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By Fr Ryan Oliver Bautista, SDB


Canlubang, the Philippines, 3 January 2019 -- The Salesians and Lay Mission Partners of Don Bosco College Canlubang gathered to celebrate Mass at the Diocesan Shrine of Mary Help of Christians to usher in the New Year and to remember the 48th anniversary of the passing of Servant of God Fr Braga SDB and the 100th anniversary of his missionary activity.


In his homily, Fr Joel Camaya, SDB, rector of DBC, provided a brief outline of the life and works of Fr Braga. He noted that it was the hand of Divine Providence which helped Fr Braga to gradually discover his Salesian missionary vocation. In spite of the challenges posed by the realities of his life which included the abandonment by his father who migrated to the Americas when he was 2, the death of his mother when was 6, his 2 years of novitiate (first at Foglizzo and then at Valsalice), the experiences of the two World Wars, and a serious illness for which he asked for a special grace of healing and made a promise to be a missionary, Fr Braga continued to respond generously to the Lord's call for him to become a sign and bearer of God's love to the young.


This year also marks the centenary of Fr Braga's missionary activity. He became part of the second missionary expedition to China and received his missionary cross from the hands of Fr Paul Albera, SDB, on April 1919. Together with eight other Salesians, he left Italy in August 23, 1919 and arrived in China on September 29, 1919. After years of tireless missionary work in China, he arrived in the Philippines in 1953. He died on January 3, 1971 at Don Bosco Juniorate, San Fernando, Pampanga. As the process for his beatification and canonization is underway, Fr Camaya encouraged all to learn more about Fr Braga's life, imitate his zealous missionary example and ask for special graces through his intercession. He also expressed his hopes that one day we may be able to see him raised to the Church's altars. One can learn more about Fr. Braga's life at the Salesian official website: http://www.sdb.org/en/salesian-saints/174-servants-of-god/671-braga-carlo-it.


After Mass, the Salesians and Lay Mission partner visited and spent some moments of prayer at the Salesian cemetery at the back of the Shrine where the mortal remains of Fr Braga are located.




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