Salesian Good Night: a tradition that is still being maintained

>News >Salesian Good Night: a tradition that is still being maintained

Don Bosco started the tradition of celebrating “Good Night” with his boys every evening in the oratory. Today the tradition continues and in all Salesian houses the “Good Night” is the time when everyone gathers to give thanks, pray and be closer to God.

SYM Day, the great celebration of the Salesian Youth Movement at World Youth Day, could not end without the well-known “Good Night” by the Rector Major of the Salesians and the Mother General of the FMA.

SYM Day is one of the most anticipated moments for the Salesian Youth Movement during World Youth Day. This great celebration brought together more than eight thousand members of the SYM at the Salesians in Estoril for a great family celebration.

Characterised by joy and fraternity, with music and animation, the day featured various activities and games, very much in the style of Don Bosco’s oratory. At the end of the day, at the Vigil, we experienced gratitude for the richness of Don Bosco’s charism. This was a time of Eucharistic adoration, which ended with the traditional “Goodnight” by Mother General and the Rector Major.

The first to address the young people was Sister Chiara Cazzuola, Mother General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, who began by thanking them for the opportunity to be present. “Dear young people, I am grateful for this opportunity to address you at the end of this beautiful and intense day in which we have lived many moments of great experience that have made us closer and stronger in faith,” she said.

Highlighting the figure of Mary, who during this World Youth Day serves as a “model” for all young people, Mother General emphasised the availability of the mother of Jesus to “go and serve those who need her help”, demonstrating to all that the missionary impulse [of Mary] must “animate all our actions”.

As we know, Don Bosco’s life was guided by the presence of Mary, who guided and enlightened him. “It is interesting to note that the first to form in Don Bosco a simple and sincere Marian devotion is his mother. Marguerite educates John to feel Mary as an ever-present help, even in difficult moments, of loneliness, of responsibility. In the dream of the nine years, the “good shepherdess” becomes the model, the point of reference for his action among his companions. Even in the painful journey of the oratory, Mary is present as a sign of hope and is an active presence in the midst of the young people”, emphasised the Mother General of the FMA in the “Good evening”.

In conclusion, Sister Chiara Cazzuola wished that all may find during these days the “presence of Mary” as a “powerful Guide and Help”.

The Rector Major’s “Good evening”

The Rector Major of the Salesians, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, began his intervention by emphasising the “great joy” of meeting all the young people.

Making a point of distinguishing that going on pilgrimage is very different from going on holiday, the Rector Major stressed: “going on pilgrimage is very different from going on holiday. And you, my dear young people, are here today as pilgrims, always in search of the Lord Jesus, certainly in search, and responding in a youthful and Salesian way to the invitation that Pope Francis has given us”.

Assuring that no young person will be disappointed with this SYM experience, the Rector Major assured that at the end of these days everyone will feel that “everything was worth it”.

“I can assure you, my dear young people, that you will not be disappointed with this WYD experience; I can assure you that you will feel, when we say goodbye at the end of these days, and later even more intensely, that everything was worthwhile and that, in a way, you are no longer the same as before, because you will carry so much in the memory of your heart; I can assure you that, like Mary, everything you do to live as young Christian disciples and missionaries – sometimes in search and without all the certainties, as I have already told you – will fill you with happiness; I am sure that for the rest of your lives you will remember what you experienced at WYD, and I can assure you, as Don Bosco said to his boys, that Jesus will never disappoint you, on the contrary”, he emphasised.

At the end of his talk, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime used the words of Don Bosco: “I want you to be happy here” and, before finishing, he issued a challenge to everyone: “my dear boys and girls: dream something beautiful and authentic for your lives starting from God, take the steps every day to make it a reality, and infect many others”.

The evening ended in celebration, with the certainty that Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello will always accompany us, whatever dream we dream….

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