Message to the Province – September 3rd, 2020

Dear Salesians and Salesian Family:

It is hard to believe that we are now entering our seventh month of living with the Covid-19 pandemic. I encourage you to be safe and strong and I pray that God’s blessings will continue to manifest itself in everything around you.

Speaking of God’s blessings, on Monday, August 31st, there was a Zoom meeting/gathering of Province Leadership. The meeting was divided into two sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The theme for the morning session was “Partners in Mission” and it had over forty participants which included professed Salesians (SDBs and FMAs), Salesian Cooperators, and many of our Lay leaders and collaborators in charge of our Province ministries. It was a good reflection, in the general assembly and in small groups, on Salesian Animation. The afternoon session was a meeting of the Directors, the Pastors and the Provincial Council on Salesian Province and local community issues. Overall, there was good synergy and it was a great way to re-connect as we begin the ministerial year.

The Province Leadership Zoom meeting is an example of two important goals I would like to work on this year, beginning with me as Provincial, and in all levels of animation in the Province: COMMUNICATION and VOCATION ANIMATION. In this week’s letter I would like to focus on Communication. In the next opportunity I will focus on Vocation Animation.

With regard to communication, I believe that we can all do so much better in letting others know what is happening in the Province and in the local sites. I have begun and hope to consistently give Province updates and news to the Salesian confreres. As Provincial I want my Salesian brothers to hear things directly from me. I highly encourage everyone, especially those in roles of animation and leadership, religious and lay, to let people know what is happening. Communication brings synergy and it promotes a sense of belonging. As Salesian Family it is integral to our daily life.

Working with the Province Youth Ministry Office I am happy to announce that moving forward I/we plan to focus on certain themes for the month. This month’s theme? Yes, COMMUNICATION. And CREATION. Pope Francis, through his encyclical Laudato Si, and the Salesian Congregation, through the Don Bosco Green Alliance Project, are calling us to care for the earth and the environment. September 1 through October 4 is “The Season of Creation 2020”. Pope Francis reminded us back in April (from an interview by The Tablet) that the pandemic is “nature’s response” to the world’s ambivalence to climate change. He says that there is an expression in Spanish: “God always forgives; we forgive sometimes; but nature never forgives.” Perhaps we need to continually reflect on how we, individually and communally, can contribute to the care of the earth. I encourage you to reread Laudato Si and to check out Perhaps, as this pandemic continues to prevent us from going back to our way of living, we can commit to pray passionately, live simply and practice and promote respect for the environment.

God bless you and be assured of my prayers always.