The Salesian Rule of Life commands that every year the provincial and local communities gather around their respective superiors (the provincial, the director) and celebrate a "community feast day as a sign of fraternal communion and an expression of [their] gratitude" (Reg. 42). The Salesian Sisters have a similar rule; in fact, they call their celebration "gratitude day." (In days of old, the day was called "the provincial's feast day" or "the director's feast day.)
The custom probably is rooted in a tradition going back to Don Bosco's time, when some of the alumni of the Oratory organized themselves for a big celebration of their beloved father's name's day--which they mistakenly thought was June 24, the feast of the birth of St. John the Baptist. (Don Bosco in fact was named for St. John the Evangelist.) Ever since, June 24 has been celebrated as the feast of Don Bosco and then of his successors.
|Most of our merry provincial house crew|
with Spirit of New York behind us
The weather was as perfect as one could wish for--sunny, clear, mild, a slight breeze (more than slight on the top deck of the ship). Several hundred people were aboard, including one large family celebrating their matriarch's 100th birthday and a bunch of high school musicians from Pennsylvania.
|Some of the above-mentioned high schoolers on the top deck|
with Lower Manhattan in the distance ahead of us.
|Just 3 of the many people enjoying the park|
|Part of Hudson River Park|
A tiny sampling of what we saw...
|Lower Manhattan with two sailboats behind us|
|One of almost 2 dozen shots I took of Lady Liberty.|
Liberty Island was crowded, it appears.
|The Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, connecting Brooklyn (left) with Staten Island (right), is 51 years old. The Narrows separates Upper New York Harbor from the lower harbor and the open ocean.|