Home Is Where Humanization Begins, Says Salesian Superior

Christmas Message Emphasizes Role of Family

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ROME, DEC. 19, 2002 (Zenit.org).- In his message for Christmas and the New Year to Salesian communities, their rector major presents the institution of the family as a "privileged place of humanization and education."



Father Pascual Chávez, the Mexican superior general, bases his proposal on the pastoral program John Paul II presented in the apostolic letter "Novo Millennio Ineunte": to make every family and community the home and school of communion.

The proposal "is an invitation to collaborate in the spread of a culture of solidarity and peace, beginning in the local ambit, one's own natural family, and also the religious family, which should be the home and school where in a spontaneous and immediate manner one learns to live in acceptance of others and reciprocal support," Father Chávez wrote in the latest issue of the Spanish edition of the Salesian Bulletin.

For the rector major of the Salesians, the family "is, or should be, the natural and privileged place for the person's growth, where real fraternity is learned, because it becomes a concrete and tangible experience of paternity, of maternity and of filiation."

Christmas "is the mystery of God who wished to make himself a relative of ours, and wished to experience what it is to be a man, and a poor man, choosing as the place of his birth and growth an ordinary family, like others in everything," Father Chávez continued.

He said that the greatest problems of the world can only be resolved "in the measure that one lives communion in one's community, family and social realms."

The superior general points out that the family is threatened on two fronts: from within "by the generational diversity that sometimes makes the relation between children and parents almost impossible, and by the mutual distancing of spouses"; and from without, "by social undervaluing, expressed in infidelity as an ideal and in infertility as liberation, as if a child represented an obstacle for individual well-being and for the personal and social development of the parents."

Given this reality, Father Chávez presents the family as a "privileged place of humanization, and hence, of education," because "God's choice was to become man in the heart of a family."