The 26th General Chapter had asked the Rector Major to undertake the “translation and publication of a collection of the main Salesian sources.” With understandable satisfaction, Fr Pascual Chávez, now at the end of his mandate as Rector Major, is in a position to offer to the Chapter the first volume of the Salesian sources, entitled Don Bosco and his Work -an Anthology.
In his introduction to the book, dated 16 August 2013 – anniversary of the birth of Don Bosco – Fr Chávez observed that the book is divided into three parts (history, education, spiritual life). “These are the three ways to approach directly and historically the study of Don Bosco and his work, his pedagogy and his spirituality.” This is also the approach used during the period of preparation for the Bicentenary.
The text also has a fourth part which is a collection of writings of a biographical or autobiographical nature, in which the historical, educational and spiritual dimensions are so unified that they are not easily distinguishable.
It is a book to be given to every Salesian, almost as a handbook. Everyone should have a copy. It is also being offered to members of the Salesian Family, to friends of Don Bosco, to those who want to know the Salesian works, to young people and to families, and to lay people involved in the spirit and mission of Don Bosco.
Fr Chávez expressed the hope that this anthology will bear much fruit, and specifically “a growth in gratitude and admiration for Don Bosco, inspiration drawn from his work of evangelization for the young, the desire for holiness, and apostolic vocations in the Salesian Family.”
The volume has over 1300 pages. It is enhanced by an extensive introduction of sixty-one pages, and is accompanied by an index and bibliography of sources, a rich thematic index and a well documented general index. The editorial part was taken care of by the Salesian University Library (LAS ) in Rome. The Italian version is now available but the Rector Major appealed to the Provincials from around the world to facilitate the speedy translation of the text into the other major languages of the Congregation.
The work is the result of two years’ work by the Salesian Historical Institute. The Rector Major thanked them: “I am very grateful to the members of the Historical Institute whose diligent work under the coordination of its director, Fr José Manuel Prelezzo, has led to the completion of this work within the desired timeframe.”
The launch of the book took place this morning, Tuesday 4 March, in the presence of the Rector Major. Among the other attendees were Fr Francis Motto (editor of the first part – writings and documents for the history of Don Bosco and Salesian work), Fr José Manuel Prelezzo (editor of the second part – writings and testimonies of Don Bosco on education and the school), Fr Aldo Giraudo (editor of the third part – writings and testimonies on the spiritual life – and the fourth part – writings of a biographical or autobiographical nature).
First Published by InfoANS