On the feast of Sts. Louis Versiglia and Callistus Caravario, the Salesian China Province organized the blessing ceremony of Our Lady’s House in the Salesian Mission Seminary in Hong Kong. The China Province was honoured to invite Fr. Pascual Chávez Villanueva, Rector Major Emeritus, to bless the house.
During his speech, Fr. Pascual said that this land was chosen by St. Versiglia. Then, it was built by the Servant of God, Fr. Carlo Braga. So, this is a holy place for the Salesian presence in China. The meaning of “to bless” is not a magical rite, but first of all, we are here to praise God because God has been very good to us. This is also an opportunity to remember the very poor youth of China. St. Versiglia fulfilled the dream of Don Bosco through their persecution and martyrdom. This house is for the aspirants, new Salesians and the missionaries. By blessing this house, Fr. Pascual would also like to bless those who will live here, who have consecrated themselves to the Lord for the salvation of youth. The blessing is also for the benefactors and those who helped build this house. This house is dedicated to Our Lady, who is the mother of all the confreres and the missionaries. This place would become the home of new apostles and missionaries.
Fr. Lanfranco Fedrigotti, Provincial of China Province told us the story how St. Versiglia chose and bought the land during the period of 1927 to 1930 when he hiked with Bishop Enrico Valtorta. In 1885, when Don Bosco was in Spain, he dreamt of this Shau Kei Wan formation house. He even saw this new building in his dream. Fr. Provincial would like to thank all who made this dream come true. Fr. Simon Lam, head of the construction committee also shared that no one could stop the dream of Don Bosco. The holy plan of God touched the heart of a past pupil to support the construction project and also later the architect. Don Bosco dreamt about the evangelization and Salesian development in China. We all have a role to play to make this dream come true.
More than 120 Salesian family members joined this opening ceremony to share the joy, blessing and responsibility. Fr. Simon encouraged all the guests to come frequently to this holy place to visit, to see and to encourage all the confreres studying here, missionaries, youth and the elder confreres.
Our Lady’s House consists of a youth spiritual centre and rooms for young confreres and missionaries. The spiritual centre is for serving the needs of religious activities, retreats and spiritual formations. The centre can accommodate 26 participants. There are activity rooms and rooms for spiritual programmes. We hope that those who participate in the spiritual activities in Our Lady’s House will become members of our Salesian family, will perhaps become Salesians or even Salesian missionaries.