For those new to our family, the Strenna is a motto or theme released by the Rector Major, Fr Angel Artime (Head of the Salesians worldwide) on an annual basis to focus our work for the year.
The Strenna for 2020 is: ‘Good Christians and Upright Citizens’.
For many of us, this is a phrase we have heard often, but it is always good to revisit important elements of our charism and apply to our daily work with each other and our boys.
Don Bosco found himself in turbulent times, with many young boys without education, skills, jobs or permanent residence. His aim was to do everything he could to ensure they became good Christians and upright citizens, regardless of their situation or past.
Based on the Scripture from the Gospel of Matthew, ‘Good Christians and Upright Citizens’ references working towards creating God’s kingdom on earth; ‘Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven’. So what does this mean?
In our work with each other and with our boys, the Strenna asks us to have the greatest of love for each other and to bring the young people in our care into that love as a way of encountering Jesus. We are encouraged to develop an atmosphere of friendship in our community. This is the basis of our Salesian Spirituality, as we have come to understand that familiarity brings love and love brings confidence. This is what opens hearts, encouraging young people feel they can reveal anything without fear, because they are certain that they are loved. Fostering this Christian spirituality amongst our boys is a challenge, but above all, it is a gift to commit ourselves to making this world a better place of encounter with God and to making the encounter with Him an opportunity to build a better world.
Young people are the most delicate and precious portion of our society. We need to, wherever possible, be there for them. Our young people have a strong sense of justice and global citizenship which is far greater than generations before; so there is a real need to educate ourselves and our young people in citizenship and social commitment. Don Bosco encourages us to become the protagonists of the common good, of service, of social ethics, sharing responsibility for the care of others, being sensitive to the needs to others, especially the marginalised and in defence of all human rights.
In the Strenna 2020, the Rector Major emphasizes that, “As a Salesian Family, we must be attentive to the great human challenges of our world, such as honesty, citizenship, service to others (particularly the marginalised), human rights (particular of the young) and service to our world and creation.” The 2020 Strenna offers us the opportunity to rebuild what Don Bosco thought and what his way of doing and acting among his young people was, in our own world today.
Mrs Nadia Knight
Assistant Principal – Mission and Staff Formation