Provincial Letter: June 3rd, 2022

Dear Salesian Family and Salesian Young People:

On June 1st, on a beautiful clear evening, I found myself on the 61st floor of the Salesforce Tower in San Francisco. A former student who works for the Bar Association of San Francisco invited me to an event at the Ohana Floor overlooking the City by the Bay. What an amazing structure, the tallest in the city and with an elevator that takes you to the 61st floor in less than 40 seconds. What a wonderful event, honoring a handful of individual lawyers and corporate legal teams in the Bay Area. What a gorgeous view of the city and the bay as we relaxed and enjoyed live music and a delectable variety of drinks, finger foods and sweets.

But what struck me was the event’s theme: innovation and diversity. On the way home, with the Salesforce Tower being a 15–20-minute bus ride to the Provincial Residence, I was reflecting on our own Salesian charism. Don Bosco was a man ahead of his time. Almost two hundred years ago he was able to achieve so much for the poor and abandoned young people of Turin because of his innovative and creative style of education and his willingness to work with a diverse group of people who can help him in his mission.

The Salesian mission has thrived over the years because of the Salesian Family’s commitment to the Gospel message of love and to the formation of today’s youth in the Salesian Preventive System. Worldwide we are 32 official member groups of the Salesian Family in ministry to young people and their families in 133 countries. Don Bosco will surely be proud of us.

Here in SUO there is much work to be done in our ministry to young people and their families. This year we are celebrating 125 years of Salesian presence in the United States, and we are committed to continue the Salesian mission of being signs and bearers of God’s love for others, especially the young.

I ask your prayers for two upcoming events this month. Both are essential to our mission in the province.

The first is the Salesian Youth Leadership Conference (SYLC) taking place June 8-14 at Camp St. Francis. Many youth leaders and their adult mentors from our Province ministries and communities will be in attendance as they deepen their understanding of Salesian identity and the Salesian Preventive System. Due to the pandemic this annual event was cancelled in 2020 and was a mixed in-person and virtual event in 2021. I have no doubt many of the young people and adult leaders are looking forward to this year’s in-person gathering at Camp St. Francis in the Monterey Bay.

The second is the Provincial Chapter on June 19-25 at St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower. The Provincial Chapter takes place every three years. This year’s chapter will focus on three working goals: 1) Reflection and verification of the province’s response to General Chapter 28; 2) Continuing the process for the Province Organic Plan 2022-2028; and 3) revising our Province Policy Handbook. Suffice it to say that the chapter delegates and invited guests will help us plan for the next six years.

Let us also continue to pray for the people of Ukraine, for the victims of gun violence in our country, for young people and for those who are near and dear to us. May God bless you in your dedication to the service of others. Remember to “Do all through love, nothing through constraint.” (St. Francis de Sales)

Sincerely in Christ and in Mary,