Provincial Letter

Dear Salesian Family, Salesian Young People, and Friends:

What a week it has been…

On Friday, February 24, I was in San Francisco for a small farewell luncheon for Dr. Daniel Sonkin, who has been working for the Province in various capacities including as the Mental Health Advisor and the Coordinator of the Review Board. Thank you, Dr. Sonkin, for your years of service.

I was then at the Religious Education Congress in Anaheim on Saturday and Sunday, spending most of my time around the Salesian booth and greeting and meeting members of the Salesian Family. I also participated in a couple of workshops and ran into old friends and acquaintances. With thousands of people back in attendance, and in spite of the heavy rains on Friday and Saturday, the RECongress, post-pandemic, is on its way back.

I began the Provincial Visitation of the Los Angeles Salesian communities and ministries on Monday and Tuesday. But then I traveled from Tuesday through Thursday to Tlaquepaque, Guadalajara, Mexico, for the Theologate Curatorium, a meeting to review the Theology program where one of our own Salesians, Brother Jhoni Chamorro, is in his third year of Theological Studies. It was a very good meeting with the Regional, Fr. Hugo Orozco, and with other Provincials and representatives from our Interamerica region, as well as the faculty and staff of the Theologate. It was also a wonderful experience to be with the 16 Salesian students of Theology from our region.

Finally, I would like to conclude with the touching and powerful experience of the celebration of life of Bishop David O’Connell, Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles. Today I had the opportunity to attend the funeral services of Bishop David at Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral. The packed cathedral was a testament to how beloved Bishop David was to multitudes of people, including members of the Salesian Family. I heard that there were close to five thousand people gathered, with over 300 priests and 30+ Bishops and Cardinals. The beautiful message from the celebration was that “with all the work that he did, we all need to pick up where he left off.” Bishop David was known to have championed, over the years, for the poor and the migrants, especially families and unaccompanied minors. He was an awesome pastoral leader and reconciler and he wholeheartedly supported our ministries in both Los Angeles and Rosemead. As a matter of fact there is a fundraising event on Sunday at Don Bosco Tech. It is an event that he himself has been sponsoring over the years. Bishop David O’Connell will be missed and I am honored to have been at his services and celebration of life today. It is an experience I will not soon forget. May he Rest in Peace!

Fr. Mel Trinidad, SDB