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Formation Councillor Father Ivo Coelho's Letter to Address COVID-19

By BISIndia courtesy InfoANS
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Mumbai, Mar. 26. The General Councilor for Formation of the Salesians of Don Bosco / Society of St. Francis deSales, Father Ivo Coelho has addressed a letter with several recommendations inviting all the pre-novices, novices and Salesians in the formation communities, especially in Italy, to cultivate communion in the spirit ''with all the more intensity in this time'' of global emergency. This could well be applied in our specific context too, in the many formation communities across Don Bosco South Asia.
The General Councillor for Formation begins by quoting Gaudium et Spes 1, ''The joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the men of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, these are the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the followers of Christ.''

Expressing the closeness and solidarity of the Rector Major and his Council, Father Coelho focuses on the hygiene measures undertaken in the Sacro Cuore community at Rome, and in all the houses of formation across Italy, where different shifts apply; different rooms used for prayer and meals; and automatic hand sanitizer distributors installed.

''It is not an excess of prudence [...but] a duty of citizenship in line with this year's Strenna and, even more, in solidarity with the enormous effort that is being made in our countries to contain the spread of the virus,'' writes Father Coelho. He further advises caution, especially so as not to aggravate a health system that is already at the limits of its capacity. However, he further indicates that at this critical time with restricted movement, community life in ''charity and mutual support can find new forms.'' He also points out that new ''digital'' forms have been devised in the Community of the Sacred Heart, to participate in the Mass, which is video-transmitted daily.

Father Coelho concludes by inviting all to prepare for Easter by remaining united and supporting each other with prayer, and above all, by living this as a time of ''Passion and Resurrection, unique in its kind compared to all the previous years.''
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