Suva, Fiji Islands, 14 May 2019 -- The Salesian community in Fiji held their annual Retreat on 5-10 May at the Marist Brothers Novitiate complex in Lomeri on Fiji's main island, Viti Levu. The Retreat Director was Fr Chris Ford, Rector of the Salesian community at Lysterfield, Victoria, Australia. The Retreat is an important time of the year to review, refresh and renew our lives and commitment as Salesians of Don Bosco.
On the feast day of St Dominic Savio, Fr Chris celebrated the Eucharist with Fr Mika Leilua (Parish Priest) and Fr Paselio Tevaga (Rector) concelebrating. In his homily, Fr Chris described Dominic Savio as “a young boy with a big heart,” one who learned the meaning of the love and compassion of Jesus the Good Shepherd from Don Bosco.
All the sessions of the Retreat focused on St Francis de Sales and the influence he had on Don Bosco. “Love is patience and kindness, and by practising love we come to know the real meaning of love, and learn to move from self-love to true love.” An important message that struck me was that living Jesus always starts with the heart. Salesian spirituality starts from the heart and grows outward to the young, the poor, and the people to whom we are called and sent.
It was very encouraging to hear what St Francis de Sales had to say about prayer and the practice of virtues of love and joy, and that the call to holiness is for all the baptised, for all Christians.
Bro. Damian Taofinu’u shared this comment: “The Retreat is a time for silence and reflection, to look truthfully and deeply into my own life about my calling and commitment as a Salesian of Don Bosco. It is an opportunity to see what needs to be improved to be a better Salesian in the spirit of St Francis de Sales and Don Bosco.”