Provincial Letter: July 23, 2022

Dear Salesian Family and Salesian Young People:

I write this week’s message with a sad and heavy heart. Yestereday, July 22nd, 2022, at 4:01 PM Fr. Al Pestun SDB passed away at San Francisco General Hospital in the presence of the Salesians of Corpus Christi Salesian community and with Fr. Al’s niece and nephew. He was 93 years old.

Fr. Al was born in Sulekovo, Slovakia on October 28th, 1928, and is fondly remembered by alumni at both St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower and Salesian High School in Richmond. He was a teacher and a librarian in both places. Please pray for Fr. Al’s family and the Salesians of this province as we mourn the loss of Fr. Al. May he and the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.

I do want to express my gratitude to the Salesian community of Corpus Christi for their care of Fr. Al during these last few years, especially in their practice of the Salesian Constitutions # 54, which states:

            The community supports with greater love and prayer the confrere who is gravely ill. When the hour comes for him to bring his consecrated life to its highest fulfillment, his brothers help him to enter fully into Christ’s paschal mystery.

            Death for the Salesian is made bright by the hope of entering into the joy of the Lord, and when it happens that a Salesian dies working for souls, the Congregation has won a great triumph.

            The memory of departed confreres unites, in a love that will not pass away, those who are still pilgrims with those who are already resting in Christ.

I also write to you with peace in my heart, knowing and believing that another Salesian angel is praying for all of us in heaven. Funeral and burial services for Fr. Al will be communicated to you as soon as we know.

Finally, I ask for your prayers and support for two things. Firstly, I ask for you to pray for the young people in our summer camps and ministries as activities wind down. I was happy to have had the opportunity to visit, even for just a short while, many of the young people in some of the summer programs. As I said in my message last week it was great to see the joy in the faces of the young as youth and adult leaders accompanied them.

Secondly, I ask for you to keep in prayer the Salesians who will be on retreat next week at St. Francis Retreat in San Juan Bautista. Just like the retreat in April, Ms. Wendy Wright will preach on the life and spirit of St. Francis de Sales.

May the Lord bless you and your loved ones.

Sincerely in Christ and in Mary,