Cebu, the Philippines, 22 Novmber 2017 -- Participants for the formation of Pre-Novice directors from EAO and South Asia Region started arriving last 17 November. There are 23 participants from 10 EAO provinces and 5 South Asia provinces in attendance. There are also 6 confreres from FIS province who are formators dropping in to attend some of the inputs together with the 7 novices. The EAO provinces decided to send not only their pre-novice directors but also team members. And for South Asia region, not everyone could come for the course because of difficulties in obtaining a visa. Nevertheless, we keep them updated. The venue for the formation meeting is in Don Bosco Retreat House, Cebu, Philippines. It situated in a compound together with the aspirantate, pre-novitiate and novitiate of the FIS province. Fr. Godo Atienza, the provincial of FIS, welcomed all the participants during dinner time together with the confreres of the house and novices who prepared a nice program. The 30 plus youth scholars of the Archdiocesan shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Punta Princesa making up a violin ensemble serenaded us with beautiful music.
There were 4 sessions per day with 1.5hours per session. The topics already covered during the first five days are:
- Session 1. Introduction to the rationale of the seminar by Bro. Mon Callo (FIN)
- Session 2-4. Person of the formator – self-care and self-understanding by Fr. Philip Lazatin (FIN)
- Session 1: Formation of formation guides by Fr. Ivo Coelho (RMG)
- Session 2 & 3: Identity of the formator from the latest Salesian documents – Fr. Silvio Roggia (RMG)
- Session 4: Pre-Novitiate program from the revised Ratio 2009 – Bro. Mon Callo (FIN)
- Session 1-3: Human dimension – Fr. Gerry Martin (FIN)
- Session 4: Admission; Scrutinies; Criteria and norms – Fr. Gerry Martin (FIN)
- Session 1-2: Personal reading; Small and big group sharing – Bro Mon Callo (FIN)
- Session 3-4: Faith dimension – Fr. Mel Racelis (FIS)
- Session 1-3: Salesian dimension: Consecration/2 forms – Fr. Silvio Roggia (RMG)
- Session 4: Salesian consecration. Bro. Mon Callo (FIN)
18 November (Saturday):
19 November (Sunday):
20 November (Monday):
21 November (Tuesday):
22 November (Wednesday):
The inputs have been very enriching for all the participants. There were also opportunities to learn from each other through group sharing as well as personal readings, the homilies and good nights given.
But it was not all learning and sharing of experiences. The five days were also opportunities to build fraternal communion among us as we live, pray and have fun together.
The participants are more than satisfied in the classroom, the chapel (with the liturgical animation of the novices), the playground and the dining hall! There were even some first time experiences for each one such as the first good night of Fr. Boonlert (THA) in English, first experience of service in authority every year for Fr. Adie (ITM), and the birthday of Fr. Simao (INP). We look forward to making more good memories the next five days as we prepare ourselves for the delicate task of being formators and of accompanying our pre-novices in their desire to discern their calling to Salesian consecrated life.