TURIN, Italy, MAY 26, 2010 (Zenit.org).- A group of Salesian prelates are affirming their support for Benedict XVI, while underlining their desire for spiritual renewal and their commitment to working with youth.
Some 90 Salesian bishops and cardinals met Friday for a four-day gathering in Valdocco, near Turin, on the occasion of 150th anniversary of their congregation, the centenary of the death of the first successor of Don Bosco, Blessed Michael Rua, and the 125th anniversary of the episcopal ordination of the first Salesian bishop, Bishop John Cagliero.
On Sunday, the Salesian rector major, Father Pascual Chávez, gave Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Pope’s secretary of state, a letter for the Pontiff from the congregation members gathered there.
The cardinal, who is also a Salesian, added his signature to the letter that stated its main reason as being to express to the Holy Father “the affection, the closeness and the total availability which Don Bosco has taught us to live from the very beginning of his charismatic experience, with regard to the Holy Father and to the whole Church.”
“Most Holy Father, please feel us close to you in this difficult hour for the Church,” it affirmed.
The Salesians noted, “We share the concerns of the present moment, asking the Lord to purify our lives and to purify the Church so as to be able worthily to proclaim the Gospel, especially to the young, to the poor, to the least, to those who still do not know the Good News.”
“We want to thank you, Holy Father, for your enlightening ministry which urges us to live in hope,” they added, “to welcome the richness of Christian love, to give it life and make it bear witness in the fabric of today’s history.”
The prelates assured Benedict XVI of “our desire to cultivate in the congregation and in these brothers of ours who are bishops a profound spiritual renewal.”
As well, they underlined their “concern for the young people of today.”
The Salesians stated, “In a world which, in spite of thousands of contradictions, tries to respond to the need to defend the rights of the individual, we want to be apostles of the young, guarding their right to know all that is noble, just, pure, honorable, worthy of praise.”
They continued: “We want them to know the existence of a path to human, affective and spiritual maturity which can be marked out according to the great human values contained in the Gospel.
“We want to guarantee for them the right to know Jesus Christ and his plan for a life to the full.”
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