Salesian Brother and Mission Partners
Cavite, the Philippines, 4 February 2018 -- The Salesian Brothers from FIN province had their annual gathering for formation and fellowship together with brothers from FIS and CIN provinces last February 3 and 4, 2018 at Balay Indang, Cavite. There were 33 brothers present coming from 3 generations: Baby boomers, Gen X-ers, and Millennials. The theme for formation was about “Salesian Brothers and Lay Partners in Mission – Servants of the Young” as well as preparations for the EAO Salesian Brothers’ Congress to be held in Vietnam this August 2018. The speaker-facilitator of the gathering was Fr. Eli Cruz, former provincial of FIN.
There were three parts to the presentation of Fr. Eli. The first part was about Don Bosco as an example for us to imitate in his being a man of balance, a man on a tightrope and a man of discernment. He was able to balance what it means to be an educator, evangelizer and communicator.
The second part was about lay vocation. There is a need for interdependence between Salesians with the laity. As Fr. Recto Major says, “”the shared mission between SDBs and lay people is no longer optional”. It has to be an interdependence that has integrity, maturity, abundance mentality as foundations. It also requires that Salesians have a clear understanding of the identity, role and mission of lay people. There are many points for reflection regarding this matter such as “how have my cultural programming and formation training influenced my thinking of the laity? In what ways are my beliefs about the dignity and mission of the laity accurate? In what ways are they complete?”
The third part was about SDB and laity partnership. As GC24 points out, “The Salesian congregation intends to approach the third millennium with a new look, involving in its spirit and mission the greatest possible number of men and women who, by educating and evangelizing, want to work with it for the Kingdom (GC24, 18).” Motives and basic requirements for partnership were presented as well as the challenges. In all these, the primacy of spirituality has to take first priority, specifically the formation of the SDBs on lay spirituality.
The second day focused on the upcoming EAO Salesian Brothers’ Congress to be held in Vietnam this August 2018. Everybody is excited to participate and to contribute to this gathering. Bro. Mon Callo encouraged each one to contribute to the conversation starting now because the end goal of the Congress is the transformation of each brother, of each community, and to be of greater service to our mission.
Besides the inputs, there were also moments for reflection and sharing which was enriched by the presence of senior brothers as well as brothers from other provinces. There were also moments for relaxation and fellowship.
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