15 Nov 2018
Fr. Basañes to Elder & Sick Confreres: “You are fully engaged Salesian missionaries”
(ANS – Rome – November 12) – Again this year, on the anniversary of the first Salesian missionary expedition (November 11, 1875), the general councilor for the missions, Fr. Guillermo Basañes, sent a letter to all the sick and elderly spiritual sons of Don Bosco to animate them in the spiritual offering of their daily lives for the benefit of the world’s young people.
In the letter, Fr. Basañes picks up from the last letter of Fr. Juan Edmundo Vecchi, eighth successor of Don Bosco, to remember that, if it is true that many Salesians expend strength and energy in their direct encounters with young people, one should not “think excessively about pastoral results as results due to one’s own strength, forgetting the gratuitous, filial, and sacrificial dimension that was typical of Christ.”
Therefore he reiterates clearly: “The period of infirmity and limitation is as fruitful as that of specific activity, if it is lived in the light of the mystery of the death and resurrection of Jesus.”
Thus Fr. Basañes expressly manifests his reliance on the prayers and the spiritual offering of one’s own difficulties on the part of the elder and sick Salesians, and for this he submits three specific intentions to them: the new missionaries of the 149th Salesian Missionary Expedition, the Salesians who are discerning their vocation to the foreign missions, and for the young people of many countries and regions who are waiting for Salesians to accompany them toward Jesus.
Fr. Basañes then mentions the apostolic constitution Vultum Dei Quaerere, where Pope Francis, addressing cloistered nuns, recalls: “The Church relies on your prayer and your offer to bring the good news of the Gospel to men and women of our time.”
Hence Fr. Basañes concludes by saying: “This is also said to you, dear confreres, that you are fully engaged Salesian missionaries, scattered throughout the various infirmaries and nursing homes of the Congregation!”
The full text of the letter is available at sdb.org.