Friday, October 8, 2010

Don Bosco and the Youth of Surrey!

The following comes from the B.C. Catholic site:

Some 200 youth from parishes all over the Lower Mainland worshipped, sang hymns and songs, joined in study sessions and a talent show, listened to speakers, and joined in discussions in preparation for the visit of the relics of St. John Bosco Oct. 8 to 10.
They were all at the Don Bosco Youth Centre in Surrey Sept. 18 for a whole-day "Don Bosco Among Us" youth symposium. The day was capped by Holy Mass.
The sessions were led by Father Dave Sajdak, SDB, who performed "Soul Man" and wowed the audience with his singing and dancing abilities in the tradition of the founder, Don Bosco (Father Bosco), of his religious order.
The letters SDB after Father Sajdak's name stand for "Society of Don Bosco." The Italian Don Bosco chose St. Francis de Sales as the patron of the congregation he founded, now one of the largest in the world, so its members are often called Salesians.
In the morning Father Sajdak discussed "Holiness is Happiness," and how we are all called to be holy. His afternoon talk, on "Don Bosco's Way to Youth Holiness," discussed how the saint used his talents to make the youth recognize their talents and use them for God's work.
After each session the youth divided into groups for discussions facilitated by members of Youth for Christ (YFC), who also led the day's registration, ice-breaker, and worship activities. Meals were prepared by a group led by Eric Coronado. They not only organized the symposium, but are planning the upcoming activities for the visit of the relics of Don Bosco.
"We are excited about this big event coming to our parish," said Coronado. "Having the youth here knowing more about our Salesian founder is a great way for them to know more about how they can be workers for God, the way Don Bosco was."
Most of the organizing committee are alumni of Don Bosco schools in the Philippines.
 "Seeing the Salesians and the YFC working together in this effort is a wonderful testament to God's power of moving the youth to do his work. This is truly amazing," said Father Sajdak. "We hope to see more of these gatherings in the future."
Don Bosco's relics will be at Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Surrey from Oct. 8 to 10. The relics will then move on to 17 other countries in East Asia. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Don Bosco's Relic Tour in Toronto

The following comes from the InsideToronto site:

Local students were in the presence of a saint recently. 

Pupils of several Catholic schools converged at St. Benedict Church in north Etobicoke Tuesday, Oct. 5, where the relics of St. John Bosco arrived the night previous.

A wax replica of the patron of youth, a Catholic priest who dedicated his life to educating young people, is encased in an urn made of a glass box atop a wood and metal cart. It was trucked into the city from Chicago the night before, and a crane was needed to get the more than 800-kilogram urn into the church.

"With the help of the Knights of Columbus we were able to lift it into the sanctuary," said Father George Harkins, director of the Salesian Community of Toronto, who was at the church Oct. 5 to greet visitors.

While Bosco's body mostly disintegrated from contact with the air when his tomb was opened in 1929 in preparation for him to become a saint, the bones survived, with most of the skeleton in Turin, Italy, explained Harkins. "Not everyone can go to Turin, so we'll send Don (an Italian term of respect) Bosco to the people," he said.

The bones and tissues of the saint's right hand and arm are within the replica.

"It's very symbolic that it be his right hand; he blessed people with his right hand, he wrote with his right hand ... forgave sinners through his right hand and he was also a tailor, a carpenter, a magician, he was many, many things to many people," said Harkins.

Schools were invited to see the relic throughout the day, with a mass in honour of Bosco scheduled later that evening.

During the visit students delivered 'petitions' to the saint; for Bosco to pray for their families, to give hope to children fighting for freedom, and for just being a good role model.

The relic has already travelled through South America, Central America, and the U.S., noted Harkins. "But certain cities were chosen, they couldn't choose every city," he explained. "Financially, each place (that receives the relic) has to pay ... to make the pilgrimage a success. So we take care of it at a local level."

Susan Almonte, a teacher with Mary, Mother of God school in Parkdale, called the event a "once-in-a-lifetime" chance for those in attendance.

"We have a real devotion to St. John Bosco," she said. "Our teachers are trained in his philosophy of education."

Harkins confirmed the relic would only be at the church for one day on its worldwide pilgrimage. The following day it was headed to Montreal, then to Surrey, British Columbia, then to Asia, he said.

Lourdes Narciso, a Grade 8 student at Holy Child Catholic School in north Etobicoke, was impressed by the replica.

"I think it was really great to see a saint and a relic, it looked real," she said, noting her school had prepared for the day.

The relic's journey began on Jan. 31, 2009, the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Salesian Congregation. "It prepares us for the 2015 celebration of the 200th Anniversary of Don Bosco's birth near Turin, Italy on Aug. 16, 1815," reads the official website of the pilgrimage,

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Strength of an Arm!

The following comes from the Headline Bistro site:

Don Bosco’s blessing arm is still hard at work in the name of salvation.
When a relic of the 19th-century Italian saint made a stop by the Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception at The Catholic University of America – my alma mater -  in Washington, D.C., this past week, it was hard not to be drawn in by the words inscribed on the glass casket the relic was contained in: “Give me souls, take away the rest.”
These words, in Latin, are displayed on the 1,800-pound urn traveling the globe with remains from the body of Saint John Bosco.
These physical remains of the saint, who died in 1888, have been on the move since January 2009, which marked the beginning of the Salesian Congregation’s 150th anniversary. His body was exhumed in 1929, and his right arm — his blessing arm — has been to 130 nations and is currently traveling in the United States.
Remains of an arm, you may be thinking, how weird. I’ll be the first to admit that I had no idea how powerful an arm it still is.
But that was before I saw people of all races and classes gather to celebrate, venerate and give thanks to the Lord for his goodness in giving us great men and women, making it possible for us to be follow their models, reminding us that all of their greatness came from He who is all Good.
Archbishop Donald Wuerl, of Washington, D.C., described it in his homily: “When we look upon the relic of John Bosco, we see a physical remembrance of his bodily presence and a reminder of his spiritual greatness. When we look upon those young people entrusted to our care, those young people in need, those young people in poverty, those young people with no other avenue for an education, what we should see is what John Bosco saw — the face of Jesus.”
He continued: “Tonight then, as we venerate the relic of Saint John Bosco, we do so in a spirit of awe at his holiness and achievements, but also in a spirit of encouragement that we, too, like the Salesian family, are called to see in the young people entrusted to our educational care, the face of Jesus, the future of our community and the signs of the kingdom of God in our midst.”
His words echoed the recent letter on the new evangelization he issued for the archdiocese. Further, the celebration was in no way about the past, about the dead. It was about the living, the living communion of saints, our living communion with Christ.
“Let us therefore be devoted to the saints whose name we bear and have recourse to them in our spiritual and temporal needs.” Don Bosco once said. “They will always be ready to help us.”
For the Salesians present, it was a re-energization the rest of us were blessed to be included in. Father Steve Safran, principal of Don Bosco Cristo Rey in Tacoma Park, Md. — the newest high school in the archdiocese of Washington — described the visit to me afterwards: “To have that very strong physical reminder in our midst spoke powerfully that Don Bosco’s spirit is very much alive today. He is a saint that is accessible, that loved the young, and who brought them to holiness.”
Speaking specifically as principal, he said, “For Don Bosco Cristo Rey it has been historic. It is the first year in our history that we have seniors, and we will have our first graduating class. Don Bosco’s presence has affirmed our mission. We pray that we can continue to grow and get the funds needed to expand. It was so fantastic to see our young people so excited about the relic.”
Father Safran added: “The Salesians of Don Bosco are not well known in the U.S. as we are in Latin America, even though we are the second largest order in the world. The visit of the relic to the U.S. has been an opportunity for us to remind the Church of St. John Bosco, our charism and work for youth.”
There is an unmistakable power in the Bosco relic tour for the Salesians, of course, but also for anyone in its presence and for the Church itself. It was only weeks after Pope Benedict XVI celebrated another holy man with a love for Saint Francis de Sales, Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman. All signs point to integrity and catechesis as the key to making the life and work of Don Bosco the portrait of the Catholic Church in America.
Archbishop Wuerl noted, “What made his teaching so effective was his communion with the Lord Jesus. Over the years of his life, so evident was his holiness, so apparent was his self-giving and so complete was his dedication that within 20 years of his death, he was declared venerable and then beatified within 40 years and canonized in just over 46 years from the day of his death.”
In Bosco’s physical presence, the universal call to holiness was made real. Not for the first time. Not for the last. But on a weeknight in Washington, D.C., when all kinds of supposedly important things were going on, it was a physical reminder of what actually does matter: our souls. Take away the rest. Of course, God will. But will we be prepared? Will we have treated every child as Christ, every child of God as Christ? Did we approach each day with the pure love of a child, in His service?
Don Bosco, pray for us.

Don Bosco's Relic Tour Visit to Miami

Monday, October 4, 2010

Don Bosco's Relic Arrives at St. Patrick's Cathedral

Don Bosco Relics Arrive at St. Ferdinand's in Chicago

Relic Tour on Brooklyn's Currents TV Program

The Diocese of Brooklyn has their own television station and their own news program.  The relic of Don Bosco made it on to Currents and the coverage begins 9:36 into the half hour program.  Check it out!

Archbishop Dolan at Marian Shrine with the Relic of Don Bosco

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Relics of Don Bosco Coming to Toronto, Canada

The following comes from the Catholic Register of Canada:

On Oct. 5, St. John Bosco will be closer to Canadians than ever before — his relics will be on display at St. Benedict parish in Toronto.

It’s the first stop in Canada for the Don Bosco Among Us Relic Tour through 130 countries that kicked off on Jan. 31, 2009, the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Salesians of Don Bosco. The tour will make its way on to Montreal Oct. 6-8 and then to Surrey, B.C., Oct. 8-10, before continuing elsewhere until 2015, the 200th anniversary of his birth in Turin, Italy.

“In this case, there are two relics travelling the world,” said Fr. George Harkins, director of the Salesians, the order he founded, of Toronto and Hamilton. “The hand is coming to the Americas... and the arm is going to Asia.”

Displayed in a glass box mounted on a large wood and metal cart, the bones and tissues of the right hand and arm have been placed within a wax replica of the Italian saint. They have been recomposed from the urn that contained his remains since 1929 when his body was exhumed for his beatification and canonization.

But Harkins said it must be remembered that a relic is an object for religious veneration, not adoration.

“We don’t honour a body part or clothing. We don’t venerate that in itself but what it represents.”

In this case, Canadians will be able to see the special meaning behind St. John Bosco’s hand, he said.

“We have his hand and it’s to remind us that it’s the hand with which he blessed everything and everyone,” said Harkins. “It’s the hand of baptizing, the hand of absolution, the sacrament of Reconciliation, the hand of giving communion, the hand that he wrote with, that he taught with, tailored, did carpentry work, shoe making and bricklaying with. It signifies something important in his life since he is the apostle of young people.”

Harkins quotes the new Catechism of the Catholic Church to show that relics do not break any commandments, through the example of images.

“Christian veneration of images is still not contrary to the first commandment which proscribes idols. Indeed, the honour rendered to an image passes to its prototype and whoever venerates an image venerates the person portrayed in it.”

He likens it to having pictures of our grandparents we respect very greatly.

St. John Bosco’s whole body is to be found in the Basilica of Our Lady Help of Christians in Turin, Italy.

Harkins said that this relics’ tour is important because instead of people having to travel to see relics, the relics are coming to the people.

“He’s coming to all his young people and especially the young and the poor whom he has devoted his whole life to. It’s a great honour that he’s coming to us. People can’t all go to him so he’s coming to them.”

Students at Toronto’s St. John Bosco Catholic School will be some of the young people in attendance.

Principal Waldo Aristizabal said that the school will be sending both a primary and a junior class to St. Benedict parish on Oct. 5.

“The relics are important to our school given the fact that our school has the name of St. John Bosco… Because of that, we want to be as close as possible to these relics by visiting them and sending a couple of classes representing us.”

For more information, see

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Thousands turn out to Stony Point shrine to see Saint John Bosco's relic

The following comes from

Hector Morales pressed his hands against the bronze and glass casket and knelt quietly in front of the life-size statue of St. John Bosco enclosed inside.

Morales stood up and crossed himself. Behind him more than a hundred worshippers stood patiently in line. Some had pulled out cell phones and were snapping photos.

"This is an amazing experience," said Morales, 16, a student at Salesian High School in New Rochelle. "Don Bosco is like a father to us. At school we pray to him every night."

Morales was one of an estimated 5,000 Roman Catholic faithful and clergy, including Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who traveled to the Marian Shrine and Don Bosco Retreat Center on Thursday to catch a glimpse of the religious object, which contains parts of the saint's right hand.

The actual relic is enclosed in a silver-plated box placed inside the statue.

The founder of the Salesians, John Bosco, also known as Don Bosco, devoted his life to helping neglected and exploited boys in Turin, Italy. He lived from 1815 to 1888 and was canonized in 1934.

Addressing the packed church pews, Dolan said his own veneration of Don Bosco dated to his days as a student growing up in Ballwin, Mo., in the 1950s. Dolan asked visitors to use the opportunity of seeing the relic to declare and reaffirm their faith.

"Don Bosco saw everybody as good even when they looked bad," he said. "What an inspiration to us today."

Modern Salesians focus on the needs of youth through teaching and the operation of recreation clubs in conjunction with parish work. Several visitors to the shrine said the relic was a powerful symbol of their devotion.

The nun who taught Dolan in grade school, Sister Mary Bosco, had flown in from Ireland for the occasion. She described Thursday as a once-in-a-lifetime chance to pray in front of her saintly namesake.

"I'm grateful," Bosco said. "This is my first time to see him."

Mary Wolff came wearing a T-shirt with St. Bosco's image emblazoned on it. The Westchester native said her veneration of the patron saint of youths had started early — at a Catholic summer camp.

"It's sort of like getting together with an old friend," Wolff said. "I was so impressed with St. Bosco's joy and goodness."

The St. Bosco relic is on a five-year worldwide tour that will end in Italy in January 2014. The relic is headed to St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City on Friday and Saturday.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Don Bosco's Relic and The Chicago Youth Rally

The following comes from the Catholic Chicago Blog:

Fr. Tim Zak, SDB, pastor of St. John Bosco Parish in Chicago, called me a few months ago with a curious request. “Tom, I need your help and counsel. You see, the relic of St. John Bosco is coming to our parish in October. This is going to be a huge event and we need to get started right now!”

The first thoughts that came to my modern, Western mind were, “Why make such a big deal about viewing a relic? Wouldn’t time be better spent working on a more worthwhile project?”

However, after meeting with Fr. Zak and an enthusiastic group of Salesian Cooperators from St. John Bosco Parish, I quickly identified several tangible benefits for the Archdiocese of Chicago stemming from the world tour of the relic of St. John Bosco.

First, Salesians are loved by many ethnic communities in Chicago. Thousands of Asian, Polish, Italian and Hispanic immigrants have fond memories of being ministered to by Salesians in their homeland. Having these groups gather together with their families would be tremendous. Second, St. John Bosco is the official Patron of Young People. Hosting thousands of young people and their families at St. John Bosco Parish will certainly build enthusiasm for other Archdiocesan youth events such as the Bread of Life Retreat and World Youth Day.

And finally, young people in the Archdiocese do not normally turn out in droves for popular devotions such as Corpus Christi processions, rosary, Eucharistic adoration and relic visitation. Our modern, secular culture has pretty much replaced our youth’s enthusiasm for these practices with other more ‘entertaining’ events such as concerts, movies and video games. However, during their initial presentation, I was quite impressed with the dynamic and captivating ideas that the Salesian cooperators had for the October 2nd-4th event— a youth & family rally, catechetical talks, concerts, music, clowns and games. If any group could pull off making a relic visitation youth friendly, the Salesians could!

Every day since I received that curious call from Fr. Tim I have been amazed by how the Holy Spirit has worked to bring people together to make a difference in the lives of at-risk youth in our community. The committees have organized two days of activities and events for people of all ages. The Catholic Cemeteries of Chicago is the principal sponsor for this event. Simply put, it has been a privilege to be a part of the planning committee for this extraordinary event.

Yes, St. John Bosco is just one parish in Chicago, and popular devotion to St. John Bosco is not for everyone. Nevertheless, this event is an ecclesial celebration for the entire Archdiocese of Chicago. Bishops John Manz and Gustavo Garcia-Siller, M. Sp.S, along with many other religious and diocesan clergy, will be a part of this celebration. Please consider coming out for one or all of the events.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Don Bosco Takes New York!

Unlike most pilgrimages, which usually involve an individual going to a sanctuary to venerate a saint, the Pilgrimage of Don Bosco’s Relic is actually bringing the relic to the people! The relic of Don Bosco has been transported to the United States to grant individuals an opportunity to honor and respect St. John Bosco. Archbishop Timothy Dolan formally invites the faithful of the Archdiocese to celebrate his favorite saint—Don Bosco. 

Come see the relics of St. John Bosco at St. Patrick's Cathedral on Friday, October 1!  There will be veneration of the relic from 10 AM to 11 PM.  There will be a mass with Archbishop Dolan at 7 PM.  

On Saturday, October 2 there will be veneration of the relic from 6:30 AM until 10 AM when the relic departs for Chicago.  Come join us as we celebrate Don Bosco among us!

Don Bosco Relic Tour in Belle Glade, Florida

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sunday Night Live with the Salesians of Don Bosco

EWTN Global Catholic Television Network: Sunday Night Live – Fr. Benedict Groeschel, CFR – Fr. Pat Angelucci, SDB, Director Salesian High School and Brother Michael Leschinsky, Salesians of Don Bosco – The Relic Pilgrimage of Don Bosco

Don Bosco Relic Tour in St. Petersburg, Florida

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Don Bosco Relics Visit DC and National Shrine

The following comes from 9 News Now:

During his life, St. John Bosco pushed to change the idea that young people did not matter. He founded the Salesians of Don Bosco, the international organization of priests and men devoted to helping youth.

Monday, Sept. 27, 2010, St. Bosco's wax figure and urn traveled safely to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The public will be able to view the relic Tuesday starting at 8:30 a.m. A special Mass will be held at 6:30 p.m.

St. Bosco (aka Don Bosco) was born near Turin, Italy in 1815. He made it his business to look out for young people suffering during the cholera-rampant age of the Industrial Revolution.

Father Steve Shafran coordinated the arrival of the relic's stop in Washington. The relic has been on a world-wide tour since April, 2009 for St. Bosco's upcoming 200th birthday in 2015.

"Young people were treated like trash and abused and also really repressed. And so he wanted to come up with a system where young people can be respected," says Shafran, president of the Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School in Takoma Park, Md. The school was founded to provide high school education for youth facing financial hardship.

"This Saint's message was powerful when he was alive and it's even more powerful today," says Shafran.

"Despite the world around them, despite war, despite difficulty and a lot of addictions, that [young people] are respected and loved and we want them to have a successful future no matter what religion, no matter who they are, no matter their background," he says.

The saint is also known as Don Bosco. He is buried in Italy, and his relic contains actual bones and tissue from his body.

"To have St. John Bosco's remains travel around the world is very exciting, because many people don't have the opportunity to go to Italy," says Shafran.

"To welcome the founder which is my hero, an inspiration for young people which I've dedicated my life a blessing for me and my own vocation," says Shafran.

The wax figure rests inside a glass urn and surrounded by a cart made of wood and metal. The urn weighs over 1800 pounds.

The hired construction workers built special scaffolding to prepare for the transportation of the relic inside the Basilica. The workers had previous experience moving pieces of marble and artwork at the National Shrine.

"So they have the unique expertise in bringing very large, very heavy, very fragile works of art, and in this case an actual saint into the Basilica," says Jacquelyn Hayes, Director of Communications at the Basilica of the National Shrine.

St. Bosco's relic will prepare for travel to New York City at the end of Mass Tuesday.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Don Bosco's Relic Tour Comes to DC

The relic of Don Bosco is making its way around the world and it is headed to DC!  For more information on this beautiful and grace filled event please click here or here.

The following comes from the CNA:

As part of a worldwide tour, relics of St. John Bosco will be hosted by Washington, D.C.'s National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in order to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of the patron saint of youth and students.

A portion of Don Bosco’s right arm bone is encased in a 1,800 pound reliquary and is currently undergoing the North American tour which began Sept. 11 in San Francisco and will end Oct. 7 in Montreal, Canada. The saint's relics will eventually make their way to 130 countries by his 200th birthday in 2015.

The National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception will host the reliquary on Tuesday, Sept. 28.

Auxiliary Bishop Martin Holley of Washington is slated to welcome the relics in the morning at the Basilica’s Great Upper Church and lead an opening prayer service that will begin a day of veneration. That evening, Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl will be the principal celebrant and homilist of a commemorative Mass.

In a press release for the event, the shrine reported that Pope Benedict XVI granted a plenary indulgence to those who make a pilgrimage to see and pray before the relic of St. John Bosco, in accordance with the usual conditions of partaking in Confession, the Eucharist and prayers for the Holy Father’s intentions.

Don Bosco in Miami

The following comes from El Nuevo Herald of Miami:

Las reliquias y el espíritu de San Juan Bosco llegaron el domingo a su hogar de Miami, la Iglesia San Juan Bosco, en La Pequeña Habana, donde miles de fieles le dieron la bienvenida al santuario con cánticos de alabanza, expresiones de fe y fervor religioso.

"¡Esto es un momento histórico!'', exclamó Marianela Amador, quien lloró emocionada al ver la urna con una réplica en cera del cuerpo incorrupto del santo italiano al que se han integrado huesos y tejidos de la mano derecha. "Nunca imaginé que iba a ver las reliquias de un santo. Pensé que para verlas habría que viajar; no que las reliquias vendrían a mí''.

En la procesión, la urna fue precedida por la imagen de la Virgen María Auxiliadora, a quien San Juan Bosco atribuía sus acciones humanitarias. Una barca de madera como símbolo de la Iglesia Católica representando el sueño principal del santo reposaba sobre los pies del altar.

Miembros de la Orden de Malta, que durante años han prestado servicios caritativos a los pobres de la parroquia, cargaron la urna hasta el altar. El sacerdote Thomas Dunne, provincial de la Provincia Este de los Salesianos, que abarca el sur de la Florida, pronunció la bendición inaugural de la misa.

Venerado por millones de católicos alrededor del mundo por su labor religiosa y educativa con los niños marginados, San Juan Bosco es conocido como patrón de los jóvenes, maestros y desempleados.

"Don Bosco, rogamos por tu gloriosa intercesión para que logremos conseguir un trabajo'', oró uno de los feligreses escogido por la iglesia en representación de la gente sin empleo.

Las reliquias salieron de la Basílica María Auxiliadora en Turín, al norte de Italia, en enero del 2009, en un peregrinaje por 130 países con motivo del bicentenario del natalicio de Bosco en el 2015, y el 150 aniversario de la Familia Salesiana, una coalición de 27 grupos religiosos y laicos dedicados a la educación y el cuidado de la juventud.

La urna llegó a Miami el sábado por la noche y partirá hoy lunes rumbo a Washington. D.C. Las reliquias de un santo, veneradas por los católicos como símbolo de conexión con Dios, no visitaban el sur de la Florida desde 1999, cuando vinieron las de Santa Teresa de Lisieux.

‘‘Las reliquias llegan en el mes de septiembre, cuando se abren los colegios públicos y privados y las escuelas catequéticas en las parroquias. Creo que son una llamado a las familias a no olvidar la educación religiosa y secular de sus hijos'', declaró el retirado obispo auxiliar Agustín Román de la Arquidiócesis de Miami.

La homilía estuvo a cargo del obispo misionero salesiano Mario Fiandri, proveniente de Guatemala, quien hizo un descriptivo recuento de la historia de San Juan Bosco y de su filosofía pedagógica.

Relató que, en una ocasión, entró Don Bosco a una barbería de Turín para afeitarse y vio a un niño aprendiz limpiando. Para ganárselo como amigo, le pidió que lo afeitara. El dueño del negocio le dijo que el muchacho no era capaz de afeitar ni a un chivo. "No importa, señor'', respondió Don Bosco. "Si el chiquito no hace la prueba, nunca aprenderá''.

El niño, Carlos Gastini, germinó lo que después se dio a conocer como la Asociación de Antiguos Alumnos Salesianos.

"No basta amar a los jóvenes, es necesario que los jóvenes se sientan amados. Ahí está toda la teología de Don Bosco'', precisó Fiandri.

A María María Rincón, estudiante universitaria de 21 años, le simpatizó el mensaje refrescante de Don Bosco.

"Me encantó oír que Don Bosco decía que una casa sin música es como un cuerpo sin alma'', comentó Rincón, feligresa de la parroquia Little Flower, en Coral Gables. " A mí me gusta mucho escuchar música''.

Photos of The Relic Tour in Miami

Check out the images from the Miami Herald site on the visit of Don Bosco's relic to Miami!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Miami welcoming relics of `patron of youth'

The following comes from the Miami Herald:

Sister Teresa Gutiérrez has lived her life in the footsteps St. John Bosco, a poor, 19th century Italian priest whom fellow clergy mocked for his ministry to downtrodden kids and his belief that God's work begins outside, not inside, the church.
Like Bosco, Gutiérrez is a teacher -- of students at Immaculata-La Salle High School in Coconut Grove and underprivileged children at a Little Havana after-school program -- and she finds joy in helping young people navigate everyday problems and spiritual doubt.
Now, the 59-year-old nun and her brothers and sisters of the Salesian order will finally get to show those kids their inspiration.
For the first time, the relics of St. John Bosco -- pieces of bone and tissue from his right hand and arm -- have left their church home in Turin, Italy. Their 130-country tour includes a 2 ½-day stop in Miami that begins Saturday with a mariachi-band welcome, a blessing by Archbishop Thomas Wenski and an all-night veneration at Immaculata-La Salle.
``It's amazing what this little guy -- he was five-foot-six -- could do by just following God,'' said Gutiérrez, whose religious order was founded by Bosco. There are 14,000 Salesian nuns, the largest order in the world, and 16,000 priests, the second largest after the Jesuits.
``He is the patron of youth, of magic,'' said Gutiérrez, who lives with two fellow nuns in The Roads neighborhood of Miami. ``He attracted kids to the church with magic tricks because he knew they saw church as boring, while other priests never left the church building. He said his motto was religion, reason and kindness.''
The relic tour, the first to visit Miami in a decade, will move Sunday to St. John Bosco church in Little Havana, where Gutiérrez works in an after-school program. It's expected to attract thousands of Catholics.
They will see a wax replica of Bosco's body at the time of his death in 1888 set in a glass box that's mounted on a wood and metal cart. The bone and tissue that were exhumed from his grave when he was beatified in 1929 are inside the wax figure.
``I believe that through the veneration of his relics, and faith we have in the Lord, we are going to receive many blessings in this place,'' says the Rev. Juan Carlos Paguaga of St. John Bosco Church.
``We are praying for all those who have no work. All those who are not legally in this country. The poor, the youth, the church. Our parish owes a lot of money to the bank.''
Relics -- typically a body part or piece of clothing -- are venerated as a physical connection between a saint and God. The practice dates to the beginning of the church, when Roman authorities persecuted and put to death early Christians.
``Among people in the early church there was a devotion to those people as witnesses to their faith,'' said James O'Toole, a professor at Boston College who studies Catholic devotion.
``For the surviving community these martyrs become important figures, but not to be prayed to in the same way one would pray to God. The same applies today.''
Relics rarely leave the churches and shrines in which they are housed, and it's not uncommon for Catholics to make long pilgrimages to venerate them.
Bosco's relics left Turin January 2009 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Salesians and the 200th birthday of Bosco in 2015. They've been viewed throughout Latin America and in San Francisco, New Orleans, St. Petersburg and Belle Glade, and will go on to Washington, D.C.
The last major tour to stop in South Florida brought out more than 10,000 people in 1999 to see the relics of St. Therese of Lisieux.
Bosco, who was 72 when he died, was both humble and controversial. He frequently clashed with the Archbishop of Turin, who saw Bosco's efforts to set up Salesian schools as a threat to the archdiocese's seminaries.
Bosco's teaching method was unusual and controversial for his time, relying on positive reinforcement rather than punishment.
``He wanted the kids to be in an atmosphere where they knew they were loved,'' said Gutiérrez, who applies the same methods as a teacher.
His own childhood was likely an inspiration. Bosco was born in 1815 to a family of farmhands in the northern Italian village of Becchi, and his father died when he was 2. A playful boy, he juggled and did magic tricks, often requiring audience members to say prayers to be admitted to his street shows.
The family couldn't afford formal schooling, but when Bosco was 14, a generous priest saw his potential and paid for his education.
When he was only 9, Bosco is said to have had the first of a series of dreams that shaped his life's work.
``In the dream, he saw kids that were fighting and cursing. He wanted to stop them, he got in there and started punching, and got punched back,'' said Gutiérrez, who learned the story as a child in Salesian schools in Camagüey, Cuba, and New Jersey.
``A man stopped him. He said, `Who are you? Why are you doing this? You will have to win these friends of yours not with blows, but with gentleness and kindness. So begin right now to show them that sin is ugly and virtue beautiful.' ''

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Don Bosco's Meets the Young in Louisiana

Amazing!  This is a beautiful video!  Check out the part 2 below!

Catholic faithful stream to Belle Glade church to view saint's relics; bishop holds Mass

The picture above and the  following comes from the Palm Beach Post:

With drums and guitars and a Caribbean beat, a working-class parish honored a saint who was truly one of their own.

St. Philip Benizi parish was filled Friday night with parishioners who came to witness a rare spectacle, the relics of St. John Bosco, an Italian saint who came from poverty and made it his mission to help the poor and especially the young.

From 5 p.m. onward, a steady stream of people entered the church to see the glass, metal and wood casket of the saint, to lay hands on it and to pray for his help.

Barbara Fox, her husband Don and their two sons drove down from Fort Pierce.

"For 13 years, I have been praying nightly to St. John Bosco to please take care of all the children," said Fox, who had tears in her eyes and a holy card in her hand. "Seeing him is a very big thing for me."

Ray Jaworski of Stuart was wearing his red sweater with a Don Bosco High School Crest. He was snapping photos for his brother John, who went to the same school in Ramsay, N.J., and plans to view the saint's remains at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City.

"It's really neat to touch a piece of history," said Jaworski, who credits the influence of the saint in his own long career as a Boy Scout leader.

The parish has a large number of Hispanic and Haitian parishioners, so hymns and readings were in Spanish and Creole as well as English.

Bishop Gerald Barbarito, head of the Palm Beach Diocese, praised St. John Bosco's commitment to the young and the poor.

"If Don Bosco lived today, he would live in a place like Belle Glade," said Barbarito, winning a loud round of applause. "He showed us that love makes the difference. Don Bosco is truly present among us."

Earlier Friday, a truck delivered the 1,800-pound reliquary from St. Petersburg. The saint's remains visited Belle Glade as part of a worldwide tour coinciding with the 150th anniversary of the Salesians, the religious order he founded,.

The case has been touched and wept over and prayed to by thousands of the faithful since it started its trek around the world in 2009. At its last stop in St. Petersburg, an estimated 20,000 viewed it in two days.

"There were people waiting until 4 in the morning," said the Rev. Bruce Craig, a Salesian priest from Tampa, who has accompanied the reliquary on the southern U.S. leg of the tour, from New Orleans to Miami. "It has been incredible how people came out."

He will fly to Washington, D.C., and be replaced by another Salesian priest in the saint's honor guard. Two trucks with two-man crews have driven the reliquary on all its land-based stops. A videographer accompanying the group is documenting the tour.

What the crowds in Belle Glade will see is a life-size fiberglass image of the saint. His serene facial expression is authentic, made from his death mask. He wears ornate priestly vestments embellished in gold and lace. Inside the fiberglass effigy and not visible is a sealed metal box containing bones and tissue from his right arm.

Friday, September 24, 2010

More News Coverage From the Tampa and St. Petersburg Visit of the Relic

Here is some more great coverage of Don Bosco's relic tour in Florida!  The video comes from Bay News 9.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Salesians on Sunday Night Live!

Fr. Pat Angelucci and Deacon Mike Leschinsky will be on EWTN telecast Sunday night, Sept. 26, at 7:00 P.M. (Eastern Time) to speak about the relic of Don Bosco. They will be guests of Fr.Benedict Groeschel on his weekly program: Sunday Night Live.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Youth Rally at Alario Center on the Westbank

The picture and the following come from  The Most Reverend Gregory M. Aymond, the Archbishop of New Orleans, bows his head in prayer beneath a banner with the image of St. John Bosco during a viewing of the relics of St. John Bosco, youth rally and mass at the Alario Center in Westwego Tuesday, September 21, 2010. More than 2,500 students from New Orleans metro area Catholic schools attended the event which is part of a journey through 130 nations which began in January 2009 on the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Salesian order and is part of a five year pilgrimage preparing for the celebration of the 200th anniversary of Don Bosco's birth near Turin ,Italy in 1815. The relic consists of tissue and bone from the right hand and arm of the saint , which are encased in a life sized effigy of the saint. Don Bosco is the patron saint of young people and founder of the Salesian order, which locally operatesArchbishop Shaw High School.

The Most Reverend Gregory M. Aymond, Archbishop of New Orleans, second from right in red accented robe, and other priests bless the gifts before communion during a viewing of the relics of St. John Bosco, youth rally and mass at the Alario Center in Westwego Tuesday, September 21, 2010. More than 2,500 students from New Orleans metro area Catholic schools attended the event which is part of a journey through 130 nations which began in January 2009 on the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Salesian order and is part of a five year pilgrimage preparing for the celebration of the 200th anniversary of Don Bosco's birth near Turin ,Italy in 1815. The relic consists of tissue and bone from the right hand and arm of the saint , which are encased in a life sized effigy of the saint. Don Bosco is the patron saint of young people and founder of the Salesian order.

Monday, September 20, 2010

WWL News Covers the Don Bosco Among Us Tour in Louisiana

Father Jim McKenna of St. Rosalie Church in Harvey discusses the visit of the relic of St. John Bosco at his church this week.

St. Rosalie Church is located at 600 Second Avenue in Harvey.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Don Bosco's Relic Arrives in Louisiana!

The relic of Don Bosco has arrived in Harvey, Louisiana and will at St. Rosalie Parish for veneration all day on Monday, September 20.  Take some time to say a prayer for the good work of the Salesians on the Westbank!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Don Bosco's Relic Arrives in California Tomorrow!

The relic of Don Bosco will arrive in California tomorrow!  For detailed information on the schedule of events in California this week please check out their website.

Itinerary for the Pilgrimage is clarified now as follows:

• Saturday, 11 September 2010: arrival of the relics at SFO from Guadalajara, with a stop-over at Corpus Christi Church, and transport to SS. Peter and Paul, North Beach (remaining until 14 September)

• Tuesday, 14 September 2010: journey from San Francisco via East Bay (Richmond, Berkeley) to Watsonville (Our Lady Help of Christians Church).

• Wednesday, 15 September 2010: journey from Watsonville to Los Angeles (St Mary’s Parish, Boyle Heights).

• Thursday, 16 September 2010: journey from Los Angeles, to St Brigit's and Bosco Tech, arriving at Rosemead (St Joseph Youth Renewal Center).

• Friday, 17 September 2010: journey from Rosemead to Bellflower (St Dominic Savio Parish, remaining until 19 September).

•Sunday, 19 September 2010: transport by air to New York.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Don Bosco Relic to Visit Surrey, Canada

Don Bosco's relic is coming to Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Surrey, British Colombia,Canada!

Schedule of Activities:
September 18, 2010
Don Bosco Among Us Youth Conference
October 9, 2010
11:00 AM - Concelebrated Mass
3:00 PM - Children's Mass
7:00 PM - Youth Mass
October 10, 2010
11:15 AM - Mass with Archbishop Michael Miller

Don Bosco's Relic to Visit in Montreal, Canada

The relic of Don Bosco will visit the parish of Marie Auxiliatrice in Montreal, Canada on October 7.
To contact the parish for more detailed information please call 514-648-9424.

The Relic of Don Bosco to Visit Toronto, Canada

In the tradition of pilgrimage, the relics of St. John Bosco are being carried into the towns and villages, neighborhoods and centers where the Gospel is announced among the young and the poor today. This pilgrim journey through 130 nations began on January 31, 2009, the 150th Anniversary of the founding of the Salesian Congregation. It prepares us for the 2010 celebration of the 200th Anniversary of Don Bosco’s birth near Turin, Italy on August 16, 1815.

The relics of Don Bosco have been recomposed from the urn that contained his remains since 1929 when the body was exhumed for his beatification and canonization. The bones and tissues of the right hand and arm have been taken and placed within a wax replica of St. John Bosco's body, whic in turn is enclosed in a large urn.

The urn was constructed specially for this pilgrimage. It is composed of a large glass box in which the wax replica is placed, and easily viewed. The box is mounted atop a large wood and metal cart. Among the urn's decorations are the words, "Da mihi animas, ceatera tolle," which translates to, "Give me souls, take away the rest," one of Don Bosco's many quotes that guided his ministry from its earliest stages through today. Images of young faces also surround the urn, as well as maps showing where the Salesian Family is present today. Finally, the years 1815 and 2015 are places near the base, serving as a reminder of the purpose of this Relic Pilgrimage: in 2015, the Salesian Family, and the Church as a whole, will celebrate the 200th Anniversary of Don Bosco's birth in 1815.

The urn weighs 820 kilograms (over 1,800 pounds!). The glass box, containing the relic, is 253 centimeters long (almost 100 inches), 108.3 centimeters wide (over 40 inches), and 132 centimeters tall (over 50 inches). The full urn is tranported via two specially designed and built trucks.

In September 2010, Don Bosco's relics will arrive in the United States of America from Mexico. The pilgrimage through the USA will begin on September 11, in California, where Don Bosco's sons began their work in the United States. After several stops in California, the relic will travel to the West Bank of New Orleans, Louisiana, on September 19, 2010. From there, it will go to St. Petersburg, Belle Glade, and Miami, Florida. From Florida, the relic will travel to Washington, DC, where it will be visible at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The relic will then visit New York for several days, including a stop at the Salesians' Marian Shrine for a large Youth Rally and another at St. Patrick's Cathedral. From NY, the relic will travel to Chicago, from where it will prepare to cross yet another international border into Canada! The Relic will visit Toronto (St. Benedict Parish - Oct 5, 2010), Montreal, and Surrey, before it departs for the Far East on October 10, 2010.

We invite you to browse the official website for more information about the Relic's visit to the United States of America and Canada.

Maybe you are asking yourself "Why do Catholics venerate relics anyway? Is there any basis in the Bible for this tradition? Are relics just superstion?" To read more about the meaning and importance of relics in our Catholic tradtion, please click here.

Don Bosco's Relic to Visit St. Petersburg, Florida!

From September 22 - 23, the relics of St. John Bosco, founder of the Salesians of Don Bosco will be visiting the Diocese of St. Petersburg as part of a world-wide pilgrimage to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Salesian community and the 200th anniversary of John Bosco's birth. This is a unique opportunity for us to gather as local church for prayer and to be inspired by the life of this great saint of the Church.

n contrast to a traditional pilgrimage in which one would travel to Italy to venerate the relics of St. John Bosco, the relics are traveling to the faithful around the world. This allows for those who have benefitted from the ministry of the Salesians of Don Bosco or have a devotion to St. John Bosco to make a pilgrimage without having to travel to Italy. This is truly in keeping with the work of John Bosco who always felt it important to go to the people to whom he ministered.

The relics will be located at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle and there will be a series of prayer services and presentations as well as opportunity for quiet prayer and reflection throughout the relics' visit. Highlights include the welcoming prayer service and a Mass to be celebrated by Bishop Lynch at 8:15 AM on Thursday, September 23 in the Cathedral.

For more information about the schedule of events please click here.

Don Bosco's Relic in Louisiana

The relic of Don Bosco is set to visit our Salesian Family in Louisiana!  Fr. Jim McKenna, SDB has written a letter for the Salesian Family of the Westbank and all those who would like to come and share the grace and joy of the visit!  Here is a link to the dates and times.

St. Rosalie Church 608 First Ave. Harvey, LA Monday, Sept. 20, 2010 7:00 a.m. til 9:00 p.m.
(504) 340‐1962
Alario Center 2000 Segnette Blvd. Westwego, LA Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2010 10:00 a.m. til 12:00 p.m.
(504) 340‐6727
St. John Bosco Church 2114 Oakmere Dr. Harvey, LA Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2010 5:00 p.m. til 10:00 p.m. (504) 340‐0444

Don Bosco is coming to Chicago!

Here is the Schedule for the visit to Chicago:

October 2
5:30 pm
Gathering at Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe for prayer and fellowship while preparing for arrival of Relic at O'Hare Airport. Upon arrival, a procession of cars will accompany the Relic to St. Ferdinand Parish.

7:00 pm
Reception of the Relic at St. Ferdinand Parish
Procession of Relic along McVicker Ave to St. John Bosco Parish

8:15 pm
Welcoming Ceremony at St. John Bosco Parish:

Prayer Service presided by Bishop Garcia

Music led by Polish Highlanders

9:00 pm
Relic is placed inside the Church, where the faithful are welcome to Venerate the Relic

9:30 pm
All-Night Vigil Begins

October 3
7:00 am
Parish Mass in Spanish

8:30 am
Prayers, led by those in Consecrated life and seminarians

9:00 am
Rosary for Vocations

9:30 am
Parish Mass in English

11:00 am
Parish Mass in Spanish

1:00 pm
Outdoor Mass

2:30 pm
Youth Rally
schedule coming soon!

3:30 pm
Break-Out Sessions

5:00 pm
Youth Rally continues

6:00 pm
Outdoor Prayer, "Good Night", and Blessing

7:00 pm
Parish Mass in Spanish

8:30 pm
All Night Vigil Begins

October 4
8:00 am
Parish Mass in English

9:00 am
Closing Prayer Service

10:00 am
Relics Depart for Canada

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Don Bosco Among Us in Washington D.C.

The Salesian Family in Washington D.C. are preparing for the visit of Don Bosco's relic!  You can check out the site here.

Basilica of the National Shrine
of the
Immaculate Conception
(Upper Church)

September 28, 2010

8:30 am
Welcoming the Relic
Opening Service

9:30 am – 6:00pm
Veneration of the Relic

6:30 pm
concluding the day of Pilgrimage and Veneration of the Relic

Donald W. Wuerl
Celebrant and Homilist

Basílica del Santuario Nacional de la Inmaculada Concepcion
(Iglesia principal)

28 de septiembre 2010

8:30 am
Bienvenida Oficial de la Reliquia y Servicio de Apertura

9:30 am – 6:00 pm
Veneración continúa de la Reliquia

6:30 pm
Eucaristía concluyendo el día de Peregrinaje y la Veneración de la Reliquia

Donald W. Wuerl
Celebrante y Homilista