Day 6 – RM’s Visit: The Rector Major Celebrates Mass Commemorating the 125th Anniversary and Honoring Jubilarians

Sunday, 20 November 2022 – Day 6 (Last Day of RM’s Visit)

(San Francisco, California) – On Sunday, the Solemnity of Christ the King, the Rector Major concluded his visit to California with a visit to Corpus Christi Church in San Francisco.  The parish community was presented to the Rector Major as a “Salesian parish of immigrant families.”   As the Rector Major walked up the steps to Corpus Christi Church, he was quickly embraced by a crowd of happy children waving small flags and immediately the whole neighborhood was filled with joyful music and singing to welcome the Rector Major.

At the start of Mass, the church was completely full and many had to stand because there were no seats left.  During the introductory, the Rector Major pointed out how much the Salesians loved the people to have come and be with them instead of attending other parishes on that Sunday of Christ the King.  The presence of the large crowd spoke of the people’s immense gratitude to God for the gift of Don Bosco through his tenth successor, Don Ángel Fernández Artime!

In his homily, the Rector Major shared, “When I saw this beautiful statue of Mary Help of Christians, I could not, but go and offer incense to her because she is the Mother who leads us by the hand to meet her Son.”

The Salesian Family members also increased in number, as ten new Salesian Cooperators from San Francisco were inducted during the Mass.  Six of the new Salesian Cooperators are from Saints Peter and Paul Church and four are from Corpus Christi Church.  Mrs. Gina Battad, one of the new Salesian Cooperators reflected, “I was deeply moved by the entire experience.  I am filled with immense joy and am motivated to help our young people even more.  To continue to grow as a Salesian Cooperator of Don Bosco, I will still need help and guidance from the Salesian priests, other Cooperators, but most especially the intercessions of Mary Help of Christians and Don Bosco.  I give thanks to Almighty God.”

Being a Salesian parish of immigrants means being a Salesian parish that celebrates its richness in diversity of cultures and traditions.  During the Offertory, representatives from different nationalities performed briefly their own cultural dances as they bring up their offerings to the altar.  The Rector Major remarked how good it was for all to be there and that this outward sign of diversity and unity is an inward sign of God’s presence among all present, “Though we all come from different nationalities, we all beat the same heart, the heart of a Christian, of a Salesian.”  He also said, “Languages are not to be seen as obstacles, but rather as tools to reach others.”

Towards the conclusion of the liturgy, the young people from the parish invited Don Ángel, Fr. Mel Trinidad (provincial), Fr. Thomas Thodukulam (pastor), and Fr. Hugo Orozco (regional) to join them in singing a song to thank Don Bosco, who is among them through the Rector Major!  After Mass, as usual in the Salesian tradition, all were invited to the parish hall to continue the festivities with good food and great company.

The Salesian Family of Don Bosco in USA West is very grateful for the presence of the Rector Major among them!  And now that Don Ángel can travel more often to the United States and especially to California and Texas, in the words of the Provincial Fr. Mel Trinidad, “Fr. Ángel, see you soon!”

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