Or if you permit me to call you, dear Salesian Spiritual Companions ‘may God make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you’ (Nm 6:25). Many of you have come to know us through contact with our Salesian communities or parishes, retreats, prayer groups or through individual Salesians whom you have met on your journey. We value your prayerful support.
Soon we will celebrate two major Salesian feasts: St Francis de Sales (24th January) our patron and St John Bosco (31st January) our founder. Providentially our novena for St John Bosco’s feast begins on 22.01.2018 just before the feast of St Francis de Sales. Furthermore, as an acknowledgment of all your prayerful support I would like to offer a novena of masses beginning on that date for your intentions and all those whom you cherish in your heart. It is a simple gesture to acknowledge your prayerful support to us Salesians in Ireland. If you would like us to pray for some specific intention during this novena of masses, you can access our website and submit a prayer request: http://www.salesiansireland.ie/prayer-requests/
Let us continue to pray for each other. We always stand in need of conversion and prayer opens our minds and our hearts to the movement of God’s Spirit. As Salesians in Ireland, we have been entrusted with a particular responsibility for evangelization of young people. In order for us to fulfil this mission we depend greatly on your prayers. Your prayers, united with our own, attune us to the movement of the Spirit of God allowing us to be overshadowed, like Mary, by a power from on high (Lk 24:48).
Within our Salesian story, Mary holds a primary place. Indeed, St John Bosco firmly believed that Mary was the foundress of our congregation and used to say, ‘look to Mary if you want to see what miracles are!’ Also St Francis de Sales had a tender devotion to Mary stating that: If Mary was just mother and not queen, she would want to help us but would not be able; if Mary was just queen and not mother, she would have the power to help us, but may not want to; But, since she is both queen and mother, she has both the power and willingness to help us, so entrust everything to her intercession. I would like to cordially invite you, and your family members and friends, to join us for a Salesian family day of prayer at Knock Shrine on 24.03.2018.
Let the soul of Mary be in each one of us, to magnify the Lord.
Let the spirit of Mary be in each one of us, to rejoice in God.
Fr Eunan McDonnell SDB