Salesians Called Upon to Confront “Mediocrity and Bourgeois Lifestyle”

Source: FSSPX News


The 26th Chapter General of the Salesian Congregation opened at the Salesianum, in Rome, on March 3. Two hundred thirty-three participants from all over the world are meeting around the theme Returning to the charismatic identity and the apostolic passion of Don Bosco, in order to “best respond to the need of young people today, maintaining the fidelity and the vivacity of the charism of Don Bosco expressed in the motto ‘Da mihi animas cetera tolle’ (Give me souls, and keep the rest),” according to the Congregation’s website.

As a rule, the Chapter General is convoked every six years by the Rector Major of the Salesian Congregation. Attending the General Chapter are 111 delegates, the Rectors Major emeriti, the members of the general Council, the secretary general, the procurator general, the moderator of the chapter, the superiors of the provinces and vice provinces. To these are added 11 observers invited by the Rector Major.

On this occasion, Benedict XVI sent a letter to Fr. Pascual Chavez Villanueva, the Rector Major.

The pope expressed the wish that “evangelization be the principal and priority frontier” in their mission. This latter means “multiform commitments, urgent challenges and vast fields of action.” For the Holy Father, “"in pluri-religious settings and in secularized ones, it is necessary to find new ways to make the figure of Jesus known, especially to the young, so they may become aware of his perennial attraction.”

“Without education, there is no deep and lasting evangelization, no growth, nor maturity.” In the pope’s eyes, “young people nurture deep desires for a life filled with authentic love, and constructive liberty. But often their expectations are unfortunately deceived and they do not manage to achieve them.” Consequently, “it is important to help young people to turn their interior resources to account as dynamism and positive desire; to bring them into contact with ideas rich in humanity and evangelical values; to encourage them to become active members of society through work and participation in the common good.”

And Benedict XVI recalled the Letter on the Urgent Task of Education, which he had recently addressed to the faithful of Rome.

“We must propose to the young the charm of consecrated life… The young are sensitive to offers of demanding commitments, but they need witnesses and guides who know how to accompany them in discovering and accepting such a gift.”

“In our time of fragmentation and fragility, it is necessary to overcome the dispersive effects of activism and to cultivate the unity of spiritual life by acquiring a profound mysticism and a solid asceticism,” the sovereign pontiff added. “Daily Lectio divina and Eucharist are the light and strength of the spiritual life of a Salesian consecrated soul.”

The pope invited the Salesians to “lead a simple, poor, sober, essential and austere life.” Benedict XVI told them that this lifestyle will help them “to strengthen their vocations in the faces of dangers of mediocrity and bourgeois life, and it will bring them closer to the needy and the outcasts.”

The Congregation of Saint Francis de Sales, better known under the name of Salesians, was founded, in 1854, in Turin (Italy) by St. John Bosco who is also the co-founder of the female Congregation of the Daughters of Mary Auxiliatrix, the Salesian Sisters.

The vocation of the Salesians is to educate the youth, in particular the poor. There are today 15,700 Salesians present in 129 countries, and divided in 96 provinces and quasi-provinces. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Secretary of State of the Holy See is a Salesian. (Sources: Apic/Imedia/ Vatican)