by Cl. Romero D'Souza SDB
RATISBONNE-JERUSALEM, FEBRUARY 2, 2015: The Salesian Community of Ratisbonne, Jerusalem Campus attended their annual spiritual retreat at Kiryat Yearim (Ark of the Covenant), Abu Gosh from January 22-28, 2015 on the theme: Salesian Spirituality. The preacher of the retreat was Rev. Fr. Patrick (Pat) Angelucci SDB, belonging to the New Rochelle Province, who has been former Provincial and Pastor of the province, currently on the staff of the Marian Shrine in Haverstraw, facilitated and helped the retreatants to enter into self-reflection and to develop an intimate relationship with Jesus the Don Bosco way during these grace filled days.
In his introductory talk, Fr Pat gave an outline of his talks/conferences based on Scripture, Salesiana, and the apostolic exhortation of Pope Francis' Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of Evangelization). In the daily conferences, for the following days he developed on different aspects, characteristics and qualities of the Salesian Spirit through the inspiration of certain models and examples who lived their lives of Salesianity.
They included St Mary Mazzarello, St Louis Versiglia, Michael Rua, St Francis de Sales, Andrea Beltrami, and Ceferino Namuncura. Apart from these he also spoke about the Rector Majors: Paolo Albera, Philip Rinaldi, Egidio Vigano, and Pascual Chavez; and of Salesians whom he experienced and lived with. He elaborated on the themes such as: Call to Holiness – to be Saints, Cheerfulness, Intimacy and Union with God, Love for the Young, Passion for the Mission, Spirituality of Pastoral Charity and Family Spirit, the Gift of Meditation and Prayer, and the Grace of Vocation.
He instilled in us a renewed spirit (pedagogical way) to read, to know, to understand and to love Don Bosco. He also underlined the role of Mary our mother (Mary was there), in the life of every Salesian and in our congregation, and the importance of the Word of God. Besides the sessions, he also animated the daily meditation and sermons. He dedicated time to meet those who seeked guidance and confession. Every day we would conclude the day with the holy hour of adoration.
We also had daily good nights given by the Priests who shared their experiences of living a Salesian way of life. The retreat was brought to a graceful culmination by the Holy Eucharist celebrated by the Rector of our community Rev. Fr Andrew Wong SDB. During the Eucharist, we made the renewal of our profession. Indeed this annual spiritual retreat was well appreciated and a spirit-filled renewed experience of living the Salesian Spirituality.
We felicitated the animator/preacher Fr Pat for sharing his deep spiritual insights and his Salesianity, as well as the host of the place Joseph Sisters and the inmates who helped us with the beautification of the place and the preparation for the retreat. The community was renewed and rejuvenated in their consecration to God, the Don Bosco way and ready to work wholeheartedly for the mission of Don Bosco: Da Mihi Animas Cetera Tolle (Give me Souls, take away the rest).