Saturday, 25 July 2009

I started reading the compiled letters of Don Rua this morning (Letters to the Confreres of the English Province 1887-1909 by Martin McPake and William John Dickson). The introduction to the compilation itself was interesting. I was particularly struck by the efforts of the compilers to 'redeem' Don Rua from some sort of negative impression. They also are aware of this and hence indicate it in the second paragraph of the introduction itself:

... the man who by inclination and deliberate choice, was largely overshadowed (at least in the minds of most Salesians) by the towering charismatic figure of Don Bosco.
Then there is the observation that these historians make and something similar I mentioned a couple of days ago:

In an age that was more concerned with making Salesian history than recording it...

Well, looks like 'that' age is perpetually present.

My first impression reading a couple of Don Rua's letters to the pioneers of Salesian work in English speaking regions of the world is the emergence of his strong "Italian bias". Looks like he was more concerned about the Italians in those regions than others. I don't know if they were the most down-trodden of the population then. If that is the case, then fine. Or else it sounds too parochial!

Just another 'unrecorded' piece of history, this time of the Congregation: Don Barberis, was among the quite a few Salesians, who found themselves reluctant to accept Don Rua's leadership in place of their beloved Father and Founder! That's quite amazing. If that was the case of the first novice master of the Congregation, I wouldn't hold much against some of the present ones!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...