Dear Salesian Sisters and Brothers,
Happy Easter! I pray that this Easter Season may truly be a time of new life, deep peace and overflowing joy. Our faith in the Risen Lord encourages us to trust in Him and surrender our lives to his Kingdom. During the Holy Week services I attended, the presider told the congregation to allow God to catch you! We sometimes feel that we are the ones doing everything but it is really God who does everything. Allow him to catch you and love you and you will be transformed. May this glorious season fill you with his love.
Yesterday I arrived at Three Rivers (St. Anthony Retreat House) to accompany some of my brothers who are making their annual retreat. I will only be able to stay until tomorrow afternoon. I need to be back down in Los Angeles for Thursday and Friday’s festivities welcoming Mother Yvonne Reungoat, Mother General of the Salesian Sisters, to California’s Southland. On Friday, April 26, the Salesian Sisters will host a World Gratitude Day! FMA Sisters from neighboring provinces and the Salesian Family have been invited to attend the Mass at St. Dominic Savio, at 3pm. It will be presided by Bishop Marc Trudeau, regional Bishop for the San Pedro region. I will return to San Francisco on Saturday.
This year, it was decided that we would try a different style of retreat, at least, for this one. Instead of a regular preacher, articles for reflection would be prepared and handed out each morning. Then, during the mid afternoon break, those who wish, can gather to share their reflection. The rest of the retreat will be normal: Morning and evening prayer, evening services, Masses, etc. We will see what the outcome will be at the end when the evaluations come in.
Fr. Maria Arokiam Kanaga’s visit has been going well. The Brothers have liked his easy style and positive outlook. It is a blessing to have him here and help us vision into the future. These days, Fr. Arokiam is in New York visiting a community of Salesians from his home province of Chennai (Madras) in India.
For Easter Day, the Northern Salesians gathered at Sts. Peter and Paul for a simple social before walking to a nearby restaurant for our Easter dinner. Around 30 of us gathered. Fr. Tho Bui led us in prayer at the beginning of the meal. The meal was well served and delicious (Italian) and we stayed talking and spending time together for around three hours. It was a good gathering and perfect way to bring Easter Day to a close. I wish to thank Fr. Gael Sullivan and his community for organizing the meal. The Provincial House will help with part of the financing. Usually, the Easter meal is organized by the Provincial House. This year it was suggested to have the meal in San Francisco (other years it has been hosted in Richmond) to allow Fr. Armand Oliveri who is celebrating 99 years of life, to attend. Fr. Armand looked good and was in great spirit. We sang happy birthday and brought out a cake. Fr. Armand, Happy Birthday!!
The end of the school (academic) year is fast approaching. We wish to accompany all of our students and staff members with our prayers. May the hard work we have started bear fruit in our young people.
With warm regards and gratitude,