At the “Aula Magna”, the Auditorium of the Patristic Institute of the “Augustinianum” of Rome, packed with journalists, ecclesiastical authorities, ambassadors of various countries and numerous admirers and friends of the Salesian Works, the presentation of the Italian book titled “Don Bosco Today” edited and published by the Vatican Publishing house was held this morning, the 24th April 2015. The book was a collection of the long interviews and of various presentations made by the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, the 10th successor of Don Bosco.
On the stage, along with the Rector Major/the author of the book, there were other dignitaries such as Enzo Romeo, the Journalist of the Italian Government Broadcaster channel Rai-2, who served as the coordinator of the programme; Luigi Bobba, the Under Secretary of the Labour & Social Welfare Ministry and Prof. Roberto Rusconi, an authority on Church History at the University of Roma Tre.
Among the audience were present in great numbers various bishops and Cardinals especially the Salesians such as His Eminance Cardinal Raffaele Farina and Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone (former Secretary of State of Vatican), Msgr. Enrico dal Covolo and a good number of ambassadors of various countries.
Immediately after the presentation, Don Giuseppe Costa sdb, the Director of the Vatican Publishing House addressed the gathering, followed by Dr Bobba Piedmontese, who underlined the social value of the figure of Don Bosco and the commitment of the Salesian congregation towards the training and employment of the young people. “If Don Bosco had lived today, he would have certainly made a significant contribution with his insights on education and the society-centred approach of his work” he commented.
Retracing the chapters of the book, Professor Rusconi, highlighted the contribution of the book thus: “The question ‘Who was John Bosco’ has been addressed by stressing his role as that of a ‘figure of a mother’. The volume highlights Don Bosco’s effort to ‘Go to the periphery’ and the importance of ‘formation for (technical) work’, along with the ‘Education of the Young’. It was the ‘vocation’ of a founder who would send his ‘Salesians’ in to the world along with the ‘Lay Brothers’ and the ‘Salesian Sisters’. He would thus trust to the Salesians the ‘Young People in greater need’ and ‘Salesian Communication’ too takes up a special place”.
The last few interventions were in a charged atmosphere and Fr Artime, the Rector Major, the author of the interviews, for his part said: “In front of the grave crisis facing our society today, and the young people in particular, I am sure that Don Bosco here would have feel a great compassion and would have worked harder to change things.”
This message was also reiterated with great frankness by Dr Expósito, who said that Don Bosco today would have been “mad” to see how today’s society is tolerating the force of evil on daily events, granted that all the problems that he was facing – the condition disadvantaged youth, the migrants, exploitation of human labour, etc., – are all still alive and in fact in increased global proportions.