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Taipei (Taiwan)


By Peggy Li


Taipei, Taiwan, 14 August 2019 --The venerated and beloved Rector Major Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime at about midday arrived in St. John Bosco Parish, Taipei. At the gate, welcoming him, were the hundred children of the St. John Bosco Preschool and the Taiwan Salesian confreres who had all come to Taipei by an early train ride from Tainan, 300 km away.


Next the Rector Major, in the Don Bosco Hall of the parish, met the Taiwan Salesians (about 20 of them) for an hour, sharing recent news and basic concerns with them regarding the Salesian Congregation worldwide. In particular, regarding positive aspects, he spoke about the beauty of the Salesian Congregation, her basic health, her solid fidelity to the option for poor youth, her great effort in ensuring vocational discernment and accompaniment for the new generations of youth. Regarding problematic or challenging aspects, the Rector Major spoke of the need of greater effort in bearing witness to our identity as people dedicated to a life of special consecration, in attaining an adequate human maturity, in achieving a true life of fraternity, in combating the pitfalls of clericalism, craving for power, irregular situations…


The Rector Major’s sharing was followed by the family agape in the community’s refectory, during which the young Salesians sang the EAO vocational prayer “Cor Jesu sacratissimum”, authored by dying Blessed Michael Rua with Fr. Cerruti and put to music by Indian-Filipino Spanish missionary Fr. José Carreño.


At 16:00 hours in the St. John Bosco Parish Church the Rector Major met all units of the North Taiwan Salesian Family: Salesians of Don Bosco, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Cooperator Salesians, young parishioners, and lay mission partners. The gathering was brightened by the presence of 92-year old Cooperator Salesian retired lively Archbishop Joseph Ti Kang. The Rector Major called upon all members of the Salesian Family to live out their common and unique Salesian identity in the context of their families, work places, and communities. At the end of the Rector Major’s sharing, the young people of the parish staged a pantomime about the growth challenges faced by today’s youth, the Saturday parish childrens’ choir sang three songs, one of them in the Hebrew language, and the Cooperator Salesians offered two songs deeply representative of modern Chinese ethos and culture. Before the photo-session, the Rector Major was asked to sing some Spanish songs accompanied by his guitar. This he did, in the company of his secretary Fr. Horacio Lopez, to the relish of all members of the Salesian Family, young and old. Before concluding, the Taiwan Salesian Family offered the Rector Major a financial contribution in support of the expenses involved in the formation work of young Salesians world-wide.


At 18:00 hours the Vigil Mass of the Solemnity of the Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven was celebrated by the Rector Major together with Archbishop Joseph Ti Kang and a dozen other priests. During the preparation of the Eucharistic gifts, Archbishop Joseph Ti Kang made an impassioned call to continue to financially support the formation expenses of the Salesian Congregation, in particular in the Africa Continent. Before the end of the Mass, the Act of Entrustment of the Salesian mission to Our Lady Help of Christians, made 100 years ago (1919) by Fr. Luigi Versiglia and his missionaries in Shiuchow and 70 years ago (1949) by Bishop Michael Arduino and his missionaries also in Shiuchow, was renewed by the Taiwan Salesian Family together with the 10th Successor of Don Bosco.


The splendid Salesian Family day was concluded in a Thai restaurant with a family agape, at which also the Archbishop of Taipei Msgr. John Baptist Hung Shan Chuan SVD graciously took part.




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5170_In Tainan (Taiwan) Rector Major Very Present in His Absence

Taipei (Taiwan)


By Fr Lanfranco Fedrigotti, SDB


On Tuesday, 13 August 2019, the China Airlines 7868 12:55 p.m. flight with which the Rector Major of the Salesians of Don Bosco had planned to arrive in Tainan was cancelled by the Hong Kong International Airport. So Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime could not make it to Tainan. The cancelling was somehow providential since, this very morning the Tainan Municipality declared a no-work and no-class day because of serious flooding, caused by an extraordinary night downpour that in some places reached 30 cm of rain!


Notwithstanding his absence, the Rector Major was very present in the subsequent celebration “in absentia” that took place for the Salesian Family of Southern Taiwan (Tainan, Kaohsiung, and Pingtung Counties).


The Salesians of Don Bosco from the Salesian Communities of Tainan, Chaochou, and Taipei, who had gathered to welcome the Rector Major at the Tainan Airport actually got together in the Salesian Quarters of the Salesian Community of Salesian Technical School and Mary Help Parish. They happily shared the fraternal agape that had been prepared for the Rector Major and his companions. They decided also to celebrate with the Salesian Family the dear Rector Major in absentia, the 204th Birthday of Don Bosco, and the 70th Jubilee of Religious Profession of dear 88-year old Fr. John Baptist Zen Shing Yeh.


Soon after lunch, they were joined by the Bishop of Tainan, Msgr. John Bosco Lin Chi Nan, a Cooperator Salesian, and by Mr. Wang Xin Yi, a dedicated Past Pupil of Don Bosco for the last 40 years. With them, the Salesian Community took the opportunity of reciting together the Midday Prayer and the Vespers of the day in the community chapel.


At 18:00 hours, as planned, the Salesian Family Eucharist for the Birthday of Father and Founder St. John Bosco took place in the Mary Help Parish Church. The participants included Taiwan Salesians, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Cooperator Salesians from Tainan and Pingtung, the young people of Chaochou Boystown with the members of the staff, and Past Pupils of Don Bosco of Tainan Salesian Technical School.


The Eucharist, given the absence of the Rector Major, was presided over by the Cooperator Salesian Bishop of Tainan Msgr. John Bosco Lin Chi Nan. In the homily the Bishop, notwithstanding the regret for the Rector Major’s absence, spoke of his joy of being a member of the Salesian Family which he called “his family”. From the word of God proclaimed in the Mass of St. John Bosco he encouraged us to offer the world the witness of a joyful life, the source of joy being one’s union with God, and the witness of joy being the best way to attract other people to the faith.


During the Mass the Latin Mass “Cantate Domino” of Maestro Giuseppe Oltrasi was sung in unison by the whole assembly, to the pleasant surprise of guests from outside. The confreres and faithful of the parish had been practicing it for the whole past month in preparation for the visit of the beloved Rector Major.


After the Eucharist, the whole assembly moved to the hall of the Salesian Technical School. There the Rector Major made himself present at the festive dinner by means of a YouTube short message, transmitted from Macau, in which he expressed his regret at being unable to come to Tainan and at the same time his joy at knowing that the South Taiwan Salesian Family was gathered together for prayer and celebration.


During the festive dinner, colourful items were performed by aboriginal faithful, by the Vietnamese migrants, by the Cooperator Salesians and by the parish youth. A graduate student of the school from Nicaragua represented all present to offer the Rector Major, in both fluent Spanish and fluent Chinese, a token of thanks and appreciation in Spanish. All this was transmitted to the beloved Rector Major over the Internet. Longlive the new means of social communication!


In Taipei (Taiwan) Rector Major’s Presence Makes Salesian Identity Sparkle


Providentially unhindered by the upheavals at Hong Kong International Airport, the venerated and beloved Rector Major Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime at about midday arrived in St. John Bosco Parish, Taipei. At the gate, welcoming him, were the hundred children of the St. John Bosco Preschool and the Taiwan Salesian confreres who had all come to Taipei with an early train ride from the 300-km away Tainan.


Next the Rector Major, in the Don Bosco Hall of the parish, met for one hour the Taiwan Salesians (about 20 of them), sharing with them recent news and basic concerns regarding the Salesian Congregation worldwide. In particular, regarding positive aspects, he spoke about the beauty of the Salesian Congregation, her basic health, her solid fidelity to the option for poor youth, her great effort in ensuring vocational discernment and accompaniment to the new generations of youth. Regarding problematic or challenging aspects, the Rector Major spoke of the need of greater effort in bearing witness to our identity as persons dedicated to a life of special consecration, in attaining an adequate human maturity, in achieving a true life of fraternity, in combating the pitfalls of clericalism, crave for power, irregular situations…


sang the EAO vocational prayer “Cor Jesu sacratissimum”, authored by dying Blessed Michael Rua with Fr. Cerruti and put to music by Indian-Filipino Spanish missionary Fr. José Carreño.


At 16:00 hours in the St. John Bosco Parish Church the Rector Major met all units of the North Taiwan Salesian Family: Salesians of Don Bosco, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Cooperator Salesians, young parishioners, and lay mission partners. The gathering was brightened by the presence of 92-year old Cooperator Salesian retired lively Archbishop Joseph Ti Kang. The Rector Major called upon all members of the Salesian Family to live out their common and unique Salesian identity in the context of their families, work places, and communities. At the end of the Rector Major’s sharing, the young people of the parish staged a pantomime about the growth challenges faced by today’s youth, the Saturday parish childrens’ choir sang three songs, one of them in the Hebrew language, and the Cooperator Salesians offered two songs deeply representative of modern Chinese ethos and culture. Before the photo-session, the Rector Major was asked to sing some Spanish songs accompanied by his guitar. This he did, in the company of his secretary Fr. Horacio Lopez, to the relish of all members of the Salesian Family, young and old. Before concluding, the Taiwan Salesian Family offered the Rector Major a financial contribution in support of the expenses involved in the formation work of young Salesians world-wide.


At 18:00 hours the Vigil Mass of the Solemnity of the Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven was celebrated by the Rector Major together with Archbishop Joseph Ti Kang and a dozen other priests. In the homily, the Rector Major spoke movingly an convincingly of Mary assumed into heaven as our dear Mother and Help in all vicissitudes of life. During the preparation of the Eucharistic gifts, Archbishop Joseph Ti Kang made an impassioned call to continue support financially the formation expenses of the Salesian Congregation, in particular in the Africa Continent. Before the end of the Mass, the Act of Entrustment of Salesian mission to Our Lady Help of Christians, made 100 years ago (1919) by Fr. Luigi Versiglia and his missionaries in Shiuchow and 70 years ago (1949) by Bishop Michael Arduino and his missionaries also in Shiuchow, was renewed by the Taiwan Salesian Family together with the 10th Successor of Don Bosco.


The splendid Salesian Family day was concluded in a Thai restaurant with a family agape, at which also the Archbishop of Taipei Msgr. John Baptist Hung Shan Chuan SVD graciously took part.


In Taipei St. John Bosco Parish CIN Salesians Temporary and Perpetual Commitments in the Hands of the Rector Major Today, 15 August 2019, Solemnity of the Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven, at 07:00 hours in the morning the revered and beloved 10th Successor of Saint John Bosco, Rector Major Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, was present at the Our Lady of Assumption Lauds in the parish 3rd floor chapel of the St. John Bosco Parish in Taipei. Presiding over the celebration of the festive Lauds was the EAO Regional Fr. Václav Klement. After the short reading, short responsory, and short homily of the Regional, the Rector Major took his seat to receive the renewal of vows of a young Salesian.


After half an hour of prayerful pause, at 08:00 hours the solemn Assumption of Our Lady Mass with Perpetual Profession Rite began in the same 3rd floor chapel. Present were also representatives of the Salesian Family and of the Taipei Catholic Church related to the young Salesian candidate for Perpetual Profession: Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (among them Sr. Maria Wang, the organist), Cooperator Salesians (among them Mattia, the photographer), lay mission partners of St. John Bosco Parish and St. John Bosco Preschool (among them Paulina, Lisa, and Anita), the Rector of the Fu Jen Faculty of Theology of Saint Robert Bellarmine Fr. Jeffrey Chang S.J., the Jesuit Professor Fr. Augustine Tsang Hing To, an Ursuline Sister in representation of the Ursuline Sister that was at the root of the Perpetually Professed’s Salesian vocation, CICM Fr. Willy Ollevier the Parish Pastor of the parish in which the Perpetually Professed Salesian has been serving in the past year with some of the faithful of the parish, and others.


During the homily of the festive Mass, the Rector Major emphasized the consecrated identity of the Salesians of Don Bosco. He recounted the famed story of young Giovanni Cagliero who, when faced with Don Bosco’s invitation to become a religious bound by vows, after a prolonged interior struggle exclaimed: “Frate o non frate, voglio restare con Don Bosco! [Friar or no friar, I want to stay with Don Bosco!]”


During the festive Mass the “Missa ‘Cantate Domino’ ad una voce di popolo” of Maestro Giuseppe Oltrasi was sung in its completeness (Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei). It is the historical mission of the CIN Province to keep up and transmit good old traditions. This Mass has been transmitted to us today from the very beginning of the CIN Province. Maestro Giuseppe Oltrasi composed this “Missa” when he was 15 years old. It is a youthful Latin Mass, written for youth and best sung by youth. Maestro Giuseppe Oltrasi was the uncle of the 3rd CIN Provincial Fr. Mario Acquistapace, the younger brother of Fr. Mario’s mother. A gifted musician and composer, until his death Maestro Giuseppe Oltrasi was the organist of the Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio in Milan, Italy. After the Mass, the Rector Major remarked: “During this Mass I have sung more Latin that the Latin I have sung in all the past few years added together”.


At breakfast, meticulously prepared in the parish church basement by the Parish Pastor Fr. Andrew Edgar Carbon and his collaborators, churros dipped in hot chocolate were served to the delight of Spanish-born Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime. The churros had been kindly baked by the OP Sisters for whom the Salesian priests of St. John Bosco Parish celebrate the daily Community Mass. Thank you, dear Sisters!


Before leaving for the Taoyuan International Airport at 10:45 hours, the Rector Major greeted the numerous participants one by one, causing them to be moved in the depth of their heart. The Rector Major took an afternoon plane to Hong Kong, accompanied by his faithful personal secretary Fr. Horacio Lopez, the EAO Regional Fr. Václav Klement, and the Salesian Provincial Vicar Fr. Domingos Leong Teng Kok (the Provincial Fr. Joseph Ng Chi Yuen having been detained in Hong Kong by the uncertain developments of the Hong Kong uprising).


The less than 24 hours passed by the beloved Rector Major in Taipei have left in the heart of all of us, blessed with the joy of personally contacting the 10th Successor of Don Bosco, have left indelible memories in the hearts of all of us. God bless our beloved Rector Major!

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