The Salesian Cooperators of St. Philip the Apostle Province estab- lished a new Cooperator center in Chicago, Ill., associated with St. John Bosco Parish. This is the first center formally established in Illinois. It is under the patronage of Bl. Artemides Zatti, a Salesian brother from Argentina who died in 1951.
The official opening of the center,along with the induction of three new Cooperators, took place January 29, 2005, at the 7:00 p.m. parish Mass. Fr. Tom Provenzano, SDB, the delegate for the new unit, celebrated the Mass in honor of St. John Bosco, and Fr. Bill Bucciferro, SDB, the director of the Salesian community, officiated at the inductions. A framed decree of erection was presented to the new unit by Brenda Baker, the Cooperators’ provincial coordinator.
The newly inducted Cooperators are Anna Marie Scinto Mesia, Richard Francis Moreno, and Deacon Ronald Swiatek. They join Brittany Marie Harrison, Sr. Christine Marie Moskal, CR, and William Wagner in forming the Chicago unit. Two other candidates are scheduled to be induct- ed May 24, 2005.
Members of the Bl. Artemides Zatti unit of Cooperators in Chicago pose with their brand-new decree of erection and with province coordinator Brenda Baker (far left): Richard Moreno, Anna Marie Mesia, Deacon Ronald Swiatek, Brittany Harrison, and unit moderator Fr. Thomas Provenzano.
The unit had its beginnings three years ago, under the guidance of Bro. Charles Todel. It has blossomed into a complementary mix of vocations: one deacon, one religious sister, one seminarian, three married persons, a graduate student, and a lay person still in discernment—captur- ing, in essence, the applicability of the spirit of Don Bosco to all vocations, whether married, single, religious, or ordained.
-- Brenda Baker and Brittany Marie Harrison
The World Consulting Body, the central leadership council of the Association of Salesian Cooperators, met in Rome, February 10-13, 2005, to develop the final draft of the Association’s Regulations. Representing the English-speaking provinces of Great Britain, Ireland, Canada, and the United States was Marlene Frederick of the Cooperators center in Tampa, Fla.
Cooperators Provincial Council meeting at South Orange, N.J., Feb 6, 2005. Clockwise from lower center are Roy Pedersen, Carol Verde, Brenda Baker, Denise Dunn, Mary Garrahan, Angelo Forta, and Maria Guiducci.
Over the last two years the Salesian Cooperators have been revising their rules, called the Regulations of Apostolic Life (RAL), dividing them into statutes, which describe the essential characteristics of this vocation in the Salesian Family, and regulations, which apply the essentials in a flexible way to contemporarylifestyles and to current political and social realities.
The process of revising the RAL resulted in 2003 in the official draft of the statutes. Now, with drafts of both the statutes and regulations in hand, the next steps will be, first, receiving the observations of the Rector Major, Fr. Pascual Chavez; then, conducting a world-wide consultation among the Cooperators; and finally, holding a world assembly in the fall of 2006. At the world assembly,official representatives from each Salesian Cooperators province will produce the final version of the statutes and regulations to be presented to the Holy See for definitive approval.
Once the new statutes and regulations are approved, they will replace the current RAL, which has been in force since 1986. St. John Bosco wrote the original “Rules” in 1876.
The revision of the Salesian Cooperators’ rules holds great signifi- cance and promise for the members of this association of the faithful. Called to a particular way of life in the Church, following the spirit and style of St. John Bosco, the Salesian Cooperators find inspiration and guidance in their rules. With the approval of the Church, the statutes and regulations will give the Cooperators the assurance that they are following a surepath to personal holiness while adding to the holiness of the Church through the good they do in society.
-John Puntino, SDB