A Coming Centenary Celebration
On June 9 occurs the centenary of the birth of Father Michael Rua, the first successor of St. John Bosco. The Salesians at Blaisdon are celebrating this event, since their Agricultural School there is under the patronage of Si. Michael in honour of Fr. Michael Rua.
When St. John Bosco's Congregation was finally approved by Rome, he dedicated the second Novitiate to St. Michael, thus paying a delicate compliment to Fr. Rua, whom he loved as his spiritual child and revered as a saint. During his lifetime Fr. Rua had been his constant support, his right-hand man in everything, and when St. John Bosco died all eyes turned to Michael Rua as the one chosen by Providence to take his place. So well did he govern the Congregation, that the Salesian works grew apace; expanding on every side,
It was the intention of the Salesian Fathers to make history repeat itself. Their young missionaries at Shrigley have as their patron St. John Bosco, and it was planned that the future house for young farmers and land workers should be under the patronage of St. Michael in honour of Fr. Michael Rua.
Two happy coincidences have occurred in connection with this dedication. When a detailed survey of the land was made, it was seen for the first time that St. Michael was already in possession of Blaistioneethe pre-Reformation church in the village was dedicated to him. Then came the formation of a committee to help in raising funds. The date of the first meeting was altered more than once for several reasons, and unnoticed by all, the final date chosen was the feast of St. Michael.
The Cause of the Beatification of Fr. Rua has recently made one or two forward steps along that long road through the Roman Congregations.
In connection with the celebrations on June 9, the Salesian Fathers are organising a day trip to Blaisdon Hall from Paddington.