HCM City, Vietnam, 14 August 2018 -- Like in many provinces, Summer was the time for our brothers and students to be engaged in Summer Apostolate which was opened to many youngsters around and from a far. Yet Summer was also the time for the downpouring of graces upon the Province of Vietnam-Mongolia as it held many events at provincial level:
- The Province Day when a great majority of the confreres gathered after a whole year of work in the Salesian mission [July 27, 2018). The key speech delivered by the Provincial seemed to be a talk of a father to the family members as he pointed out a comprehensive picture of the Salesian presences and ministries in the country, from the far North at the border between Vietnam and China to the far South. All confreres seemed enthusiastic at the fast change and development of Salesian services to the poor youth and the working people.
- The Ordination to the priesthood which took place a day after the Province Day. 11 Vietnamese Salesians were ordained to became pastors and educators in their Salesian priesthood [July 28, 2018].
- First profession of Vows: Right after the Salesian Brothers’ Congress, a great number of confreres from other provinces stayed for a few more days to be able to attend the Ceremony of first profession of Vows [August 14, 2018]. Twenty young men at the age from 24-27 have responded to God’s Call to become Salesians, the missionaries to the young. In his homily, the Provincial thanked the parents who have offered their sons to the Congregation for the benefit of the young. In his words, like Mamma Marguarita who left everything at her home village to follow her son Don Bosco and collaborated with him in his challenging ministries, the parents were invited to continue to collaborate with their sons as these wholeheartedly dedicated their life to God, to the Church, to the Congregation and to the poor youth. Also, the presence of non-Vietnamese Salesians in the ceremony became a call for those new confreres to think and to engage in ad gentes vocation. The Provincial invited them not to be afraid but ponder upon this call within the Salesian call. The little reception after the Mass indeed left some positive impression upon our confreres from other countries.
- Perpetual profession of Vows: The ceremony of First profession at the Novitiate was kept in its simplicity to reserve the great solemnity for the ceremony of perpetual profession which took place one day after [August, 15, 2018). And it was in fact solemn as it should be. More than 100 priests, Salesian and non-Salesian, concelebrated the Mass, together with other hundred Salesian Brothers and also the same number of Salesian post-novices, novices pre-novices. This was the first time in the history of the Salesian Province of Vietnam as the lay people witnessed so many Salesian [lay] Brothers amidst them. With two Salesian Brothers who made their perpetual vows and three more Salesian [lay Brothers] who had assumed their first profession of vows the day before, the rank of our Salesian Brothers is increased.
We hope and trust that in the near future, the Salesian Brothers’ Congress will bear a lot of fruits.