Blessed are you…

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD JANUARY 29, 2023   Fourth SUNDAY of Ordinary Time WORD of the DAY  When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. He began to teach them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.  (Matthew 5: 1-12) “How shall I live this Word?   Even before dwelling on the beatitudes, what strikes us are the eyes of Jesus open on the people in front of Him. He understands the pain, the tears, the iniquities, the possibilities, the limitations, which mark the life of those who follow Him. In the history of salvation, God sees the suffering of the oppressed people and sends His Son as liberator who enters into the painful events of humanity. In fact, the mysterious discourse that Jesus entrusts to His disciples is centered... read more

Walk by Faith!

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD JANUARY 28, 2023   Third SATURDAY of Ordinary Time WORD of the DAY  Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen. By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; he went out, not knowing where he was to go.  (Hebrews 11: 1/8) How shall I live this Word?   Through this passage, Saint Paul highlights the faith of Abraham, who as we know put into practice what God told him (cf. Genesis 12). Therefore, it is important to listen to him as we mentioned last Tuesday. We must listen and obey, trust and entrust oneself to Him, an act of faith-trust. Faith is not based on certainties linked to our human calculations, but on a relationship of trust that makes us hope against all hope (cf. Romans 4:18), towards what is not seen (v.1). Abraham proved it to us and we must learn from him, “he obeyed when he left” (v 8), for this very reason he is our father in faith (cf. Romans 4:18). Learning not with just a desire, but with a commitment that is nourished by the Christian community we frequent and by prayer. In our prayer, let us use the words of the apostle Luke 17:6: “Lord increase my faith.” The Voice of Pope Benedict XVI Lenten Message 2011 By meditating on and interiorizing the Word of God to live it daily, we learn a precious and irreplaceable form of prayer.  Attentive listening to God that continues to speak to... read more

Persevere in Prayer

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD JANUARY 27, 2023   Third FRIDAY of Ordinary Time WORD of the DAY  You need endurance to do the will of God and receive what he has promised. (Hebrews 10: 36) How shall I live this Word?   In order for God’s will to be done, it is very important to listen to Him, as we wrote on Tuesday again with reference to chapter 10 of the Letter to the Hebrews, but today St. Paul underlines that we must also be persevering, assiduous, constant. This invitation is not a prerogative of Saint Paul, who repeats it several times in his letters. In the Gospels, we often find the reference to perseverance without forgetting that the descent of the Holy Spirit took place in a community persevering in prayer (cf. Acts 1: 14). All the spiritual masters highlight this aspect, and what do we do? In life we are often caught up in so many problems, worries, etc. but if we want to do the will of the Lord, we must decide to dedicate time to listen to Him, not only when we need it or feel like it. We need an inner discipline that is sometimes undermined. Hence the importance of not living the faith in solitude. In order not to waste the grace of God, we must live it together with others also to support each other in perseverance. Lord, help me in humility so that I can support and be supported to persevere in prayer. The Voice of Pope Francis General Audience – 11 November 2020 Jesus has given us the example of... read more

A fruitful mission happens when we love each other

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD JANUARY 26, 2023   Third THURSDAY of Ordinary Time WORD of the DAY  The Lord appointed seventy- two others whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit.    (Luke 10: 1) How shall I live this Word?   If we consider ourselves disciples of Jesus, we are invited to bear witness to His teachings, as we wrote yesterday, and as witnesses we are also invited to go wherever He is going. He wants to meet all men and women so He sends us ahead to prepare the ground, but it is He who acts, not us. This helps us reduce our spiritual pride when we think that we are converting people with our activism. We must be humble like the Baptist, ‘but the one who comes after me is stronger than me whose sandal laces I am not worthy to untie’. (cf. Gospels of: Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:7; and Luke 3:16). In addition to being humble, we must bear witness to His commandment, that we love each other as He has loved us (cf. John 15:12). Only if we act with at least one other person, can we purify our human love and make it ever more similar to that of Jesus and demonstrate how much we are His disciples (cf. John 13:35). Once again, the Lord invites us to be humble and to act together with others to learn meekness (cf. Matthew 11:29), never alone. Lord, help me to destroy my pride so that I can be meek and humble in heart like You. The Voice... read more

Proclaim Jesus with your life!

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD JANUARY 25, 2023   Third WEDNESDAY of Ordinary Time CONVERSION of ST. PAUL APOSTLE WORD of the DAY  Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature. (Mark 16: 15) How shall I live this Word?   Going around the world is, when we live in one place, relating in a certain way to all the people we meet. In today’s society, the dominant culture is increasingly erasing the presence of God. In this context, people find it more difficult to accept that He intervened in history to free us from our self-centeredness and realize His plan of love, for everyone to live in peace and in joy (cf. Galatians 5:22) Unfortunately, this estrangement, besides coming from the dominant culture, is also due to our contradictions, hence the need for our continuous conversion to bear witness to the teachings of Jesus. Talking about Him, yes, but above all, showing how much He has changed us. Help me Lord to transmit Your love in all the environments I frequent to show every creature Your holiness. The Voice of Pope Francis Homily – St. Paul Outside the Walls 14 April 2013 Let us remember this well. We cannot proclaim the Gospel of Jesus without the concrete witness of our life.  Those who listen to and see us should be able to read in our actions what they hear from our mouth and give glory to God! It comes to my mind a counsel that St. Francis of Assisi gave to his brothers.  Preach the Gospel, and it is necessary, also with words.  Preach with... read more

January 23: Catholic feast day called “The Espousal of Mary and Joseph.”

Considering the passing of the recent [DIS]Respect for Marriage Act, I believe it is time that you and I bring this feast day back into a wide and devout practice. Click here for story of a marriage saved and the prayer that saved it. Did you know that in 1969, Governor Ronald Reagan of California made what he later admitted was one of the biggest mistakes of his political life? He signed the nation’s first no-fault divorce bill. And the result? Today we see a steady crumbling of the foundation of all social structures—marriage and the family. For many Fatima devotees this comes as no surprise; Our Lady warned of a “great chastisement in the second half of the twentieth century.” As a confirmation of this prophecy, Sr. Lucia wrote the following in a letter to her dear friend, Cardinal Carlo Caffarra in 1983 or 1984:  “Father, a time will come when the decisive battle between the kingdom of Christ and Satan will be over marriage and the family. And those who will work for the good of the family will experience persecution and tribulation. But do not be afraid, because Our Lady has already crushed his head.” My friend, can there be any doubt that we are living in that time now, in 2023? Click here for a prayer to SAVE even the most difficult marriage! As Catholics, we have a sacred duty to restore the sacrality and indissolubility of marriage; but we are not without assistance in this monumental task. We have the graces of this feast day and the spiritual guidance of Saint Joseph and Mary Most Holy to... read more

Happy Feast Day of Saint Francis de Sales!

We join with the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, as part of the Salesian Family of St. John Bosco, in honoring our mutual Patron Saint! Enjoy reading the Letter of Pope Francis on this gentle yet strong holy man. Dear Friends, The Oblates of St. Francis of de Sales in the United States join with all of our Salesian family in celebrating the feast of our patron, the Gentleman Saint. Celebrating the Feast Day is particularly special this year as we bring to a close our Double Salesian Jubilee Year marking the 400th anniversary of the death of Saint Francis de Sales and the 450th anniversary of the birth of Saint Jane Frances de Chantal. The highlight of the Year was Pope Francis issuing an Apostolic Letter on Saint Francis de Sales. In Totum Amoris Est (“Everything Pertains To Love”), the Pope summarizes the spiritual legacy left to us by Saint Francis de Sales. The Letter includes many of Saint Francis’ teachings and reminds us that these are as relevant today as they were 400 years ago. As a friend of the Oblates, you already know the power and impact of Salesian Spirituality. Through your friendship and support, the Oblates have the humble privilege of spreading this gentle loving Spirituality. Thank you for your support of our mission. We invite you to learn more about Saint Francis, Saint Jane, and Salesian Spirituality by visiting our website. Let’s Live Jesus together! Gratefully, Rev. Jack Kolodziej, OSFS Provincial Wilmington-Philadelphia Province Rev. Jack Loughran, OSFS Provincial Toledo-Detroit... read more

Festa di San Giovanni Bosco in Basilica a Torino e al Colle

Gentile collega, segnaliamo, con gentile preghiera di diffusione, il programma dei festeggiamenti dedicati a San Giovanni Bosco per il mese di gennaio 2023 che si terranno presso la Basilica Maria Ausiliatrice di Torino-Valdocco e presso la Basilica di San Giovanni Bosco del Colle Don Bosco, in occasione della solennità del Santo, il 31 gennaio 2023. BASILICA MARIA AUSILIATRICE – VALDOCCO – MARTEDÌ 24 GENNAIO | FESTA DI SAN FRANCESCO DI SALES Ore 18.30 – Concelebrazione Eucaristica, presiede il Rettor Maggiore don Ángel Fernández Ártime 25-26-27 GENNAIO | TRIDUO: DON BOSCO OGGI NEL MONDO Mercoledì 25 ore 18.30 – Don Bosco in Sud America: don Gabriel Romero Trasmesso su VIDEONORD (canale 83 del d.t.) Giovedì 26 ore 18.30 – Don Bosco in Africa: don Alphonse Owoudou Trasmesso su VIDEONORD (canale 83 del d.t.) Venerdì 27 ore 18.30 – Don Bosco in Asia Sud: don Michael Pulianmakal Trasmesso su VIDEONORD (canale 83 del d.t.) SABATO 28 GENNAIO | CONCERTO IN ONORE DI DON BOSCO Ore 20.00 – Omaggio a don Bosco con i giovani del Liceo Musicale Cavour (TO) LUNEDÌ 30 GENNAIO Ore 10.30-12.30 e 14.00–16.30 – Apertura Cappella delle Reliquie Ore 17.00 – Santo Rosario animato dalle Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice Ore 18.00 – Messa Vespertina, Mons. Alessandro Giraudo, Neo-Vescovo Ausiliare di Torino Ore 19.00 – Primi Vespri, presiede il Rettor Maggiore don Ángel Fernández Ártime Ore 20.30 – Veglia a don Bosco e possibilità di confessione 31 Gennaio – Festa di San Giovanni Bosco ORE 7.00 – S. MESSA Presiede don Giacomo Maria Martinacci, Rettore della Consolata ORE 8.00 – S. MESSA PER I RELIGIOSI Presiede Padre Carmine Arice, Padre Gen. del Cottolengo ORE 9.30 – S. MESSA PER I RAGAZZI/E DELLE... read more

Familiarity with God in prayer…

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD JANUARY 24, 2023   Third TUESDAY of Ordinary Time SAINT FRANCIS DE SALES WORD of the DAY  First, he says, Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings, you neither desired nor delighted in. These are offered according to the law. Then he says, Behold, I come to do your will. He takes away the first to establish the second.  (Hebrews 10: 8-9) How shall I live this Word?   This passage invites us to be careful so that in our religiosity there are no sacrifices or offerings, often with the intimate intention of receiving something in return, as though we are putting coins in one of those vending machines that are found everywhere. The passage takes us back to the first book of Samuel chapter 12 where we read, “Samuel exclaimed, ‘Does the Lord like holocausts and sacrifices as much as obedience to the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, to be docile is better than the fat of rams’.” Docility and obedience that invite us to listen to the Lord. The question is, how should we listen to Him? There is only this answer: Bible reading and prayer. Reading to grasp His message, not for culture or to evaluate whether or not we agree with the biblical content. Prayer which is not saying formulas by heart without becoming aware that we are in the presence of the Person to whom they are addressed. If we become aware of Him, our heart will also be involved, whatever form or method of prayer it is. The heart in prayer is fundamental, as... read more

Three films about Don Bosco that have made his charism universal through the art of cinema

20 January 2023 (ANS – Rome) – Don Bosco’s great appeal and his charisma have captivated millions of people around the world. His figure has permeated and still permeates the work of a great many artists who have traced his profile, drawn his portrait, making it even more universal through various forms of art; and cinematography has certainly played an important role by bringing the Saint of the Young closer to the general public. Don Bosco is an absolutely “international” saint, in that he is known all over the world and with particular cognizance in the 135 countries where the Salesians are widespread; thus, it is not impossible to come across various films of various genres dedicated to him on the Web. But among the many works produced, it is undeniable that it was his own homeland, Italy, that paid him the most famous cinematic tributes. For this reason, in the work of selecting among the works of the seventh art dedicated to Don Bosco, the field has been narrowed down to three films that are still touchstones for anyone who wants to try their hand in the same artistic arena, that have marked their era, and that have been translated and dubbed or subtitled in several languages, to be disseminated throughout the world. These are three productions simply titled “Don Bosco,” proving that Don Bosco’s name needs no further introduction. The first one was made under the direction of Goffredo Alessandrini and is from 1935, thus a year after the canonization of the Saint of Youth. Starring Gian Paolo Rosmino, the film depicts the life of Don Bosco from his birth until his... read more