Salesians from all parts of Ireland found their pilgrim way to the Salesian House in St.Teresa’s Road Crumlin on the second leg of a journey through the Irish Salesian history dating back to the early years of the 20th century. The trek had begun in June, destination Copsewood House in Pallaskenry, County Limerick, the cradle of Don Bosco’s outreach in Ireland. On the 20th October the pilgrims set out again from all over the Island for Dublin 12.
Confreres were welcomed by the Rector of the Crumlin community, Fr. Michael Ross, ushering the new arrivals into the parlour for tea, coffee and assorted goodies. In the oratory, temporarily transformed into a conference room, Mr. John Doherty, facilitator for the day, introduced the assembly to the theme of the session as set out by Fr. Jack Finnegan (in absentia) by means of a six point challenge presented in the form of a Powerpoint projection:
• Don Bosco: A Spirit Person, a Religious Man – a diviniser of his century, a man who lived in the embrace of God, a man in intimate union with God
• Don Bosco: A sage, a wise man – a teacher of the wisdom of the heart, presenting an image of reality grounded in the loving fire of Spirit and teaching a way of transformation
• Don Bosco: A Social Prophet – a man who took a lifelong practical stance against the injustices of his day
• Don Bosco: a Healer – a healer of the social and spiritual consequences of lifestyle choice, a healer concerned with wellbeing and wellness
• Don Bosco: A thoughtful and reflective Pastoral Educator – an intentional activist on behalf of the young who developed a system of education that accompanied the young on a journey into wholeness and honesty.
• Don Bosco: A Movement Catalyst – a gatherer and inspirer of people revealing the face of God turned towards us, the human face of God in Jesus.
The pilgrims then progressed to the community’s newly constructed dining room where these points were discussed in groups, their findings being shared by the group spokesperson and duly noted by Fr. Paddy Hennessy the Vice–Provincial.
Holy Mass followed, concelebrated in the old chapel by the ‘pilgrims’, at the end of which Frs. Lukasz and Casimir were welcomed to the Province. After an ample lunch, all returned to the assembly room where the history and ministry of the Crumlin Salesian Community was traced and discussed, led by Frs. Flor McCarthy, John E.Butler, Alan Mowles and John Foster.
The Pilgrimage ended with another roundtable discussion on the theme of ‘history’ and how it informs our ministry and identity as Salesians going forward. The day ended with a summing-up by Fr. Provincial, Fr. Michael Casey. The ‘trek’ continues….