Message to the Province – September 24th, 2020

Dear Salesians and Salesian Family:

A few months past I read a quote on social media that struck me to the core. I know I have seen it before but it didn’t resonate with me until then, around the time I found out in the beginning of June that I have been appointed Provincial of the Salesians of Don Bosco USA West.

The quote is attributed to Zig Ziglar: “F-E-AR has two meanings: ‘Forget Everything And Run or Face Everything And Rise.’ The choice is yours.” Being named Provincial and accepting the responsibilities that go with that role and ministry certainly brought a sense of fear in my life. But it is a fear that comes from feeling unworthy, from feeling unprepared and from facing the unknown. Once I was resigned to the fact that I am in it for the long haul, six years to be exact, I made the choice to Face Everything And Rise. I believe that I cannot lead the Province alone, that I need the support of my brother Salesians and the prayers of the Salesian Family and the Salesian Young People. But more importantly I know that it is the power of the Risen Christ who will sustain me to do the best I can and face whatever the role demands. I have to rise to the occasion and I choose to challenge and empower everyone around me to also rise. Through prayer and trust in Him, God truly has the power to lift us up so that we can do the impossible and the improbable.

And here we are towards the end of September; and we officially began the Fall Season on the 21st. I have mentioned in my messages the last few weeks that Pope Francis has promoted September 1-October 4 as the annual event for the Season of Creation. We are approaching the end of this time of prayer and action in favor of our “common home”. Can we say, individually and as a community, even in the most ordinary and simple way, that I/we have done something to enjoy, enhance, respect, protect and celebrate Creation? If you can answer in the affirmative, I thank you on behalf of our planet earth and the awesome Creator. And if in the negative, I encourage to pray and do something because it never is too late.

Once again, I thank you for the opportunity to connect with all of you. Let us keep each other in prayer. God bless you and your loved ones! And may Mary, our Help, and Don Bosco, our founder, intercede for us and the young people among us.