After a long time of expectation and material and spiritual preparation, the Salesian post-novitiate community at Dalat welcomed the visit of Don Bosco’s Casket on the Feast day of St. Francis of Sales, 24th of January.
For the last few years, this community has been blessed with many ‘ad gentes’ vocations as the fruits of its vitality in community life and Salesian spirit. Now, it is still more blessed with the presence of our Beloved Father who will stay for the whole week.
Thousands of people gathered for this extraordinary event. As the vehicle carrying the Casket arrived, an ovation of joyful exclamation broke out with songs, brass band music, and cries. It is such a indescribable atmosphere. This joyful climate soon became a more devout and prayerful one as the Rector of the Community presided over the Welcoming Ceremony. Then the Casket was brought to the main altar for the Eucharistic celebration. Salesian Bishop Peter De presided at the Mass together with more than 20 concelebrating Salesian and non-Salesian priests.
The Central Government sent its representatives for this Salesian celebration. It was the first time the State and its personnel at senior and local levels had confirmed their desire to be a part of the event as well as their readiness to make this two week event as solemn as possible. This is exceptional since Vietnam is still a communist and atheist country where religious presence and influence are tolerated rather than supported.
Nevertheless, the State representative for the ceremony expressed confidence in the Salesian charism and activities which are helping poor youth in every area and sector, embracing all youth despite their social background and religious adherence.
Everyone hopes that the coming of Don Bosco to different parts of the world will be an occasion for the renewal of the zeal and conviction of each and every one of Don Bosco’s followers.