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On the afternoon of Tuesday, December 31, the Rector Major of the Salesians, Fr. Pascual Chávez, presented the theme of the strenna for 2014 in the Generalate of the FMA. “Da mihi animas, cetera tolle”. Let us draw on the spiritual experience of Don Bosco, to journey in holiness acording to our specific vocation ?The glory of God and the salvation of souls? is the theme chosen for this last year of preparation for the bi-centenary of the birth of Don Bosco in 2015.
For 2014, the Rector Major proposes the goal of going to the source of the charism of Don Bosco by drawing on his spirituality. The text of the strenna starts by noting how Salesian spirituality is centred on pastoral charity, that is the charity which urges us to seek ?the glory of God and the salvation of souls?, and to rediscover the aspects of Don Bosco?s interior life and of his “familiarity with God“.
«Salesian charity,? the Rector Major writes in his presentation of the theme of the strenna, ?is pastoral cahrity, because it seeks the salvation of souls, and it is educational charity, because it finds in education the resource that allows it to help young people to develop all their energies for good. In this way young people can grow as honest citizens, good Christians and future inhabitants of heaven». It is an educational, pastoral charity that finds its model in Christ the Good Shepherd and finds its prayer and programme of life in Don Bosco?s motto: Da mihi animas cetera tolle.
Mother Yvonne, who was present with her council, welcomed the Rector Major, accompanied by his vicar, Fr. Adriano Bregolin; Sr. Emilia Mussatti addressed a word of welome to him and to all those present. Among these were the Sisters of the communities directly dependent on Mother General, Sisters from the Roman province, with the provincial, Sr. Mara Tagliaferri, the SDB provincial of the Central Italian Region, Fr. Leonardo Mancini with his council and other SDB from Rome.
Fr. Pascual, after a brief greeting, let the DVD prepared by ANS (Agenzia di Notizie Salesiana) and produced by Don Bosco Missions, speak for itself.
The presentation of the comment on the strenna concluded with an overview of the holiness of many members of the Salesian Family from the text of Fr. Pasquale Liberatore, SDB.
Mother Yvonne, in her circular letter, which accompanies the strenna (N° 942) highlights: «Every aspect of the strenna deserves to be read with an understanding mind, an open heart, the passion of a spirit that is open to the demands of the da mihi animas cetera tolle. This motto, which synthesises the spirituality of Don Bosco, can still lead us, today, towards the younger generations who challenge us and to whom we have a specific gift to offer in Salesian spirituality. Here they can find the response to their search for authentic happiness».
The presentation ended in festive mood with the singing of a hymn to Don Bosco.