A real volcano of Salesian solidarity with suffering people
EAO Region, 2 April, 2020 -- There is a strong feeling that the Salesian Family all around the world is also concerned about 'the others around' with a broad variety of help, assistance, educational and pastoral programs characterized by dynamic creativity. These are challenging times: the pandemic has already reached one million Covid19 cases with almost 50,000 deaths around the world. We may be tempted to 'close in on ourselves' in our respective quarantine or lockdown situations in our own country. But the Salesian Family worldwide makes a difference.
First we are grateful for the encouraging and clear guidance
There are posted or video messages of the Rector Major, his Councillors (Economer General, Formation Councilor) with many quite concrete suggestions and indications. All of them can be easily accessed on the Boscolink 'Resource section'.
In his most recent message (1 April), the Rector Major recalled the prayer of Pope Francis before his Urbi et Orbi messagee to the deserted St Peter's Square, a prayer which Salesian communities from all over the world join in with wholeheartedly. "The Pope left us this message, the only one possible: an outlook of faith and hope: "Do not be afraid!" and the Successor of Don Bosco expressed thanks to the entire Salesian Family for how it is responding to the emergency caused by the pandemic, and appreciated many initiatives in education or pastoral care. Finally, he passionately invited us never to forget the poor and migrants around us, as our duty as upright citizens.
Second - we are inspired and encouraged by many initiatives happening all around the world
One week ago through the Salesian Global video-meeting on 25 March, the Missions (Fr Alfred Maravilla) and Economy (Br Jean Paul Müller) sectors with their respective staff and front-line coordinator Fr MC George started a close monitoring and networking among some 40-50 various Salesian agencies and PDOs in some provinces. 44 different Salesians and Lay mission partners from all 7 Salesian regions were involved in the video conference, including also 4 from the EAO region (Korea, Indonesia, Phillipines, Mongolia). For the last week you may get daily updates regarding many Salesian initiatives around the world - not only through the ANS news agency but also through the detailed update by Fr. MC George
Last but not the least, during these last few days of the Lenten season and Holy Week we have an offer of a specially prepared 'Way of the Cross' in the time of the Pandemic or other prayers emerging in this emergency situation.
Third - we are invited to share the good stories of solidarity in our days
The response is different according the local situation - some Salesian houses are opening their facilities as a venue for quarantine during the lockdown period (FIS-Cebu), some offer Don Bosco house space for much-needed rest for medical staff (FIN-Manila); young Salesians in formation (Sandor and SnDB community) are involved in stitching work for face masks or shield-making (FIN, Cambodia Delegation, FIS - FMA sisters); Don Bosco Past Pupils delivered their first boxes with face masks to Milan province (from CIN) and continue their fundrasing while one Province Mission Office follows up the needs indicated by the Rome coordinator (KOR). So many good Salesian Family stories are going around in these pandemic times. But we are also invited to share our good stories!
Our wonderful experience helps us to discover that we are really not only one Salesian Family but also one Human family spread around the world. This situation calls for sharing of our good experiences: volunteers who help the afflicted, providing sanitizers or face masks, opening our facilities for the needy, organizing fundraising for needy countries or places according their needs.
You may write to firstname.lastname@example.org (AustraLasia news) or directly to the coordinator in the General house at email@example.com. Some photos and concrete stories are always welcome!
- Message of the Rector Major (April 1, 2020)
- Salesian Family in COVID19 times related action materials
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