Strong investment in formation in past 3 years: ASC - China province report
By Mrs Teresa Lam, ASC
Provincial Coordinator CIN
Hong Kong, 18 April 2017 -- China Province of Salesian Cooperators has three major zones with 9 centers in Hong Kong, 4 center in Macau and 6 centers in Taiwan with a total number of 415 members, average age of 60. During past 3 years (2014-2016) 43 new members made their promise and another 26 new candidates started their journey as Aspirants in Salesian Cooperators Vocation.
There is a variety of situations, different background and age: Tthe average of of Our Lady of China Center in Hong Kong is 75, while there are also two young adults centers - Alessandrina da Costa (Taiwan-Taipei) with an average age of 28, Ceferino Namuncura (Hong Kong) - average age of 37 and Immaculate Conception center (Macau - average age of 39).
In the past three years, the China Province has organized 10 meetings of initial formation and 12 meetings of on-going formation. Another 7 sessions of comprehensive formation for DB200 pilgrimage to Italy.
We’re inspired by a book named “A Vatican II Journey: Fifty Milestones” (written by James H. Kroeger. MM). It was adopted by Fr. Matthew Chan, SDB Provincial Delegate, to initiate a series of formation on our mission focusing on the core of our faith – Jesus, Charity, Service and the Word of God. We strive to pave the road guided by Don Bosco, with the help of another Provincial Delegate, Sr. Cecilia Tse, FMA.
Furthermore, the China Province is running with consistentcy a complete formation program, catering for the preliminary aspirants on the life of Don Bosco, Salesian spirituality, Preventive Education and Salesian Co-operators’ Identity. We believe that it can strengthen their vocation and increase the rate of their successful entrance and commitment.
In Taiwan, which is our fastest growing zone, we have been organizing various formation programs. Particularly in 2016, with a theme of "Start-up for DB200", the program enhanced the growth and development of the region with intent, leading its incremental number of centers now in 6.
Communion is further cultivated through the “Family Letter”, a digital issuance among co-operators. Together with our daily prayers and the Salesian Bulletin, it delivers more instant and detailed news and sharing between co-operators. More communication leads to more understanding and communion.
As a new initiative of the Province, an after-school oratory program has been set up with the support of some generous donations. The program now wholly sponsors a full time pastoral assistant at the school, in order to run oratory services etc. not just in weekends but everyday.
Our youth center on Hong Kong Island now opens every weekday except Sunday, which remarks the increasing service demand from young South Asians residing in Hong Kong. Our weekend oratory in one of Hong Kong's outer suburbs shares the same change in its audiences, with which our volunteers have to adapt themselves to some cultural differences and new approach towards South Asians.
The carnival “Goodbye Summer Holiday” has already been our popular and on-going event every summer, as it brings blessings and positive energy to students returning to school after the holiday.
With the encouragement from Cardinal Joseph Zen, who has also been one of the speakers, the China Province keeps holding public seminars on our faith and catechism on the Year of Mercy following our similar services in the Year of Faith. Those events helped promote our Salesian charism and recruit new members in the future. Furthermore, in Year of Mercy, the China Province organized a local pilgrimage tour to visit the Holy Door for the special grace. We also held a carnival for youths to experience the fun of oratory and the love of God.
Every December before Christmas Eve, the Salesian Cooperators gather together with other Salesian Family members and deliver a Christmas carol at some public busy traffic locations in order to radiate real hope and happiness from the new born king.
Bicentenary of Don Bosco
The China Province ASC organized in August 2015 a DB200 pilgrimage, with 120 Salesian family members travelling to Italy, France and Switzerland and participate the celebration Eucharist at Colle Don Bosco on 16 August. During the 9 month period before the pilgrimage, we held 7 pilgrimage orientation lectures. Incorporating the pilgrims’ post-tour sharing into the lectures’ notes, we have published a post tour’s feature booklet that can serve as an internal formation toolkit for new and existing co-operators, as a birthday gift to DB200.
Major source of income: annual fee from members, donation from benefactors and fundraising program.
In the near future
version of Project of Apostolic Life in 2015 just before the closing of DB200. We have organized 4 times of provincial level formation workshops in the past and we will continuously hold a series of self-study formation program on this to enhance the recognition of our own identity as well as our understanding towards Salesian charism.
Through our youth service and evangelization activities, our focus will lay further into marriage, family, life and chastity formation.
- Full report can be accessed on the BOSCOLINK
- ASC China province website (Chinese): http://www.scc.org.hk
- Related articles: AustraLasia 3937 (II) - Taiwan, 3832 (II) - Taiwan, 3715 (II) - DB200 Pilgrimage; 3654 (Hong Kong - Migrant Oratory); (Macau - Bosco Youth Services)
- Related video: (Macau ASC Family Ministry)