Weekend Seminar – Celbridge, Maynooth (24th-26th Jan): In preparation for the feast of St John Bosco, a Seminar was held on Don Bosco and his spirituality. Appropriately it started on the Feast of St Francis of Sales with a Mass in the evening presided by Fr Koenraad Van Gucht, the Rector. The community members from Maynooth joined the ones in Celbridge, while Arthur and David, students in formation, came all the way from Limerick to participate in the weekend. Fr Eunan McDonnell shared a reflection on Francis de Sales in the homily, helping all to get a better understanding of this Saint who inspired Don Bosco so much. The evening continued with a get-together, having pasta for supper, ably prepared by Fr Gianfranco who has joined the community this year in his endeavours to improve his English.
The following morning it was the turn of the Celbridge confreres to join the other members of the community in Maynooth. The community of Warrenstown also joined the morning, which was to serve also as a day of recollection. The day started with a Mass presided by Fr John Butler who shared some thoughts on the conversion of St Paul. The morning input was then given by Fr Jack Finnegan who spoke on Don Bosco as Prophet, Servant and Mystic; he spoke on how Don Bosco’s mysticism was expressed in his action for others. Eucharistic Adoration was a moment in which the community had the opportunity to reflect on their own spiritual life in the light of what they had heard.
The afternoon continued with a session for those in initial formation and Fr Eunan shared with them on the spiritual accompaniment of the young in the spirit of Francis de Sales. In his talk one could see how much Don Bosco put into practise Francis’ style of spirituality which was one very much based on relationships.
The meeting for the young confreres continued on Sunday morning; Fr Michael Casey, the Provincial, presided at the Holy Eucharist and he made use of different liturgical moments to highlight God’s love for us that we are called to be a light to others. After the Mass Fr Richard gave an input on Don Bosco and his ardent pastoral charity. The apostolate, just as it had a formative value for Don Bosco in his vocational journey and when he was at the Convitto, also has to be for us a moment of reflection on how God is acting in our life and the lives of young people.
The morning concluded with some words from Fr Provincial, encouraging all to be engaged in this process of growth and openness to the Lord.