The Salesian Strenna (or ‘theme’) for 2019 is “Holiness for you, too”. The Rector Major of the Salesians of Don Bosco, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, has chosen the gospel passage from John (15:11) “So that my joy may be in you” as the inspiration for this year’s Strenna. In describing himself as the vine, and we the branches, Jesus is inviting us into the gift of holiness, a call to live our lives to the full using Jesus as our guide.
The call to holiness isn’t just for some (those we deem to be ‘saints’), but a call to live our lives to the full as ‘everyday saints’ according to God’s plan for us. Sounds challenging doesn’t it? St Francis de Sales (from whom Don Bosco drew his inspiration) challenged everyone to be holy through the practice of eight little virtues; I’m sure they are familiar and accessible to every one of us:
Who among us could not cultivate these ‘little virtues’ in our everyday living and so be on the path to holiness? Holiness is participation in the life of God, it is a journey to be walked, not an endpoint. The path to holiness can be beautiful, but at the same time demanding. Together, it is easier; this is what community is all about. Let this be our goal for 2019!
Mark Brockhus, College Principal