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Workshop on Vocation culture - Hong Kong and Macau

By Fr. Carlos Cheung, SDB

Hong Kong, 4 November 2017 -- In commemoration of St. Charles Borromeo, the patron saint of catechists and seminarians, the Formation Day on Vocation Animation in China province was held on 4 November. The Formation Day comprised 2 sessions. In the morning, all vocation animators from different schools in Hong Kong and Macau gathered for a half-day discussion and planning for their vocation animation. In the afternoon, there was a workshop for the Vocation Offices in Hong Kong and Macau.

The vocation animation meeting began with a Gospel sharing among all the participants, totally there were 30 Vocation Animators from different schools and parish . The Vocation Director, Fr. Carlos Cheung, presented the outcomes of and the observations gleaned from the annual evaluation of vocation animation conducted earlier at all the Salesian schools in Hong Kong and Macau. During the meeting, the Vocation Director presented a talk on the responsibilities of Vocation Animator (VA) at schools. With an introduction to the historical development of the VA since the GC19 held in 1965, the responsibilities, requirements and personal capabilities of VA were fully elucidated by Fr. Cheung. This presentation concluded with the discussion of the guidelines drafted by the China province on the responsibilities of VAs. At the heart of the sharing session were 2 fundamental questions about the ways to facilitate vocation animation at school, and what objectives they have reached and would like to achieve in this school year.

At the end of the Vocation Animation meeting, Fr. Andrew Fung, Vice Provincial, extended his gratitude to our Lay Mission Partners (LMPs) for their enthusiasm for vocation animation, and he stressed that the Whole School Approach should be adopted to promote the vocation culture that not only the Salesians also the LMPs, parents and young people should take an active role in reviving the culture of vocation. He also hoped that the experience of voluntary service would be a propitious time for our young people to strengthen their vocation discernment. The Vocation Animator meeting concluded with a prayer for Salesian vocations and the meeting will be continued in February next year.

The Vocation Animator meeting is a suitable occasion for the LMPs from different schools to exchange their experiences of and the challenges they meet in revitalizing the vocation culture in the Salesian service. This gathering also enhances the communication between the LMPs and the Vocation Director.

In the afternoon, a workshop for all the members of the Vocation Offices in Hong Kong and Macau was hosted. The main theme was how to apply the four dimensions on vocation formation in vocational activities. The speaker Fr. Antonio Leong, Commission on Youth Ministry of China province, explained the implications of the four dimensions of human, intellectual, spiritual and pastoral formation for vocation animation.

During the discussion session in the workshop, all the participants presented concrete examples of the significance of each dimension in vocation animation. As fruits of the workshop was a capacity building check list of Vocation Animator in present-day society. After the discussion, each member updated the list of necessary elements in the human, intellectual, spiritual and pastoral capacity for vocation animation. The seminar ended with the Solemn vespers and a hotpot celebration dinner.

The next workshop is scheduled for coming January at the Vocation Office in Taiwan.







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