Some time ago, I was watching on TV a discussion on “fake news.” It is very disturbing that people can actually do these things without morality anymore. They can do these things without guilt that what they are doing is wrong. Even worse, they will point out other people who are into fake news simply to justify their sin. It doesn’t matter if you are lying, twisting facts, or mentioning half-truths. These people will argue that they are entitled to their own opinions. The Gospel talks about prophets. Truly we need prophets nowadays – people who speak the truth and yes, it can even be an inconvenient truth.

Incidentally, this Sunday is the feast day of St. John Bosco. As a diocesan priest who was educated by the Salesians from Prep to 4th year High School, the Salesians, the congregation that St. John Bosco has founded, has been very instrumental in my formation as a person and a priest.

Three things I learned from the Salesians:

  1. The Love for the Eucharist. The Mass was a weekly affair in Don Bosco. We could also have 2 or 3 Masses in a week if there are feast days. Back then it was not really fully appreciated, but if it meant no class in the morning, we would take the Mass every time. 
  2. The Love for Mama Mary. Every October, we would have an altar in each classroom. Of course, there was a competition on the best altar. Again, we would be praying the rosary at least once a day. The teacher would know if her students were not ready for a report or a test if the class would insist on praying the rosary during her class.  
  3. Love for the Youth and Love for those Less Privileged. Every day, we would encounter kuyas taking the vocational courses the school offered: automotive, machine shop, or electrical courses. Every Saturday, the basketball courts and football fields would be hosting the less privileged youth. Without being preachy, it was part of our formation to look after the welfare of the youth and those who have less in life.

That is why in each Mass,

  • First, we pray for the Salesian priests, brothers, and sisters. May they continue to persevere in their ministry.
  • Second, we thank our Salesian formators because of their help in nation-building. 
  • May we live out the teachings of Don Bosco. He said to counter the many evils in the world, two things: the Eucharist and Mama Mary.

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