Monday, June 28, 2010
The following comes from the Salesian News Agency:
Having arrived last Friday 25 June from Puerto Rico, Don Bosco’s casket was welcomed in Santo Domingo, in the Antilles Province (ANT), by Fr Víctor Pichardo, the Provincial with members of the Provincial Council.
In front of the monument of Fra Antón de Montesinos, one of the first Christian missionaries in the Americas, on the road from the port to the capital, there was a welcomng ceremony, which was followed by a procession to the Cathedral of Saint Mary Minor’s where the Metropolitan Artcbishop of Santo Domingo, Cardinal Nicolás de Jesús López Rodríguez, presided at Mass.
At the Mass as well as a large number of Salesians, various bishops and the Nuncio Apostolic were also the Vice President of the Dominican Republic, Dr Rafael Alburquerque, representing the President and the President of the Senate, Mr. Reinaldo Pared Pérez, a Salesian Past Pupil.
At the end of the Mass Dr. Alburquerque said: “Don Bosco, whose relics we are welcoming today is still alive, not only because he is remembered with respect and veneration by the Salesians and the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, but also and above all on account of the works which he planned and created which continue to operate and to educate the young throughout the world, giving protection to the poor and to the suffering and instilling the love of God and the Christian faith through oratories and parishes.
Here, in the Dominican Republic his heritage is immeasurable. Bearing witness to his great love for the poor are Don Bosco’s young women and me who with twelve centres around the country, provide care and education for girls and boys from the most vulnerable sections of our society. Youth Centres, Schools, Health Centres and Projects for human development have accompanied the progress of Don Bosco in this part of the Caribbean.
There is no doubt that Don Bosco is still alive, and alive for the benefit of the young, who can take advantage of his works. As Vice President I share in the joy we all feel in welcoming Don Bosco, and at the same time I express to the whole Salesian Family the gratitude of the Dominican government and people for all the great help they give to the young in spreading and continuing to practice the ideals and good works of the one who in the past conquered the hearts of the humble ones and who continues to do so today.”
After being made available for the veneration of all those present, the casket was taken to the Don Bosco Institute in the city, by way of the Provincial House, where for the rest of the day, that night and the following day Saturday the public were able to venerate it.