GC27: Against the Tide – New Hope

The members of the 27th General Chapter did not waste time, and now on the eve of its conclusion, they want to share the joy and satisfaction they experienced during this "time of grace."

The theme of the chapter was Witness to the Radical Approach of the Gospel. The chapter members began with a pilgrimage to the Salesian Holy Places at Colle Don Bosco and Valdocco.  "We were led there as a river leads back to its source. We were thirsty and we went to be renewed with the fresh water of our origins. The story of our fathers is an invitation that is always new."

"There will be another elected, who will take care of you and of your eternal salvation. Listen to him, love him, obey him, pray for him … "   (Don Bosco).

Don Bosco’s fatherliness continues.  After Fr Pascual Chávez Villanueva, to whom we repeat our thanks, we now have the tenth successor of Don Bosco, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime. Thank you, Fr Ángel, for your heart of a good shepherd and for your generosity.

The embrace with Fr Angel turned into an embrace with Pope Francis. He greeted us and blessed us and each one of you and the young people that the Lord has entrusted to us."

"His embrace was a sincere expression of affection for the sons of Don Bosco. With a handshake we renewed that filial loyalty to the successor of Peter that Don Bosco always wanted from his Salesians."

Pope Francis encouraged the Salesians "to care for young people with the loving kindness which is part of the Preventive System, as a sign of the tender love of God for his most vulnerable children."

The chapter members are now ready to begin their journey back home, more  determined than ever to witness their renewed willingness to act “with hope against the tide," with a gospel mentality, united to the Vine as new branches, “resolved to search on the margins and in the deserts for the young people who are most abandoned."

They want a new form of “decentralization.”  “Our cloister is the world of young people in difficulty, and our prayer is with our hands raised in committed action to restore dignity to the young people who are most excluded."

For us “decentralized” means going out in search of “different points of view that help us to see and understand the reality that lies beyond ourselves."

Source: Info ANS

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