It was the ecstasy of love in action that made Don Bosco to dedicate his entire life for the good of the poor young people and he also rightly encouraged every Salesian to do the same. It was indeed an ecstasy of solidarity with the poor and those most in need, an ecstasy of faith-filled service, an ecstasy of loving care finding form in a vast work of formal and informal education, faith formation and holistic development on behalf of the young.
Addressing the young people, he said, “for you I study, for you I work, for you I live for you I am ready even to give up my life”. Realizing that giving bread to a hungry boy was only a temporary solution, Don Bosco developed what was actually one of the first “job placement” program in industrialized Europe. He developed practical ways to help kids help themselves. He did this through a program of “play… learn…pray”. He replaced evil with reason, religion and kindness. He pioneered trade schools, technical schools and agricultural schools. His methods that worked a hundred years ago continues to work even today on every continent and in every culture where there are poor kids who need a friend.
In the name of the Salesians and in the name of every young person whose life you have touched and transformed, I say a big thanks you to all our collaborators in the PDO and in the Mission Procures, all the Funding Agencies, Benefactors and Friends of Don Bosco. Truly, your compassion, cooperation and generosity have transformed many young lives. We have seen many meaningless and barren lives blossoming and bearing fruits because of your sacrifice and kindness.
We wish to affirm that we are for poor young people and all the resources we receive are directed for their holistic development. With our provincial financial policy, we insist on transparency and accountability in all our financial management.
In fact, no one can challenge the truth that next to good parenting, good education is the fundamental agency of human change and social development: the door to a better life, the door to complete and full expression of self. No wonder Don Bosco said, education is a matter of the heart; it is not just for information and acquiring of knowledge but for transformation of lives for good. Indeed, and in fact Don Bosco has touched and transformed millions of lives and continues to do so through the self-sacrifice of the Salesians and their collaborators.
I thank you all once again for being part of this great adventure, for this great movement for good. We will continually pray for you that God in His own special way may fill you with joy, with his own peace and a deep sense of fulfilment in your sublime lives.
Rev. Fr. Michael Karikunnel,
Provincial Superior, Anglophone West Africa Province