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27/9/2011 - Italy - Laity and missionaries, evangelising in Don Bosco’s way
Photograph available in Image Bank

(ANS – Turin) – In the Salesian Family, as in the universal Church the contribution of lay people to evangelisation and missionary responsibility has grown over the years. One example would be the Community of the Mission of Don Bosco (CMB), a community founded by and made up of lay people – three of whose members have this year taken part in the 142nd Missionary Expedition.

Setting out as missionaries in the spirit of Don Bosco will be the Italian volunteer Renata Covito, heading for Haiti; and Angelo Fidele Ravoaviarinony and Irene Raharimalala, a young couple from Madagascar who with their one year  baby boy Ireneo will be working in Burundi at the beginning of November.

With a degree in sociology, experience in the area of education for the handicapped, Ms Covito has already been in Angola with the International Voluntary Service for Development (VIS). Having spent 2 years in Brazil she was looking for her vocation in life: “A lay vocation in the Church which unites individual and community prayer and involvement in the local church. The ideal,” she wrote, “would be a small community with a parish or community apostolate according to the place and  circumstances.”

Attracted by the world of youth she got in contact with CMB, began to be interested in Don Bosco, and his spirituality and the way the CMB were living the Salesian charism. She made the Act of Commitment which officially made her part of the community and of the Salesian Family, and at once showed her total availability for the mission: “Send me where you think I can of most use and I will leave with you!”

Angelo Ravoaviarinony, on the other hand, as a child had known Don Bosco: he grew up in the oratory at Vohimasina, near the Fianarantsoa Salesian mission, from 2000,where he met the CMB volunteers who had come to support the Malgasci Salesians in that community. After joining the CMB youth group he went to Bologna – where the community was founded and has its headquarters. He studied Salesian spirituality and charismatic identity further and grew in his commitment to young people.

Then in the oratory, he got to know Irene, with whom he continued his faith development and love for the young. They decided that together they would continue their formation which led them after three years to consecrate their lives to the young in the CMB. In 2009, after being a missionary in Burundi for 8 months, Angelo married Irene.

The new family were asked in they were ready to leave for the “missio ad gentes” a challenge the both rose to. After the birth of Ireneo it became possible for them to set out: Angelo and Irene will be going for two years to Burundi, where they will complete their formation and will probably make their Act of Dedication (definitive  promise to belong) to the CMB.

Published 27/09/2011

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