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From the Muslim continent after sleeping 12 hours on the airplane from Rome to Buenos Aires
i have arrived to the Puerto and from August 6 i will spent one full month in the extraordinary visitation of the Patagonia Salesian communities. First in Villa Regina, last will be Viedma.
It is a special grace, to help the regional councilor of America - Cono Sur during two months
and in the same time be able to taste the first place of Salesian missions since 1875.
During the first day in Buenos Aires already few points for meditation.
Picture of Cardinal Cagliero on the wall of Provincial house refectory. What is the difference between Don Rua and Cagliero? First was a serious, rather strict, faithful even in the details to Don Bosco. Latter was very cheerful, creative, far outreaching and very missionary minded.
In Patagonia more then Fr. Rua the First Don Bosco missionary is better known, as a pioneer.
Yes, I got a special request from one Belgian Salesian Cooperator who is writing the first French language biography of Cagliero, to get for him some data and collect more materials. The pilgrimage is starting well.
Patagonia is a rather large territory, with few population, in many places with very rigid weather, especially during a long winter from May to September. To live and work for few indigenous people conversion, exposed to strong winds and lack of food, it need really or a mystics or stupid people! To send his sons not to India, China or Africa, which were already more less known to the European Church, Don Bosco has chosen FINIS TERRAE - not yet explored Patagonia
and Tierra del Fuego. Why? Argentinian Salesian who know very well Rio Grande climat, have clear ideas: Don Bosco was sure, that if his Salesian will reach succesfuly the End of the Earth, this extreme missions, any other mission territory in the world will already easy for them!
Entrusting to the guidance of Our Lady the Salesians and our Lay Mission partners of Neuquen, Villa Regina, Chos Malal, Junin de los Andes, Bariloche, Esquel, Trelew, Comodoro Rivadavia, Caleta Oliva, Puerto Deseado, Viedma - Carmen de los Patagones... I'm asking Mary to give me listenful heart and words of wisdom to share and encourage all whom i meet on this journey.
This Southern Argentinian province was started just 3 years ago as fruit of merging three provincies stretching from Tierra del Fuego up to Buenos Aires. Some 68 Salesian presences, 21 of them are with lay direction, 42 canonical SDB communities, 106 Oratories. Our confreres are getting less, fortunately the vocation flow is peaking up - 5 prenovices every year.
Back to the future with Cardinal Giovanni Cagliero,entrusting to all Salesians at the end of each community the missionary rosary with the list of necessary mission territories for the 144th
expedition of next year 2013.