By Paul Campbell
On the weekend of the third Sunday of Advent, 16th December 2017, the first meeting took place for the beginning of the renewal of the Association of Salesian Cooperators in Ireland. It was a very fitting weekend, as Sunday’s reading from John’s Gospel tells us of John the Baptist crying out in the desert “make straight the way of the Lord”. There was no doubt that as we gathered in the Salesian Provincial House in Dublin, we all knew too well the desert experience we face today with the spiritual battle that Irish men, women, and children are faced with, in an ever-increasing secular society. But there is hope, there are those who care about the faith and will persevere to share the beacon of light to inspire old and new hearts.
At our first meeting, there was one common denominator within our small group, St John Bosco! We all had an experience of how the Salesian spirit had inspired our own faith journey. With this as our foundation, we explored how the Association of Salesian Cooperators could be renewed in Ireland with the focus on helping the young to not just become good Christians, but also good citizens. We all shared the vision of being called to play our part in making straight the way for the Lord like John the Baptist. From this first meeting, a seed was planted that we hope will grow and produce a fruit that will inspire young hearts to see the beauty of Catholicism towards following in the footsteps of Christ through the guidance of Mary Help of Christians and intercession of St John Bosco.