Thursday, April 29, 2010

Don Bosco's Relic Arrives in Columbia

Don Bosco's Relic Departs from Ecuador

The following comes from the Salesian News Agency:

Among the solemn events held yesterday 27 April, the final day of the presence of Don Bosco’s casket in Ecuador, was a Mass celebrated in the Sanctuary of Mary Help of Christians in Guayaquil attended by the President of Ecuador Rafael Correa. The Mass which came at the conclusion of the visit of the casket to the “Cristobal Colón” Institute was also attended by various religious and civil authorities.

When he spoke, the Head of State, who spent some minutes in front of the casket referred to the work of the Salesians and to how he had learned from them a commitment to the poor, to young people and to the native peoples. “Don Bosco is my favourite saint,” he said as he thanked the Salesians, in the name of the people of Ecuador, for their work in the country: “Thanks to you Salesians for what you have done and for what you continue to do.”

In conclusion President Correa asked the young people to pray for the government and especially for him so that he might remain faithful to Don Bosco. His final words, “Don Bosco stay with us” were repeated by the many faithful present who also applauded the President.

Rafael Correa received from the hands of the Provincial of Ecuador, Fr Marcelo Farfán, a small statue of Don Bosco and, led by Fr Luciano Bellini, Rector of the Salesian community he visited some parts of the “Cristobal Colón” Institute where he had been a teacher.

At the end of Mass the casket was taken to the “Dominic Savio” Institute and then in the evening to the “Voltaire Paladines Polo” Square where there was a farewell Mass before it left for Colombia.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Pilgrimage of Don Bosco to Us!

Pilgrimages usually mean that people travel to a sanctuary or holy ground to pray… and pilgrimages have been part of the movement of all the great religions.

This is a reverse kind of pilgrimage where, instead of people going to the sanctuary where a saint is venerated, the saint will go to the people. The relics of Don Bosco transported to us have all the meaning of a pilgrimage, even though it is the saint who travels to our sanctuary instead of us traveling to his.

In recent years, the relics of St Therese of the Child Jesus have been transported around the globe, and the relics of Blessed Piergiorgio Frassati were venerated in Melbourne for WYD 2008.
This is not the first time Don Bosco’s remains are transported in pilgrimage. This happened in 1929 (from Valsalice to Turin, when the remains of the saint were enshrined in the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians) and in 1959 (when Pope John XXIII requested that the relics be brought to St Peters along with those of St Pius X for days of prayer among children and youth). The movement on those occasions, however solemn, was quite minimal.

From 2009 to 2014, the relics of Don Bosco are being transported worldwide, to over 100 countries. People in Italy and Latin America have received the urn with great enthusiasm and devotion.

How will the relics be met in the USA, and specifically in the USA and Canada?

Significance of Pilgrimage

As Christianity is born in the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, so from the earliest times the Christian community has honored the mortal remains of the martyrs and saints, recalling how their lives mirrored the Gospel, and how their passage to Glory is an encouragement to the living to persevere in faith and witness.

The pilgrimage of the casket of Don Bosco recalls the ancient devotion of the faithful to the cult of the martyrs and saints as ultimately a devotion to Christ Resurrected. This event introduces the Salesian Family to the 200th anniversary of the birth of Don Bosco in 2015 (as the pilgrimage is ongoing from 2009 through 2014.

The pilgrimage is an occasion to study Don Bosco’s life and mission, so that testimony of his life will help us to imitate his faith, his love of the Lord and his zeal for all people, but above all for the young and the poor.

The pilgrimage is a worldwide event. The 3 weeks that the relics will be in our province is part of a larger journey. In a real sense, then, Don Bosco’s “visit” to the US and Canada is a visit to the churches and societies today, that would become an invitation to a renewed sense of faith among youth and young adults, and the wider Catholic population in solidarity with the rising generations.

Don Bosco is Coming to the USA and Canada!

Check out the Don Bosco Among Us website for the latest information!

The Friend of the young and the poor is coming to the US and the world! The urn of Don Bosco's relic is on pilgrimage around the world. Here is the schedule for DB's relic tour in our provinces in the USA:

US West: Saturday, Sept. 11 -- Tuesday, Sept. 14 : in northern California
Wednesday, Sept. 15 -- Sunday, Sept. 19: in southern California

New Orleans: September 19-20 veneration at St. Rosalie Parish in Harvey, La.
September 21, Youth Rally at Alario Center in Westwego, La.
September 21-22 veneration at St. John Bosco Parish in Harvey, La.

Florida: September 22-23 at St. Jude Cathedral in St. Petersburg, Florida
September 24-25 veneration at St. Philip Benizi Parish in Belle Glade
September 25 veneration at Immaculata/LaSalle High School in Miami
September 26 veneration at St. John Bosco Parish in Miami

Washington, DC: September 26-29 veneration at the National Shrine

New York Schedule
Thursday, September 30, 2010*Marian Shrine - Stony Point, NY
7:30 am - All committee members and team leaders be ready
8:20 am - Casket of Don Bosco to outdoor altar
8:30 am - Group arrives and see casket and go eat breakfast
9:30 am - Parade or procession between outdoor altar and stage
9:45 am - Stop at Becchi house for photo
10:00 am - Youth Rally
11:00 am - Mass
12:30 pm - Lunch
1:15 pm - Departure for some
3:00 pm - Ultimate Frisbee
5:00 pm - Barbecue dinner
7:00 pm - Candle Light Rosary
8:30 pm - Adoration All night - other - devotion and activities

Friday, October 1, 2010*St. Patrick's Cathedral
Veneration of the Relic (10:00 am - 11:00 pm)
Welcoming Ceremony (10:00 am)
Mass with Archbishop Timothy Dolan (7:00 pm)
Cathedral Stays Open to 11:00 pm

Saturday, October 2, 2010*St. Patrick's Cathedral
Veneration of the Relic (6:30 am - 10:00 am)

Toronto: October 4-6 (Veneration at St. Benedict's Parish)
Montreal: October 6-8 veneration at Maria Ausiliatrice Parish

Surrey: October 8-10 at Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish

More details will follow as they become available!