- The Africa-Madagascar Region
- 1. Africa-Madagascar today
- 1.1. Salesians in the Continent of Africa
- 1.2. Salesian works
Continue reading “Pascual Chavez Villanueva – “We’ve been waiting for you. We’ve been waiting for you so long. Now at last you’re here. You’re among us and you won’t get away from us!” (MB XVIII,50). PRESENTATION OF THE REGION OF SOUTH ASIA”
Fr. Arthur Lenti, in a second article, invites us to enter the political and ecclesiastical world of Don Bosco through his letters never published before in English. The letters add insight to the always intriguing question of Don Bosco’s involvement in the naming of bishops.
Fr. Arthur J. Lenti tells the story of Don Bosco’ s efforts to mediate between the Holy See and the Italian government during the tense years of Italian unification. Of special importance was the appointment of bishops. After offering background on the historical events leading to the estrangement between the Church and state in Italy, the author goes to the sources in an effort to answer the question why someone so politically unimportant as Don Bosco, should become involved in a capacity of “negotiator.”
The Law of Guarantees on 13 May 1871 and decrees applying to this required that for newly appointed bishops to enter into possession – the so-called temporalities – they had to present the Minister with the original decree of appointment and formally ask for the exequatur to be granted. This act, in the Holy See’s judgement, implied recognising the Kingdom of Italy which came into being in 1861, and included part of the Papal States ‘illegally’ taken from the Pontiff.
In the years immediately preceding and following Italian Unity (1858-1866), Don Bosco kept constantly in touch with Pius IX by letter. He did this not only for interests directly relating to his work, but also in reference to the worrying situation the Church was going through in Piedmont, to encourage him in his defence of the faith against the enemies of religion, and to pass on to him any likely reserved information in his possession. As already indicated, Don Bosco was with Pius IX and his Secretary of State, Card. Antonelli, on the Roman question. Slowly however, he became convinced that a too vigorous resistance to the “revolution” was becoming ever more pointless, even risked worsening the situation, so after the capture of Rome he chose, also politically, the principle of doing whatever good could be done.
The present article is not concerned with the new constitutions. No comparative study will be attempted, nor any reference will be made to them. This would be carrying coal to Newcastle. I shall instead attempt simply to identify and briefly discuss some of the spiritual insights and principles for religious life and action which Don Bosco embodied in his constitutions.
In this article, I will attempt to trace how Don Bosco’s original experience was translated in such a way that his work could be established in Malta – an island country in the Mediterranean with a distinct tradition and culture from that in which the Salesian story first began and developed in Turin, Italy. I will place special emphasis on the Salesian Oratory, Sliema.
Congratulations on your hundred years of faithful work with and for Don Bosco, with and for young people and with and for so many good people of this great country, to bring the message of the Lord to the young in their own context.
Perhaps of all the leading political personages of the Italian Risorgimento with whom Don Bosco enjoyed some measure of friendship, Urbano Rattazzi’s name, like Abou Ben Adam’s, led the rest.