Annual Missionary Prayer Appeal Letter to the sick and aged confreres
RMG, Rome, 11 November 2018 -- Dear Confreres,
A cordial greeting to each of you, from the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Rome, the residence of our dear father Don Bosco and now also of his successor. Once again we have come to the annual remembrance of 11 November, the Salesian missionary remembrance par excellence.
In your frequent times for prayer and explicit contemplation, I entrust three specific prayer intentions this year to you to be kept in mind...
- For the new missionaries sent this year as part of the 149th Expedition - twenty-five confreres, the majority of them young, who came from all continents and left for all continents. Pray for them that they may keep the missionary lamp burning in their Salesian souls and that they may be strong in adversity.
- For confreres who are discerning their missionary vocation ad gentes. On 8 December next the Rector Major will address his third missionary appeal to the entire Congregation, convoking the 150th Missionary Expedition for September 2019. Pray therefore that many - from all the continents and of all ages, clerics and brothers – may have the courage to say yes to the Lord and his mission. This appeal by the Rector Major therefore urgently needs to be accompanied by your prayers!
- For the young people of vast areas and countries that are still waiting for us, they are waiting for Don Bosco and above all, the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ. I am thinking especially of some countries of the former Soviet Union. On my way back from the Republic of Sakha (capital: Yakutsk), I flew over the huge territories of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan. In Yakutsk I met a young Muslim from Tajikistan. Let us pray that Divine Providence’s time for these young people may be speeded up through the generosity of many sons of Don Bosco.
Fr Guillermo motivates our sick and aged confreres with the same words used by Fr Juan Edmundo Vecchi in his beautiful last letter on illness and old age (2001):
"Many young people and others have an image of the Salesian in full strength as one who comes out of his room in the morning and - after prayer with the community - goes down to the playground, welcomes the young people as they come in, chats with them, joins in their game of football and, a few minutes later, gathers them in a room for a catechism class often followed by the Eucharist.
This is a real situation: it happens in many parts of the world and it is authentic. The Salesian waits for the right moment to meeting with the young people and the moment of their arrival is one of the freshest when they are most open to new things.
However, there is a risk: that of isolating oneself, of emphasizing and thinking too much of pastoral results as coming from one's own strength, forgetting the gratuitous filial dimension and the self-offering that was typical of Christ, who made the cross his moment of revelation and the Eucharist his moment of communication."
Let's make it known (and translate this letter for our sick and old confreres) in order to involve them in the large worldwide Salesian missionary prayer movement!
Full version of the letter for download: