(ANS – Rome) – The thirty-second Spirituality Days of the Salesian Family open this afternoon, 16 January. This year’s programme will be a reflection on the spirituality of Don Bosco – theme of the 2014 Strenna and the third year of preparation for the Bicentenary – and the special relationship of communion between the Superiors of the various groups of the Salesian Family as we draw towards the end of Fr Pascual Chávez’s mandate as Rector Major.
The Spirituality Days are a tradition of the Salesian Family that serves to unite the representatives of the various groups in joint reflection and sharing of the Salesian charism. The tradition started in 1973 and has continued since then, with a break in the years 2001-2003. Specific issues were explored from time to time, always in relation to Church and society and the everyday life of our mission among the young.
This year’s theme is taken from the 2014 Strenna: “Let us draw upon the spiritual experience of Don Bosco in order to walk in holiness according to our specific vocation” and this will be the topic of the various talks.
Tomorrow, immediately after the introduction, there will be a talk by Fr José Luis Plascencia entitled “Encounter with Jesus of Nazareth”. This will be followed by a moment of dialogue between the Rector Major and young people, couples and students.
Fr Aldo Giraudo will give a presentation on Friday entitled “Reflections on the spiritual sensitivity of Don Bosco and keys to interpreting his teaching” and the Rector Major, Fr Pascual Chávez, will speak on the theme “Pastoral Charity – synthesis of Salesian Spirituality “. In the afternoon there will be several testimonies of people living the Salesian spirituality in different areas: new frontiers, the digital world, group homes for young people, and work with immigrants. In the evening, at the Salesian House in Cinecittà, the Salesian post-novices from Nave will perform a play: “Business for Saints. Here we deal in souls, not money. “
On Saturday morning there will be a panel discussion which will present three experiences of Salesian spirituality lived in concrete pastoral and missionary situations. This will be followed by two of the most anticipated moments: the Rector Major’s presentation of the 2014 Strenna to all present, and an evening of tribute to Fr Chávezby the superiors of the various groups of the Salesian Family in recognition of his twelve years as spiritual guide and leader of the Salesian Family.
The assembly will end on Sunday 19 January. he Rector Major will preside at the Eucharist in the early morning (8:00 am GMT +1). The Mass can be seen in live streaming on www.missionidonbosco.tv. Later the conclusions of the various working groups will be shared and Fr Chávez will deliver the final message of the thirty-second Spirituality Days of the Salesian Family.