Based in Rome, Father Chavez will arrive in New Rochelle, NY on Sept, 6. He will make a morning visit to Don Bosco Preparatory School in Ramsey on Friday, Sept. 7 and then will go to Our Lady of the Valley Parish in Orange later that day.
"Focus on Youth" is the theme of his visit to the Salesianrun high school in Bergen County. The rector major is slated to arrive at 9 a.m. and will be greeted by some 2,400 students from Don Bosco Prep as well as nearby Salesian High School in New Rochelle; Mary Help of Christians Academy in North Haledon; and seventh and eighth graders from area Salesian parishes and elementary schools.
The formal program at Don Bosco will be followed by a welcoming ceremony. Father Chavez then will celebrate Mass, marking the opening of the new school year. He will share lunch with school officials and students on the high school baseball field.
"Initial formation" is the focus of his visit to Our Lady of the Valley Parish, where he scheduled to arrive at 1 p.m. On hand will be young men in the initial formation process for the province-candidates, pre-novices, post-novices, practical training and theology students-who will be joined by formation teams from Orange and Port Chester, N.Y. A prayer service will be held at the Orange parish at 4 p.m. followed by a conference and interaction session. A barbecue is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
The Salesians (Web site: www.salesians.org) are the Church's second-largest order of religious men while the Salesian Sisters are the largest order of religious women. The Salesian family includes some two-dozen branches of both consecrated and lay. There are 40,000 Salesian priests, brothers, sisters, and lay people working in 120 countries.
According to information on the Web site, when Saint John Bosco founded the Salesians in 1859 his mission was clear: to be a friend to children-especially those who are poor, abandoned and at risk-and in so doing to also be a friend to Christ. He originally called the group the Salesian Society-named after St. Francis de Sales, who was known for his kind and gentle manner. He chose Mary, Help of Christans, as the patroness of the Salesian Society.