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First Meeting of SDBs and Mission Partners in Japan

By Mr. Mitch Tateishi

Tokyo, Japan, 8 January 2018 -- The very first meeting of mission partners and SDBs working in Salesian works was held in Miura City, Kanagawa Prefecture (next to Tokyo) from 7 to 8 January 2018.

Nowadays in Japan, the environment – families and the society – surrounding the youth, is changing. On the other hand, the Salesians are declining in number and are aging. Given this situation we are living, the meeting was organized as an opportunity to listen to the mission partners and share dreams and issues in order to find ways in which Salesians and mission partners can support each other in the practice of “educating in Don Bosco’s style” and fulfill the Salesian mission.

From 12 different Salesian works around Japan: 5 Schools, 3 Kindergartens, 1 Day Care Center, 2 Childern Social Welfare Institutions and one Publisher were present 20 representatives of the mission partners and 14 Salesians, including Fr. Mario Yamanouchi, the SDB Provincial.

On the first day, the participants attended the convivial gathering intended as an ice breaker, to get to know each other, and enjoyed the warm family atmosphere. During the prayer gathering before the meal, a video message from Fr. Klement, the EAO Regional Councilor, was shared.

On the second day, the participants listened to testimonies and ideas of 3 mission partners, then had a time of sharing in groups, which were organized according to the types of works, and discussed on challenges and dreams in view of actualizing the Salesian spirit. The two days meeting was concluded with a Thanksgiving Eucharist.

The participants were very satisfied with the program and for having been able to meet other fellow workers in the same mission. We look forward to the next opportunity where also others, young mission partners may participate.

Indeed also Fr. Provincial does confirm his satisfaction: "Thanks to God, we can say, that it was an experience of the Pentecost. ... This opportunity was a good chance to know each other among the Salesians and Lay Mission Parnters from different works (missing only our parishes!). And in the joint dialogue we realized that each one of us is called to be Salesian educator, like Don Bosco, but today in our specific situation. All participants did request at the end of this two days, that we continue our commong journey, to grow with the same heart of Don Bosco who does walk with the Young, all consecrated Salesians and Lay people (baptized or not). Indeed we all are 'Salesians' !




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