ur present era immediately followed the year when the 26th General Council of the congregation was held, and whose challenge is to return to Don Bosco. That GC is of great importance since it is a clarion call for the members of the Salesian family, the SDB’s particularly, to rediscover the richness of the Salesian charism and to rededicate themselves to the service of the young.
It clearly asks of them, of us, that as we return to Don Bosco, let us also return to the young people.
I still remember that there were so many talks about the themes; so much profound sharing from the participants and even from mere observers alike. Thanks to the information superhighway, we were given a blow-by-blow account of the conduct of GC, not failing even to highlight what’s supposed to be relegated to the sidebars.
Yeah! The spirit was to the hilt last year, but it seems that the fruits of the recently held GC are not to be relished this soon. We have to wait for sometime.
In Canlubang, it is heartening to see the aspirants scattered all over the campus during lunch break. Thanks to the effort of the venerable Fr. Joe Fernandez, the spiritual moderator of the aspirants. I gathered that it is his brainchild. Their objective is to make our vocation candidates from the high school department keep in contact with our aspirants, and in effect, the attraction for the former to try the seminary life becomes bigger.
But as I laud this effort, I cannot but feel disheartened.
Our presence seems scarce when lunch and break time come. Our work force in the playground seems not sufficient. I believe that the aspirants would not have to carry out that initiative had 'we' been more visible.
Barely crawling towards my first year of being a Salesian, this reality does not only disappoint me, it challenges me to remain in contact with the young even if I am burdened with matters which may or may not concern them. As I call the attention of 'the others' I also remind myself that my presence in the midst of the young people is important.
Pastoral charity is neither a treatise, nor a vague concept. It is, I believe, a love that can only be gained, based on experience.
It is felt.
However, before it is felt, one has to be there to express it.