Come, Holy Spirit and move the hearts of the Salesians
Valdocco, Turin, 24 February 2020 -- First week of the GC28 is over, but the robust and highly inspiring talks and experience of the Spirituality Days and the official Opening Ceremony (22 February) will remain! How to keep the Salesians on the renewal journey? How do we foster the life-long formation of Salesians according the heart of Jesus and according to the needs of the young people? And how do we make possible our desired shared mission with the laity as mission partners?
All these questions come together in the sharing of one senior Salesian from our region. Last week he shared his inner heartfelt feelings: "One year ago when I first read the theme of the GC28, I was very surprised because I was thinking about which model of Salesian for today. I heard not little laments from many young people about the religious qualities of not few Salesians, even among seniors. Some times later, it came to me thought that maybe as previous general chapters, the documents are not able to change the Salesian heart. Those who are zealous - will continue to be zealous and those who are not willing to be renewed, continue to be as before. How can a miracle happen?"
Three spirituality days (19-21 February) have given us some clue to our common challenges. Three well-known speakers gave us a talk along each of the three nuclei of the General Chapter 28: Fr Rosanno Sala (Italy - UPS), Fr "Koldo" Gutterez (Spain - national YM delegate) and Fr Eunan McDonnel (Provincial of Ireland). Each of these talks was a powerful wake-up call, motivation for our Chapter journey.
Fr Rosanno called our attention to the deepest desire and motivation of Don Bosco, to meet Jesus with and through the young people and on Don Bosco's vocation for the poor young people. Fr Eunan brought us to a deeper level of observing the reality: to see with the eyes of our heart and focus on the deepest desire of the Salesian as deep relationship with God, a listening life-style amid a busy life.
Fr 'Koldo' in his gentle way (shortest talk!) shed light on the third nucleus of the GC28 - walking with the lay as mission partners with a humble heart and passion for relationship as our lifestyle.
Salesian Pentecost is not just about openness and prayer to the Holy Spirit - although we invoked Him on the official opening day (22 February) in the presence of our Bishops and Salesian Family group heads. Salesian Pentecost is to 'let ourselves be guided by the Spirit of the Lord' (SDB Constitutions art. 146 - The General Chapter) for the better service to the universal Church. In order to follow Don Bosco today, we need in the words of the Rector Major (opening talk of GC28):
- To look after God's interest
- To search for greater communion of the Congregation
- To give absolute priority to the Salesian mission with today's young people
- To give equal priority to the profile (model) of today's Salesian
- To believe more in our shared mission and formation with the lay as mission partners.
Veni, Sancte Spiritus!