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What is the reshaping?

By Fr. Vaclav Klement, SDB

EAO, 3 August 2017 -- During last two years all Salesian provinces (including their delegations) around the world were requested to consider seriously to reshape the way of their mission. This lengthy process involved all Provincial Chapters in the 90 SDB provinces worldwide (2015-2016), it was deepen in the Regional team visits (2017) and finally the second version of the reshaping plan (2017-2020) was submitted to the Rector major last June 2017. During the summer general council session the provincial reshaping plans were evaluated and are being followed up.

What is the reshaping?

It’s not just about close or open new works to have more meaningful and consistent community life. It’s rather an integral way to foster at long term more vibrant, meaningful, fruitful and sustainable Salesian mission in each province – delegation around the world. It does mean also to prepare the Salesians to be up to the standard of the mission and formation of lay people and accompaniment of the youth.

In our region were closed few communities and open some new, strengthen some small presences with 1-2 SDB and some more visible ‘reshaping’ are scheduled within next 3 years. More consistent communities (minimum of 4 perpetually professed SDB in canonical communities) guarantee more quality of our mission and animation.

However the eight basic points of the reshaping process do reveal a clear, long term and strategic transformation of the way we ‘do’ the mission:

  1. numerical and quality consistency of our communities

  2. responsibility given to the lay mission partners in the mission and the role of the Salesians

  3. The overall provincial (delegation) plan is made in view of the reshaping

  4. Vocation culture is built especially at local level, with attention to both forms of one Salesian vocation (Priest and Brother), SDB prepared for spiritual accompaniment

  5. Preferential attention to the poor youth, especially to the migrants and refugees?

  6. SDB qualifications, especially in the charisma-related matters (YM, Formators)

  7. Missionary spirit: animation to raise missionary vocation and welcome new missionaries

  8. Economic sustainability of each work and the province – including provincial solidarity

Each provincial council spent considerable time in this overall discernment process how to make the Salesian mission more vibrant and effective for the good of the young people.

What are the fruits of this process in our region?

One EAO province was able to bring this process even at the level of each local community, asking each rector with his confreres about the role and formation of lay people, attention to the poor and vocations as well about their economic sustainability.

In two provinces was strengthen a good number (12) of small presences with more confreres, in order to guarantee the minimum ‘missionary’ number of 3 perpetually professed SDB for a non-canonical community.

One province aims at economic sustainability of the province before 2020 with a stronger provincial solidarity and multiple fundraising and local benefactors system.

Another three provinces have finalize simple, but very concrete and focus SDB qualification plan, sending every year one confrere for one specific studies abroad, not counting the short term courses for their rectors and formators.

Reshaping process is going on?

Yes, the reshaping of Salesian presences is never finished, as the social and youth situation is changing very fast and we need to learn an important art of discernment so much wanted by Pope Francis for the whole Catholic Church.

Indeed the ‘reshaping plan’ was something new for good number of provinces, also in our Region we have still four-five provinces who need to work on during next few months. Also our Delegations are called to make their own reshaping plan, since the mother province usually doesn’t care about the necessary details of their delegations.

The Rector major and his council request each EAO province to continue this process with a special concern for the integral and concrete SDB Qualification Plan, to help all Delegations to make their Reshaping Plan and continue to foster the missionary vocation ad gentes in all provinces.

We wish a lot of wisdom, patience in reflection and courage in farsighted decision to all EAO provincial and their councils.

  • vaclav 2017.08.03 20:28

    Dear Fr. Vaclav,

    Thank you for the reshaping article. 

    I very much appreciate reading the definition and 8 basic points.

    Warm regards,

    from FIS, Lay Mission Partner

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