We've always been prone to dreaming. In fact, we have often had dedicated dreaming sessions in our basement where we list things we want to accomplish and write out our bucket lists. Since we have known one another, “mission” has always been topped the list. Despite that consistency we never what form our mission would take. Along the way we have looked into numerous different organizations and options, but then would “lose steam” or for one reason or another would find closed doors. It wasn’t until many failed endeavors of our own that we began to be diligent in prayers for God to guide us. It was then that we were led back to mission. We began our search on the Catholic Volunteer Network and spent hours looking through the different organizations and possibilities. We contacted several and spoke with them, but kept getting an uneasy feeling (which I’m trying to learn to start listening to) so we would mark that off the list and keep going. It wasn’t until I completed an application and we were then routed to the Salesian Lay Missioners that we got that peaceful, easy feeling the Eagles sing about. We began talking with them and everything seemed so right. The “fit” was perfect for our beliefs and what we had to offer. It wasn’t, however, until we attended a discernment weekend with the Salesian community that we were sold this was God’s intent for us. Being a “convert” to Catholicism I know very little about religious orders and saints. Although I understood the goal of the SLMs I wasn’t aware of the Salesian lifestyle or the founder’s story. As I’m sure some of you are probably in the same boat, I will take this opportunity tell you a little about Don Bosco and the Salesians. I am by no means a scholar of theology or the Church so I’m going to offer my own very brief and limited understanding of the life of Don Bosco and how it helped bring me to the realization this is exactly where I’m meant to be.
Don Bosco, born John Bosco, (Don means Father is Italian) was a child who began leading children. His father died when John was a very young age and his mother was left to raise him, his brother, and his step-brother. He began from a very early age understanding his mission. He had many “dreams” in which he was guided. His mother was a wonderful example and showed him the way of his faith. John learned tricks such as juggling and tight rope walking at a young age to draw in the other children and would use this gathering as a chance to pray with them and teach them. He continued throughout his life coming into contact with boys who had no parents or caregivers and were often imprisoned. .He studied very hard as he knew he wanted to become a priest who would always help the children. He was able to do marvelous things with the young boys he came into contact with and later on after another dream was called to work with girls as well. He was able to start not only the Salesian order of priests and brothers, but then also the female order of Mary Help of Christians. When I was introduced to the Salesians I knew very little about Don Bosco. However, as I began I learn more, I couldn’t help but feel at peace. The same types of imprisoned boys who led him to his mission had led me to Josiah. This work was our work. It was our passion. It was our mission revealed. “The Lady's answer came to him, ever to resound in his heart, to be repeated audibly several times in his life. ‘This is the field of your work. Be humble, steadfast, and strong!’"
Read more about Don Bosco where we did: http://www.donboscowest.org/saints/donbosco