EAO Salesian Brother Congress – Day 3
K'Long, Vietnam, 11 August 2018 -- The third day of the EAO Congress was most welcome due to the late waking up and started with the Lauds and Meditation at 6:45. During the breakfast most of the participants shared their adventure of exploring Vietnamese culture, family and Salesian presences close to the K’Long retreat house.
The full mosaic-puzzle of Don Bosco – a masterpiece of previous sharing was at the stage and with greater familiarity, meeting old and new friends, batch-mates and missionaries the rainy and windy day started under the familiar tend in front of the Don Bosco retreat house. The Vietnam organizers did they best to protect us from the windy and rain weather - and they succeed!
Second mixed-group Workshop was inspired on the GC28 question about ‘What kind of Salesian Brother for the youth of today?’ with the strong and out-off-the-box reflection shared by Br. Jean Paul Muller in the previous day. More and more are emerging the essential issues of what does it mean for us today to ‘BE CONSECRATED’ to God for the young. The discernment process expected during the GC28 soul-searching recalls our fraternity, credible life witness, fraternal community support.
Eucharist celebration at 11 AM was presided by the South Asia Regional Councilor Fr. Maria Arokiam Kanaga, with his three point homily peppered with many stories from Indian context and provocative questions like: Do you really believe in God or what does it mean for you now? Fr. Arokiam presented Jesus Christ as our Vocation: being creative mystic, faithful reformer, chaste romantic, loving agitator and religious secular. Pondering on the strong inspiration on the whole Church by St. Francis and St. Clare (today’s feast), the homilist invited all to go beyond their ‘frog well’ to the ‘large sea – ocean’ of today’s world waiting for the contribution of religious Brother. At the end all EAO Salesians were invited to join the next South Asia Salesian Brother Congress in Bangalore (Dec 30 2018 – Jan 2, 2019).
Thanks to the prayers (also through the intercession of Venerable Simon Srugi) after lunch (just for few minutes) the rain stopped and all 200 members of the Congress were happy to take at the entrance the group photo. During the day also continued the group and personal video-interviews. All of them are almost immediately available on the internet - Youtube!
Many non-Vietnamese participants asked the following question in groups or personal encounter: “Why there are so many Salesian Brothers in Vietnam-Mongolia province”? Some of the replies:
- Since I met a good Salesian models as Aspirant
- I was attracted by role model Brother met in the prenovitiate
- Salesian mission is fitting the need of the poor young people of Vietnam
- In our province is growing more supportive environment for the Salesian Brother
- Salesian Brother has more chance to meet the young people than priests
- Salesian Brother vocation is more interesting!
- Salesian Brother does easier enter the youth and lay people more easily
- Within the prayerful and faith-rooted Viet. families the consecrated life is appreciated
Third day will be crowned with the Assembly about the GC28 question and in the evening with a Vietnamese cultural night to enjoy.