29 October 2012

From Sr. Joanne, about the Don Bosco Salesians

A few days ago, I was reading the Fall Review of The Holy Land Review and discovered an article about a very interesting person, Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga, archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras.  I recently met a native of Honduras, and I copied the article to send to him.

Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga is a member of the Don Bosco Salesians, the religious congregation which staffs schools throughout the world, including the Don Bosco Cristo Rey school in Takoma Park, Maryland. The original name of the Don Bosco Salesians, founded in Italy in 1873, was the Society of Saint Francis de Sales, whose gentleness and humility and concern for others was chosen as an inspiration by Don Bosco and his followers.

Manuela Borraccino, author of the article I read, wrote about the Cardinal:  He has been a teacher of mathematics, physics and chemistry in middle schools, plays the saxophone and taught sacred music for 13 years.  He had entered the Salesians at 19 and was ordained a priest in 1970 and a bishop in 1978.  He was named a cardinal in 2001 and has been president of Caritas International since 2007.

In this blog post,  I will offer two quotations from the cardinal and a few more in succeeding posts.
In all the Middle East countries, Caritas is present with programs for social development, micro credit, housing and employment directed at the neediest persons, independent of religious, ethnic or community affiliations.  In Morocco, for example, the director is Christian but all the employees and collaborators are Muslims and they work in a climate of authentic fraternity.
Caritas, with its 165 national organizations, is a sign of the 'globalization of love' and it is a motive of great joy and hope for me to see how it represents a concrete model and response going beyond national barriers when faced with suffering.

Sr. Joanne Gonter, VHM

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