The Salesian Secret

People are often amazed at how dynamic the atmosphere is in a Salesian setting. It appears that people seem to have put on braces around their lips that allows them to smile the whole day. Salesian schools resound with boisterous laughter from students who chase each other from one end of the school to the other. Youth groups generally are made up of upbeat youth. A man holding a broom, or covered in slick oil may not be your ordinary maintenance guy but a Salesian at work.

What is it with the Salesians? It’s the family spirit – the hallmark of Don Bosco’s legacy to young people. It’s a total shame for a Salesian community that never exhibits the family spirit. Salesian schools and training centers have become more than places for learning, they have become secondary homes. People can’t help but feel at home in Don Bosco.

This is the challenge for Salesians and those who wish to follow Don Bosco: to exemplify in their relationships especially with the young the welcoming and joyful spirit that brings hearts closer to home. Foxes have holes and birds have nest, but the sons and daughters of man has nowhere to lay down their heads. In an increasingly lonely world, Salesian settings are called to gather in as many souls as possible into the hearth of Don Bosco as the lively saint and Mama Margaret did when they first found their first boarder.

As I undergo the initial phases of formation into Salesian Life, I have always felt the need to make the seminary a place I can call home. The strong family spirit evident among the Salesians may well be one of the most effective promotion that has tagged me along well. This call is stronger in houses of formation as there could never be a formation without a relationship.

People especially young ones do not need the sense of independence and self-suffiency as much as the need for belongingness. We would rather belong to a group than be alone and we would rather be in a family than in a group. How, as ministers of the young, we touch the right chords in young people and attune ourselves into their colorful world is a deciding factor in establishing and imprisoning that heart into a loving familial embrace.

Every time I join celebrations that involve the different members of the Salesian Family, I never cease to be amazed at how small the world could be. It’s amazing how people from different settings could easily interact and relate with each other by simply sharing Don Bosco among themselves. This is a tradition. This is a gift from our Founding Father. Our family spirit keeps his charism alive and relevant across the ages, still effective at sculpting our lips to smile the whole day.


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Disclaimer: This section of the website is a personal creative writing of the author and does not necessarily reflect the official views, opinion, or policies of the Salesians of Don Bosco – Philippines South Province. For concerns on the content, style, and grammar of this piece, please contact us.

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