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An attractive Oratory model

By our own correspondent

Chieri, Piedmont, Italy, 11 December 2019 -- On 8 December (Sunday) the whole Salesian Family around the world remembered and celebrated the 178th anniversary of the Salesian Family origins. One Hail Mary is said together at noon time in many Salesian Oratories around the world to remember the first 'Ave Maria' said by Don Bosco in the Sacristy of St Francis of Assisi Church with Bartolomeo Garelli in 1841. Also in Chieri at noon, some 300+ members of the Oratory, the SDB, FMA with Salesian Cooperators and many other members of the EPC joined in the Hail Mary, a simple family lunch and after a simple recollection the day concluded with the solemn Eucharist.

The EAO Regional Councillor was invited for the third time to Chieri's San Luigi Oratory (Rector Fr Eligio Caprioglio) to contribute to the animation of many groups in the large EPC (Educative-Pastoral community) with 9 Salesians, dozens of Salesian Cooperators, many Oratory volunteers and animators (yellow uniform) and a few hundred children and young people. This EPCìs members are happy to growth together as one large family, with many animators, Salesian Cooperators, families and their children who are happy to be in the Oratory and they give their whole heart and mind to this mission.

Even without special advertisement the Oratory family has been growing during the past 6 years. From the initial 40-50 members it has already surpassed 400 members of all ages. Indeed the large variety of group activities, from sports, camping, music, drama, social work (taking care of the homeless in Chieri) is animated with the strong spiritual energizers of prayer, catechesis, recollections, involvement in liturgy. Youth are involved to serve other youth and their parents are similarly invited.

Anybody who comes for the first time can feel and touch the Oratorian heart in this joyful community.

The Oratory in Chieri is connected in many ways to our EAO region through many visits of the new missionaries during their course in September, through animation visit of the Rector to the Solomon Islands in 2017, through Fr Tim's (KOR) time there to study Italian last January 2019, and many others. We are also looking forward to the coming GC28, when all delegates will come to Chieri for the Ash Wednesday liturgy on 26 February 2020.

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