“Our ministry amongst the young, as a Salesian family, must be accompanied by prayer if we wish it to be fruitful.” With these words, Fr Eunan McDonnell, Provincial of the Irish Province, invited friends and members of the Salesian Family to join him in a day of prayer for vocations on the 24th of March. He encouraged people to spend some time in prayer that day, either as individuals or in community prayer, and in particular to pray for vocations to the Salesian Family. In his invitation Fr Eunan underlined that “Each one of us has a vocation by virtue of our baptism”. He invited those who were free to join him in making a pligrimage on the day to Knock Shrine, a very devout Marian Shrine in Ireland.
On arrival, the Salesian pilgirms first gathered at the Prayer Centre in Knock where Fr Eunan shared a reflection on our Lady and how led the group in a guided meditation on the annunciation. This was followed by a video reflection on Don Bosco and how he saw his mission among young people as being Mary’s own initiative as the Help of Christians who seeks to reach out to the people of God in their need.
In the afternoon people were free to do their own personal devotions before gathering in the Majestic Basilica for the Holy Eucharist which was presided br Fr Provincial. In his homily he shared how he had personally witnessed Mary’s intervention while he was on the missions. He said that he is confident that Mary still continues to pe present in our daily life, especially in our minsitry amongst the young.
Immediately after the Mass, in a simple cermony at the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, Fr Eunan accepted Leo Pinto’s request to start his immediate preperation for the novitiate.
Different members of the Salesian Family particiapted in the Pilgrimage, including Salesians and Saslesian Sisters, as well as Salesian Co-operators and Collaborators in our different works.
Commenting on the event, Fr Eunan said that “Praying for vocations, as Jesus invites us to do, cannot be a one-day event, but a constant commitment of the entire community Therefore, as we are preparing to commemorate the Centenary of the first Salesian presence in Ireland, I invite all to continue with a prayerful disposition and initiate an awareness in our communities and places of ministry, so as to create a culture of vocations.”
By Fr Richard Ebejer SDB