Strenna 2018: “Let us cultivate the art of Listening and Accompaniment.”

“Our beloved Rector Major Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, has given us this Strenna for this year. Therefore, I thought, in this Circular, we could focus in brief on the art of Listening and Accompaniment,” says Fr. K. M. Jose SDB, Provincial.
    "Let us cultivate the art of Listening and Accompaniment"

    Strenna or Strenna di Natale is a gift that is usual to make or receive in Italy at Christmas time. This custom comes from the tradition of ancient Rome which involved the exchange of gifts of good wishes during the Saturnalia, a series of festivities that took place each year between December 17 and 23 December, in honor of the god Saturn and preceding the day of the Natalis Solis Invicti. The term derives from the Latin Strena, probably of Sabine origin, with the meaning “gift of good luck.”

    To choose the topic, the Rector Major met with the Superiors of the Salesian Family in Turin on the occasion of the Celebration of Mary Help of Christians. The choice of the theme of “accompaniment” was the result of that dialogue. “The synthetic phrase of the Strenna,” writes Fr. Artime, “corresponds to the heartfelt request that the Samaritan woman makes to Jesus at Jacob’s well. In her meeting with Him, the woman feels that she has been listened to, respected and appreciated; and so, in her heart she feels impelled to ask for something even more precious: ‘Sir, give me some of this water…the water of life to the full that you are offering me.’” Following the central theme of this gospel passage, and in the context of the forthcoming Synod of Bishops («Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment »), Fr Artime intends to explore “the importance for all our Salesian Family and for its mission in the world of cultivating the precious art of listening and of accompaniment, with conditions that need to be ensured for the demands and the service involved in both listening and accompanying, in the process of personal, Christian and vocational development.”

    To listen we have to be in the other’s company and to accompany the other we have to make a conscious effort to listen. As Diogenes Laertius said: “We have two ears and only one tongue in order that we may hear more and speak less.” The art of listening is an invaluable life skill. Not only will it help you communicate better with others, but it will help you succeed in your apostolic and pastoral mission with the young.

    Strenna Dissemination 2018 in INM

    The Strenna 2018 will be presented to the Salesian Family members in our Province on the following days:
    06.01.2018 – Vellore Region – Don Bosco, Katpadi
    13.01.2018 – Tirupattur Region – Sacred Heart College, Tirupattur
    21.01.2018 – Chennai Region – The Citadel, Chennai
    28.01.2018 – Pondy Region – Don Bosco Boys’ Home, Pondy


    5.00 p.m. – Tea
    5.30 p.m. – Strenna Dissemination
    8.00 p.m. – Supper

    The Citadel

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    Dominic Matthews

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