Cebu City, the Philippines, 1 October 2016 -- The members of the Salesian Family Philippines of both from North and South Provinces attended the 4th National Salesian Family Encounter (NSFE). For this year, the gathering was held in Don Bosco Formation Center in Talisay, Lawaan Cebu City. The NSFE started with the Eucharistic Celebration with Fr. Godofredo Atienza, SDB, the Provincial Superior FIS Philippines as the main presider.
The following groups were represented: the Association of Salesian Cooperators (ASC), Association of Mary Help of Christians (ADMA), Familia Associacion Damas Salesianas (FADS), the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA), Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB), and the Volunteers of Don Bosco (VDB).
The program started with the updates on the status of the Salesian Family both from FIN and FIS provinces. The Salesian Family SDB Delegates from FIN and FIS, Fr. Bobby Mac Roxas, SDB and Fr. Orly Borres, SDB, respectively, gave updates on the status of the Salesian Family groups.
Fr. Randy Figuracion, SDB, the guest speaker for this year’s NSFE, gave a talk on the topic: “The Eucharist Builds Up the Family.” Inspired by the 51st International Eucharistic Congress held in Cebu last January 2016, Fr. Randy’s talk inspired the participants on the importance of the Eucharist in every family, the source and summit of our faith.
In the afternoon, the NSFE participants went to Don Bosco Training Center and Youth Center in Pasil, Cebu City. In observance of the Extraordinary Jubillee Year of Mercy, the participants had the opportunity to practice the some corporal works mercy like feeding the hungry, giving drinks to the thirsty, visiting the sick, and burying the dead. It was a wonderful and meaningful afternoon for everyone to be able to practice some acts of charity and works of mercy.
The NSFE program ended with the dinner and mini-socials prepared by the Salesian Family members from the South province. Fr. Bobby ended the program with the traditional “Good Night” talk.
Truly, every branch of the Salesian Family has its own characteristics and distinguishing elements but it is the Salesian spirituality and charismatic identity that binds and integrates the different groups together.