Letter to the Don Bosco Volunteers Secular Institute,
FMA Superior General
Rome, Italy, 5 December 2018
I wish to join in wishing you and every one of your sisters a joyous memorial of your founder, Blessed Fr Philip Rinaldi. It is a liturgical memorial, but it also has sentimental value for the whole Salesian Family, which is united with you in thanking the Lord for this wonderful figure of the Salesian: the third successor of Don Bosco. With deep insight, Fr Rinaldi brought into reality what the Holy Spirit had placed in his heart and in his mind, anticipating the times with the courage and wisdom of the Gospel.
This is what the Pope is hoping for today by opening up broad and new horizons: to give life and room to a lay presence in the Church as a sign of hope, solidarity and attention to situations where the voice of the poor is not heard, and especially where the dignity of the human being is wounded by various forms of violence.
I know I speak for the Sisters in the General Council and all the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians in expressing deep gratitude for the witness you give in settings where the Lord is calling you and sends you.
Above all I am thinking of the many young people and families all over the world who await a word of hope and concrete gestures of humanity. May you be sustained by the presence of Fr Rinaldi, especially during this time of preparation for your 8th General Assembly that will see you reflecting on a very beautiful and meaningful theme: "The Mission of the VDB Today".
With great affection we accompany you with prayer and entrust to Mary Help of Christians and our Saints the journey that lies ahead. It will be rich in every good thing, for sure. God bless you and grant you many vocations rich in holiness.
Relying heavily on the gift of your prayer so that, like you, I too can renew my daily "yes" to the will of the Lord and be a "humble instrument" in God's hands, I wish you a radiant preparation for the feast of the Immaculate, the historic day that began Salesian work, and a joyful journey through Advent.
With a sincere embrace of affection and esteem,