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27/10/2011 - Mexico - 50 years of Salesian missionary presence
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(ANS – Mexico City) – In the presence of Fr Václav Klement, Councillor for the Salesian Missions, the Mixes Prelature with the Salesian Bishop Héctor Guerrero Córdova at its head, began celebrations for 50 years of Salesian presence. The month of October, dedicated to the missions, was chosen as the focus for a large programme of events marking the important anniversary.

On 20 October, accompanied by Fr Miguel Agustín Aguilar Medina, Provincial of  Mexico-México (MEM), Fr Klement visited the Salesian hostel at Matagallinas, in the Sierra Mixe di Oaxaca, where he was welcomed by the school community, with the youngsters dressed in traditional local costume. After introducing himself the Councillor described his own missionary vocation  and explained that the reason for his journey was especially to promote a missionary culture by giving accounts of missionary life and of the apostolic witness of the Salesians and of their lay collaborators.

The following day  Friday 21, Fr Klement had a meeting with Bishop Guerrero Córdova at the Junior Seminary for young Mixes Indians  founded in 2008. The Band of the diocesan students dedicated some pieces to Fr Klement, who then spoke to them about the missionary spirit and invited the seminarians to be faithful to their mission.

Afterwards the Bishop and the Councillor went to the Salesian Institute at Cecachi. Here during Mass  Bishop Guerrero Córdova, Fr Klement and the Provincial officially introduced to the community Fr Joseph Nguyen N., a Salesian from Vietnam, sent by the Rector Major as a missionary in Mexico.

On Saturday 22 October, in the National Sanctuary of Mary Help of Christians in Mexico City, in the context of World Mission Day  the Jubilee of the 50 years of the presence of the Salesians in the Missions of the Mixes Oaxaca was officially opened. Bishop Guerrero Córdova presided at the Mass, at which 15 priests including Fr Klement and Fr Aguilar Medina concelebrated, and many young people and representatives of the Salesian Family attended.

In his homily  Fr Klement congratulated all those present for keeping alive the spirit of  the mission “ad gentes” and he pointed out how the Province of Mexico-México was one of  8 Salesian Provinces which has the blessing of having an area designated by the Church as a Vicariate or Prelature. Fr Klement also spoke about the challenges of missionary work, of the need to learn from the cultures and to prepare lay people, convinced catechists and apostles. In conclusion he asked for a prayer for the Salesians and for those leading missionary groups, a real grace for the Church.

Before the final Blessing Fr Aguilar Medina thanked Bishop Guerrero Córdova for his work and example of leadership as a Bishop; all the Salesians and those collaborating in the Prelature for the spreading of the Gospel; and Fr Klement for all the work he does animating the missions. In this way the Jubilee celebrations began.

Published 27/10/2011

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