Statutes approved by the Apostolic See on April 29, 2013
Presentation of Rettor Maggior
Dear Salesian Cooperators,
With the Decree of April 29, 2013, the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life has confirmed and approved your Project of Apostolic Life in definitive form. It is now your charter of identity in the Church, in the Salesian Family, and in society.
It is offered to you as a “book of life,” which must accompany you always. It contains the renewed Statutes and the Regulations of the Association of Salesian Cooperators. The Project of Apostolic Life, thus approved, guarantees fidelity to the original inspiration of Don Bosco; spiritual, theological, and pastoral harmony with Vatican Council II and the Magisterium of the Church; continuity with the prior Rule of Apostolic Life; and the Christian and Salesian response to the new challenges of the world.
Today, December 8, 2013, on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, which marked the beginning of our vocation and mission in the world, I, in my capacity as Rector Major and Successor of Don Bosco, do hereby officially promulgate this renewed Project of Apostolic Life.
I invite you to welcome and receive it with the gratitude and hope of one who receives a precious treasure.
From this moment of its promulgation, the Statutes must occupy a privileged place both in the personal life of every Cooperator and in that of the entire Association. This carries with it the need for its contents to be known and its values interiorized.
The Statutes describe the spiritual riches of your charismatic identity; define your apostolic project; trace the path of your sanctification; and invite you to give witness to them as your greatest gift.
They also contain all that which refers to the structure of the Association but they are not exactly a text of juridical norms or a simple doctrinal tract. The Statutes delineate the profile of the Salesian Cooperator so he or she might be perfectly suited for his/her vocation and mission. You are a true Salesian in the world according to the original intuition of Don Bosco, who wished the Cooperator to be a passionate collaborator of God through the great choices of the Salesian mission: the family, the young, education, the Preventive System, and commitment in social and political environments, giving privileged attention and openness of heart to the poor, the excluded, the ill, and the marginalized of every kind.
The Statutes are intimately linked to the Founder, who wished to communicate to you his spirit. In them you can find Don Bosco. Your love for him will show through your taking on and bringing to life the Gospel project which he is offering to you. He is your model.
A necessary complement to the Statutes are the Regulations, also approved by me, which make the great inspirations from the Gospel and the life choices which are expressed in the Statutes normative and able to be put into practice in daily life. This is so because a vital understanding of the Statutes would remain incomplete without an adequate study of the Regulations. Certainly, we are speaking of two texts which have unique, different natures, but this should not imply that they should be put on different planes as though they differ in importance, but, rather, that there needs to be an integration of the two. The first, the Statutes, represent your charter of identity and comprise the project of the Founder; the norms relative to the animation and governance of the Association, as approved by the competent authorities of the Church and which can be modified only with her approval; and the necessarily harmonized spiritual and juridical elements. The second, the Regulations, contain the concrete and practical applications of the universal interests in the Statutes and, therefore, are valid to be put into practice in the entire Association. Since some of the norms have been formulated taking into consideration determinate historical conditions, which, per se, are mutable, the Regulations are, by their very nature, more easily modifiable.
I hand over to you, my dear Salesian Cooperators, this “book of life” as a most precious gift, along with the task of knowing and interiorizing it. It must become the object of your study, of assimilation, of your prayer, and of your life.
I hand it to you with the heart of a father, the heart of Don Bosco, and I entrust you to Mary Help of Christians. She will take you by the hand and will be your Mother and Teacher.
Don Pascual Chávez V., sdb – Rettor Maggiore
Rome, 8 december 2013
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary
Presentation of World Coordinator
The precious gift, the “book of life,” entrusted to us in these pages is the fruit of a long process of discernment, of study, and of prayer involving Salesian Cooperators from around the world who took on the task of renewal so as to respond better, with Don Bosco’s heart, to the new challenges handed to us by this globalized and secularized society.
Fidelity to the original intuition which Don Bosco had in our regard, that of being true Salesians called to live in the world without being of it, is the connective tissue of this Project of Apostolic Life. We graft onto it our lay response to the dictates of the Magisterium of the Church and of the Salesian Family.
The Statutes are our charismatic identity card: they describe our spirituality, highlight our apostolic commitment, and define our path of sanctification, which, in profound union with the entire Salesian Family, we wish to follow, witnessing to Love and to Hope.
The Regulations gather together and describe how to live the Gospel project of the Statutes in a concrete manner, thus forming a harmonious “oneness” which will help us remain firm in faith and rooted in that culture of life which stands in opposition to the widespread egocentric relativism of our society.
The young, families, the excluded, and the poor await, with ever greater urgency, the concrete response which can only come from one who wants to collaborate with God in making His Kingdom of charity and justice present in the here and now.
Together, let us welcome the spiritual richness which this our new Project of Apostolic Life offers us and let us make of our Salesian commitment a most sincere, trusting, and enthusiastic “YES” to the Lord, in the young.