The Chapter members are now assembling. There will be a total of 220 participants in GC27 – 207 Chapter Members and thirteen invited confreres. Most of them are gathering at present at the Salesianum in Rome, while some are going directly to Turin, where the Chapter members will begin with a pilgrimage to the Salesian places: Valsalice, Valdocco, Colle Don Bosco and the Church of St John the Evangelist in Turin.
The Chapter Moderator, Fr Francesco Cereda, welcomes all the participants on behalf of the Rector Major, the General Council and the Confreres of the Generalate. He writes: “To all of you who have come from the most diverse parts of the Congregation and of the world, I extend a most cordial welcome. I hope you will you feel at home during the chapter and that a spirit of welcome, friendliness and joy will facilitate mutual understanding, sharing, understanding and discernment.”
Regarding the Salesian places where the chapter meeting begins: “Here we were born” [cf Psalm 86 (87)]. The Moderator went on to say: “Returning to the source of the Salesian charism, we will meet Don Bosco, our dear Father and Founder. The first and most important welcome will be from him, and from his ninth successor, Fr Pascual Chávez. The places where the charism of Don Bosco was born, and where we return as loyal sons, are waiting for us – the Becchi, Valdocco, the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians and of Don Bosco. These are our holy places. Here we learn to live as members of a family and here we strengthen the charismatic bonds that unite us.”
There is a period of intense work awaiting the Chapter in Rome, a time to “live and work together”(Cons. 49). Fr Cereda expressed a final wish: “I hope that during these days we will experience the joy of our common vocation and concern for the good of the Congregation. May we begin now to live as “Witnesses of Gospel Radicalism”, walking in the Spirit and bearing the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (cf Gal. 5, 22); and may we always be with the young people.”
The theme of GC27 is vital for everyone: for the confreres, the communities and the provinces. It is a challenging topic, which is enriched by the witness of life and the words of Pope Francis. It is a theme that offers promise to young people, their families and the lay people involved in the spirit and mission of Don Bosco. It is an attractive theme that has the potential to bring credibility, visibility, and especially vocational fruitfulness.
First Published by InfoANS