Canlubang, Laguna, the Philippines, 6 November 2017—The Salesians of Don Bosco of the Philippines North Province (FIN) gathered last November 4, Saturday, to celebrate a Eucharistic Celebration for the deceased confreres in the Diocesan Shrine of Mary Help of Christians in Canlubang.
Fr. Vaclav Klement, SDB EAO Regional Superior presided over the Mass, with Fr. Paul Bicomong, SDB, FIN Provincial Superior, Fr. Ditto Gueco, SDB, vice provincial, and 30 priests concelebrating.
The aspirants and prenovices, and Salesians in their initial formation animated the Holy Mass as choir and in-charge of the liturgy.
The final hymn “O Cor Jesu Sacratissimum” echoed inside the shrine, a hymn which all communities usually sing as a chorus for their humble desire to be faithful in their Salesian vocation. After the Mass, they solemnly proceeded to the mausoleum despite the drizzle. They blessed the tombs of each deceased confrere and prayed the rosary dedicated for their souls and for their loved ones.
The Prenovitiate community welcomed the attendees with their offering of “brunch” (breakfast and lunch) for everyone. The refectory was again filled with Salesians, which for others was nostalgic since they spent the early years of their formation there. But above all, joy filled the place, remembering that this short gathering of a bigger family in Christ makes the Salesians happy.
A Salesian priest shared to his fellow Salesians that during the visit, he remembered his experiences with them and prayerfully kneeled and cried to them, “What can I still do while I am still living?” Yes, the event helped the pilgrims especially the living Salesians to reflect and ask themselves “what can I still do,” what can be done to be worthy of a death like those who have gone ahead of them.
Most of the Salesians from different communities and members of the Salesian Family, and even young people who were present described the event as one of the most moving witnesses of the strenna of this year “We are a family.”
Cl. Nathan Petate, SDB & Prenov. Paulo Miguel Calderon