Provincial Letter August 6th, 2020

Dear Salesian Family,

fr.mel_installation_massA special thanks to my Salesian confreres and to my immediate family (three brothers) who joined us for the Province Installation Mass on July 30th at St. John Bosco High School, Bellflower. I am also appreciative of the many Salesian Family members, as well as alumni/ae, family and friends who watched the event virtually from other parts of the United States, from the Philippines and from Down Under. I have to honestly say that I felt the presence of all of you during the celebration.

I have now officially moved into the Provincial Residence and Office in San Francisco and have begun to fully immerse myself into what the Provincial role entails. The challenges we as a Province face today are both real and daunting, but the tremendous amount of prayers and support I have received from so many people has given me the strength to fulfill my role to the best of my ability. Yes, God will provide always! And yes, Mary our Mother and Don Bosco will guide and intercede for me in my task of animation. But we need to work collaboratively as professed Salesians, as Salesian Family, as partners in mission, in bringing young people and each other to a deeper relationship with Christ and in accompanying young people to finding their purpose and meaning in life.

The Rector Major, Fr. Angel Fernandez Artime, just announced a couple of days ago the theme or Strenna for 2021 Hope moves us: “Behold, I make all things new.” (Rev 21:5)

This COVID-19 pandemic has instilled so much fear, uncertainty and anxiety in all of us, especially young people and the most vulnerable among us. Fr. Angel says that “the Strenna will serve to propose a Salesian reading of the present time in order to learn alternative processes to the dominant culture, capable of achieving a change of values and vision.”

We will continue to reflect on the Strenna moving forward. As we are invited to look at alternative processes, we will also continue to use traditional processes or tools for animation in the Province. One of these is InTouch, which has been used for communication and animation within the Province and beyond. As Provincial I hope to connect with you on a regular basis and I encourage all the local communities and ministries to do the same – all for purpose of celebration and accompaniment. We will also look at alternative ways of communication and connection and we hope that they can bring life to the Province community.

May God bless you and bring healing to our world!