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       RMG, 18 December 2022 -- Today we remember 163 years ago, December 18, 1859, when Don Bosco founded the "Pious Society of St. Francis de Sales" in Valdocco, Turin with seventeen members in addition to the founder. It is on this date that the Rector Major launches his call for missionaries to all confreres to emphasize that since its foundation the missionary spirit and commitment are essential elements of the Salesian Congregation.

       "Thanks to the missionary spirit in our Congregation, there are still confreres who leave to give their lives to God as missionaries," writes Fr. Angel Fernandez. And he also sees this as a fulfillment of what Don Bosco said in his homily during the first missionary sending out on Nov. 11, 1875: "... Who knows, that this departure and this little one is not like a seed from which a great plant will arise? ... Who knows, that this departure has not awakened in the hearts of many the desire to consecrate themselves to God in the Missions, making a body with us and strengthening our ranks? I hope so. ..." (MB XI, 385).

       In his letter, the RM emphasizes that today 'the missions' cannot be understood only as a movement to 'mission lands,' as it once was. Today, Salesian missionaries come from and are sent to the five continents not only to respond to the need for personnel but, above all, to witness that for us there are no frontiers, to contribute to intercultural dialogue, to the inculturation of the faith and our charism, and to trigger processes that can generate new local vocations.

       In his letter, the Rector Major invites all Salesians to pray and make a careful discernment to discover if the Lord is calling them, within our common Salesian vocation, to be lifelong missionaries (ad vitam). He also invites the Provincials, with their Delegates for Missionary Animation (PDMA), to be the first to help the confreres cultivate the missionary desire and facilitate their discernment.

       Our EAO region has received a lot of missionaries. Our Provinces are all founded on the hard work and missionary zeal of our pioneer missionaries. Thus, this appeal of the Rector Major is an invitation to all Salesians of our EAO region to get out of our comfort zones and dare to give one's life for the missionary needs of our Congregation.

       The full text in English, Italian and Portuguese can be downloaded by clicking here







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