I took my children to visit, and was much looking forward to it being as edifying as our visit to see the heart of St John Vianny back in July.
Unfortunately, it was not a prayerful experience, and I would advise anyone who wants to go to pray to do so beforehand, or afterwards.
There was a great deal of noise in the Church-the pilgrim experience, at least for schools, included a display of magic tricks and jokes for which there was applause. I am not raging here against the "evils" of a magic show (magic meaning sleight-of-hand and rope and hanky tricks). Don Bosco himself used circus tricks as a means to engage youth and evangelise. Neither am I disputing that the acts at the relics were funny and engaging -they were-but I question the appropriateness of all this being done in a Catholic Church, in front of the Blessed Sacrament
NOT IN CHURCH
I overheard several people expressing disapproval at the lack of respect shown.
I also have nothing against EYs, or Enthusiastic Youth-Sion Community/Celebrate/Street Charity sellers with tabards on. "Hi, I'm Claire, can I help you?!"Bright as a button/happy/engaging. Good.We need it.
But EYs sitting on a pew with their backs to the Blessed Sacrament, while attempting to pull their head off with a bit of rope. Is this really the only way to engage the Youth?
AND THEN DON BOSCO WENT..HUZZAH!
Are we not supposed to leading people to Christ? How is ignoring him going to help?
What would the Saint himself have thought of this?
I get what they are trying to do with this tour -engage the masses, the lapsed, the sort-of Catholics, the dissafected youth. I will concede that the fluffy "Pilgrim Experience" with its description of aspects of the Saint's life is designed to resonate with our own "Faith Journey". But relating to our "experience" or our "feelings" is all a bit shallow and tired.
THIS IS WHAT IT IS ALL ABOUT, KIDS
Maybe I'm being mean. Do go. There's still some Graces to be had (even if they are Patience,more patience and the grace not to Google "orthodox dioceses, desert islands and enclosed communities")