A few days after the closure of the Salesian Family Spirituality Days 2021, held online for the first time, the Rector Major Don Angel Fernàndez Artime took the chance to share some thoughts with the whole Salesian Family.

“This pandemic that is afflicting our humanity will end but there are other chronic pandemics that as Christians we have a duty to help eradicate: wars, mafias, hunger, poverty that is dehumanizing those forced to immigrate to give a future to their children and are tortured or die in the cold, youth unemployment.”

“Here, then, is our task where as the Salesian Family we are called to be present: to give hope and work for justice to 'give more to those who have had less', as Don Bosco recommended and Pope Francis reminds us.”

“This year's Strenna,” continues Don Bosco's successor, “has as its theme, at a moment when there is so much suffering, that of the duty of hope in the face of a world reality that challenges us and that we cannot ignore: as the Salesian Family we are called to be good citizens and respect the anti-contagion rules but also good Christians and, where help is needed, not to shut ourselves up at home, but to stay close to those in difficulty - in safety.”

“And that is what we are doing in our works, there where war is looming, or here in Rome, as in our parish of the Sacred Heart where in the evening young people bring food, blankets and comfort to those who do not have a roof to sleep under.”

“A boost to solidarity, as we have heard from the testimonies from the world, which in these months of the Covid-19 emergency has also resulted in the collection in our works of 9 million euros, which we will send to our missions in 68 countries, to finance 120 micro-projects for young people and families.”

The Strenna poster for 2021. For a detailed breakdown of the Strenna, click here.

Don Angel also underlined how the 2021 Spirituality Days have created a new possibility of hope, unique in its form, due to the pandemic. Now that the Spirituality Days occurred online, thousands of people who share the charism of Don Bosco from around the world were able to join.

“The crisis caused by the pandemic has been transformed, thanks to the creativity of our works that are carrying out many online initiatives, in an opportunity for encounter and communion using modern technologies: I'm convinced that Don Bosco, who was a missionary, today would use the web to communicate good, to bring the message of Jesus all over the world.”

“Not everything is bad in the web if we put it at the service of mankind: we have also experienced it in recent days, announcing the Strenna 2021 in all our works, from the general house of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, reaching 198 thousand people as far as Oceania.”

This article originaly appeared on ANS