Wednesday, January 7, 2009


ANS News ROME, JANUARY 7, 2009: The International Congress on The Preventive System and Human Rights, came to a close yesterday, January 6, 2009. Responding to the thirty propositions drawn up by the working groups during the Congress, the Rector Major of the Salesians, Fr Pascual Chávez, gave his concluding address. Don Bosco’s IX successor referring to the fact that the Congress had taken place during Christmas time, focused on the mystery of the Incarnation, and also to the beginning of the year celebrating the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Salesian Congregation, said that although the present day and current conditions differ from those of Don Bosco, “The Salesian mission and its purpose, those to whom it is addressed and to whom we are being sent, and the criteria for our activities which Don Bosco has left us as a precious heritage are no different.”.

“Dear Brothers and Sisters,” Fr Chávez said in concluding his address, “this Congress did not set out to be the closing event for the Strenna for 2008, but intended to provide a decisive impulse for sustaining the development of a path of research, formation and action which we now have to take forward in our provincial and local circumstances. This is consistent with the 26th General Chapter which has entrusted its putting into practice to us, especially in reference to the core ideas of the urgency of evangelization, evangelical poverty and new frontiers. This is the path for the Congregation to follow.”

This was followed by a short closing ceremony of thanksgiving during which those taking part received as a souvenir a kite which had been the symbol of the Congress. The Rector Major then thanked Fr Ferdinando Colombo who after twenty years has retired from the position as Vice-President of VIS. The Rector Major gave Fr Colombo a wooden statue of Don Bosco and the gold medal of the Past Pupils. As Vice President of VIS and with responsibility for Salesian missionary promotion in Italy, taking the place of Fr Colombo will be Fr Franco Fontana. Leaving the Hall all the participants also received a medal of Don Bosco. The final act of the Congress was the Eucharistic celebration at which the Rector Major presided.

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