One same spirit, one same family
On June 2, feast of the Ascension (in France), the French National Congress of past pupils and friends of Don Bosco was inaugurated at Lyons . The theme was "one same spirit, one same family" and it opened with the Eucharist celebrated by Fr. Paul, National Delegate for the Past Pupils of Don Bosco. About 100 took part, coming from various cities in France .
Carolina Fiorica, President of the Confederation of Past Pupils of the FMA and Sr. Maritza Ortiz, World Delegate, were also invited and took part.
On June 3 Angèle Le Duc, National Delegate for Past Pupils of the FMA presented: "The birth of the various branches of the Salesian Family". After this, some testimonies regarding new places of apostolate, ministry and reflection in France were shared: the experience of Study Camps in France; VIDES France; TSEC (Commitment to Christian Social Work); the Salesian Youth Movement; holiday weekends for past pupils and young people during the feast of All Saints. In the light of the topic: "threads woven by FMA past pupils throughout the world", the project of solidarity with Haiti and Tunisia promoted by the FMA past pupils was presented. Finally, various projects undertaken by the past pupils of Don Bosco in Haiti were presented.
"How I live Salesian spirituality today" was the testimony presented by a couple. He is a permanent deacon and she an FMA past pupil.
In the afternoon the election of the president of the past pupils of Don Bosco and of the new National president of the FMA past pupils took place. For the SDB past pupils Beno î t Deseure was elected and for the FMA past pupils, Afra Faure from the Marseille Union. In a family atmosphere, Thanks were expressed for the animation provided by the outgoing presidents: Dominique De Lat and Anne Marie Ecuvillon.
On Saturday, June 4, Bishop Bernard Podvin, spokesman for the French Bishops, shared with those present the importance of the mass media as means of evangelisation. In the afternoon, in the Church of Notre Dame du point du jour, Lyons , the closing Eucharist was celebrated by Bishop Thierry Brac de la Perrière, Auxilary of the diocese of Lyons .
Sunday began with a celebration of the Word in Taizé style. This was followed by a presentation on the theme of: "Salesian Spirituality" given by the SDB Provincial, Fr. Père Joseph, and by Sr. Suzanne Blais, Provincial Vicar. After that Sr. Maritza Ortiz and Carolina Fiorica shared their impressions of the good organisation, the quality of the conferences and the rich family spirit that had characterised the days of the Congress.
Finally, the new presidents of the Federations, Beno î t and Afra, presented the lines of commitment adopted by the Congress.