By Fr. Vaclav Klement, SDB
There are many canonical communities, many formation houses or different parishes in our Region consecrated or dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus: AUL – Ascot Vale (2004), CIN – Hong Kong, Salesian Missionary House (1931), FIN – Canlubang, Postnovitiate (1963), FIS – Bacolod, Granada (1989), GIA – Chofu, Tokyo (1950), ITM – Wisma Don Bosco, Jakarta (1985), ITM – Serpong, Jakarta (2013), KOR – Dae Rim Dong, Seoul (1963), VIE – Ba Thon, HCM (1975) and many others. Also the Congregation of Caritas Sisters of Jesus is distinguished for a special devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
At Valdocco in the rooms of Don Bosco we find a mobile altar with a statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, where Don Bosco celebrated his Mass during last years of his life. In the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians at Valdocco we find a small chapel just near the main entrance. It is small, pleasing and quiet, and very suitable for anyone who wants to pray. Many pilgrims and ordinary people bring their daily struggles.
Why the Sacred Heart? Don Bosco's own great devotion. He himself wrote that, after the revelations to St Margaret Mary Alacoque, "This devotion was taken up by clergy and lay people with exceptional zeal, as though it corresponded to some pressing need of the human heart". Fr Giulio Barberis SDB wrote about Don Bosco's devotion: "Don Bosco's devotion to the Sacred Heart was admirable. He recommended it in a big way to his boys…". He showed his love and devotion by undertaking, near the end of his life, and at great cost and sacrifice to himself, the construction of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart (1887), next to Rome's Termini Train Station.
During the month of June 2015 the whole Salesian Congregation is invited to pray for the Vocations in Oceania (Missionary intention – Cagliero11): That Salesians in Oceania know how to build up the vocation culture through witness of life, the courage to propose, personal accompaniment, coherence of life and prayer. There are several challenges in building up with patience and ardour the vocation culture in our works in the six countries of Oceania. In Australia we are challenged by the secularised contexts and in the Pacific Islands by vocational fragility. As we give thanks to God for the many vocational fruits from Samoa and Tonga, for the gift of the first priest from Papua New Guinea (2013), first Salesian Brother from the Solomon Islands (2010) and for the first Salesian from Fiji (2015) we pray for vocations in all six countries of the Oceania and for first vocations from New Zealand.
The well-known vocational hymn to the Sacred Heart of Jesus composed by Fr. José Luis Carreño, (1905-1986) – a great Salesian Spanish missionary in India (Madras and Goa for 30 years) and in the Philippines (Canlubang - 15 years) is available to all AustraLasia readers, thanks to the courtesy of Fr. Jacob Iruppakkaattu, member of the social communication sector in Rome.