Monday, January 31, 2011

Rector Major Announces Plans for DB's Bicentennial

Rector Major Announces
Plans for Don Bosco's Bicentennial

This comes from ANS, the Salesians' international news agency based at our GHQ in Rome.

Fr. Pascual Chavez, Rector Major of the Salesians of Don Bosco, announced on January 31 the process of preparation and the celebration of the bicentennial of Don Bosco’s birth (1815-2015). The process will follow the life, pedagogy, and spirituality of the saint of youth.

The Rector Major addresses the Salesians: “It is a very special event for us, for all the Salesian Family, and for the whole Salesian Movement, which requires an intense and profound process of preparation, so that it may prove fruitful for all of us, for the Church, for the young, and for society.”

The process is based on the first key issue from the 26th General Chapter, “Starting afresh from Don Bosco”: “Putting into practice GC26, which asks us to strengthen our charism and revive in the heart of each one of us the apostolic passion, is therefore the first practical way of preparing for this bicentennial celebration.”

The various stages start and conclude on August 16, Don Bosco’s birthday: “Each stage is meant to focus on one aspect of the charism of Don Bosco. The theme for each of the three stages of preparation will coincide with the theme of the strenna for that year.”

The program is as follows:

• Knowledge of Don Bosco’s history, August 16, 2011 - August 15, 2012: “a systematic plan for the study and assimilation of Don Bosco…. The study of Don Bosco is an essential condition in order to be able to communicate his charism and propose his current relevance.”

• Don Bosco’s pedagogy, August 16, 2012 - August 15, 2013: “Nowadays a deeper understanding is needed of Salesian pedagogy. In other words we need to study and apply that updated Preventive System desired by Fr. Egidio ViganĂ² … developing its great implicit principles, modernizing concepts, guidelines, and interpretations so as to express the basic ideas in a modern manner.”

• Don Bosco’s spirituality, August 16, 2013 - August 15, 2014: “Perhaps this is an aspect of our founder that has not been studied at sufficient depth. He is a man totally intent on work. We have no descriptions of his interior development, nor has he left us any explicit reflections on his spiritual life.”
“The celebration of the bicentennial of the birth of Don Bosco will take place after the 27th General Chapter. It will begin on August 16, 2014, and end on August 16, 2015,” and the theme will be “Don Bosco’s mission with and for the young.” There will be two international events:

• the International Congress of Salesian Studies on “The development of the charism of Don Bosco” at the Salesianum in Rome in November 2014;

• the Bosco Camp of the Salesian Youth Movement, with the theme “Young people for the young” at Turin in August 2015.

“This year needs to be planned in good time in the provinces so that we can concentrate on the process of spiritual and pastoral renewal that we intend to pursue as the Congregation, the Salesian Family, and the Salesian Movement, emphasizing the importance and relevance of the messages we intend to communicate.”

Concluding his letter, the Rector Major offers an updated version of the prayer to Don Bosco, inviting the Salesians to make it their own and to recite it during their daily practices of piety.

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