150th anniversary of Don Bosco Past Pupils
By Mr Michael Hort, EXDB
President of the World Confederation of Don Bosco Past Pupils
Rome, Italy, 22 April 2019 -- Dear President and members of the National Presidency of Past Pupils,
I am writing to you with joy in my heart regarding the celebration of the 150th anniversary of our Association. On 24 June 1870, when the first group of past pupils visited Don Bosco to mark his name day and to thank him for the invaluable gift of education and friendship, the story of the past pupils began. Since that famous gift of coffee cups – the "tazzine" - now, after almost 150 years, we are called to reflect on the past, to enjoy the present and to plan for future challenges. I would like to invite all past pupils from around the world to get prepared and to celebrate this special anniversary. For the occasion of 150th anniversary in 2020, the World Presidency of Past Pupils decided to announce a Jubilee Year of Past Pupils of Don Bosco.
The Jubilee Year will start on the day of the anniversary itself on 24 June 2020 in Turin, Italy, with our current Don Bosco the Rector Major of the Salesian Family, during the celebration of Don Bosco's Name Day. The Jubilee Year is meant to be year of reflection, celebration and planning. We want to give our thanks to Don Bosco and our Mother, Mary Help of Christians, for all the blessings we have received over the last 150 years. We would like to bring and present what we have and what we are to the Salesian Family, the Church and to the World. New initiatives, projects and ideas will be shared and presented. At the same time, this 150th anniversary is a very important moment for us to rethink our identity and set standards and answer the question: What does it mean to be a past pupil of Don Bosco in the 21st century? What kind of Association we want to be for the next 150 years in order to grow, to build better networks, to bring new projects and to be the salt of the earth and light of the world of today?
The Jubilee Year will end at the World Assembly of Past Pupils which is scheduled for 2021, where we would like to bring all the results and outputs of the Jubilee Year and put it together in a manifesto on the past pupils of Don Bosco in the 21st century. I encourage you, my dear friends, to start your preparation for this extraordinary and blessed time of our Anniversary.
National celebrations on various opportunities, to join the world movement of past pupils and to let know about our joy and gratitude which we have in our hearts. Now even more than 150 years ago. The whole year of 2019 will be, among other activities, an important time of preparation for upcoming celebrations.
The World Presidency will be sharing with you new suggestions, proposals and ideas, and we will be asking you for your opinions and your ideas as well. We would like to reflect on the identity and mission of past pupil of today and for that process we would like to invite you all.
To create results, motivate each other and to bring all of this to life. We want to reflect on the scheme which we call the 3Ps of past pupils‘ identity and mission – P for Personal, P for Professional and P for Pastoral. All these bring different needs, challenges and approaches for us as past pupils, and futhermore as members of the Salesian Family, which see in the youth, specially the most needy, special beneficiaries of our attention and actions. Let´s rethink it at a personal, local, national but also worldwide level.
We, as a world presidency, will inform you soon about next steps in the issue of up coming Jubilee year and we will provide all necessary also in all of our official languages. Dear friends, I am very happy we are living in such times, that we witness the fruits of the dreams of Don Bosco, when we ourselves can be and become this fruit. As our story started with coffee cups, they now need to be filled with our love, gratitude and undying will to be good Christians and honest citizens.
In Don Bosco, Michael Hort, World President
NEWSFLASH of the Don Bosco Alumni (Easter 2019) is available: https://www.bosco.link/side_right/47072