribute the quote to Patriarch Ignatius IV Hazim, in 1968.