PrevPrev Article

NextNext Article

Larger Font Smaller Font Up Down Go comment Print Attachment


Interview with Fr. Joseph Phuoc about Vocation Animation

By Fr. Silvio Roggia, SDB

Dalat, Vietnam, 18 September 2018 -- This interview with Fr Joseph Nguyen Thin Phuoc, done in Dalat, Vietnam, gives an insight on the very interesting work Salesians are doing with university students in this country.

Dalat and Ho Chi Minh are two university cities’ in Vietnam, with many faculties and a large number of students coming from all over the country, seeking accommodation to carry on their studies. What has been the response of the Salesians present in both cities to this situation?

We begun helping students to organize themselves in small communities (from 10 to 30 students in each group), looking for places that they can rent and adjust as their own common house, both in Dalat and in Saigon. These locations are not owned by the Salesians. Several of them are rented out by friends we contacted through our parishes. There are no major restructuring work done. Simply we look for apartments or places where students can arrange a space for bunk beds, a space for a kitchen and a dining/living room as well as a space as study room. Then we help the students to organize themselves for their daily life: timetable, buying provisions, cooking, cleaning… By themselves, they take care of all what is needed for their living. This is already a very positive exercise of responsibility and cooperation. On average, such a solution makes them spend half or even less than what is requested by other accommodation facilities in town. In this way, children from relatively poor family backgrounds can also afford university studies. The Salesian communities in the North of Vietnam (Ha Noi) have also started this program for the last three years. Fruits did not delay to show up: two of their young are going to enter the one-year program before prenovitiate in these coming months.

Your main goal is to help young people even from poor neighbourhood or from the countryside to have access to tertiary institutions?

Not exactly, or, better still, not only. That is just the first step of our Salesian work with these youths. In fact, our main goal is not to provide accommodation. Actually, they take care by themselves of all their expenses. Our goal is to accompany them. There is an intensive programme of youth animation, with a physical base and reference in our Salesian Youth Centres in the two cities, in which these students are actively involved. This is what first of all we propose and offer to them: to come to live such a kind of special community and Salesian experience during their university studies. We choose carefully only the students who are interested and agree with these proposals. They come with a clear commitment, one by one, fully aware of what it takes to follow such a path. As you can see, the accommodation is not the main goal.

Vietnam is home to almost 100 million people, and Catholics are around the 7% of the total population. Are these students all Catholics?

We have two proposals that we present clearly from the start. Both of them are aimed to help the holistic growth of these youth, and not just to offer a place where to stay. Therefore for all of them there are quite many activities in which they are involved, beside their serious commitment in their studies. A FIRST programme is open to boys and girls who accept this kind of commitment, and they belong to different religious traditions, including Catholics. This already gives a chance of growing in tolerance, mutual knowledge and respect, interreligious dialogue, which is not a little achievement in our society. A SECOND programme is for young male Catholics who are interested to be accompanied during their university studies in a process of vocational growth, strengthening their faith and preparing themselves for a life of intense Christian commitment in response to God’s call, considering also consecrated life as a possible way forward for their future. This year, for instance, in Dalat we have around 200 students following the first path, and around 50 following the second, focused on personal vocational growth and discernment. The transferring of a number of those male students in the first program to the second one has been a natural process from the beginning of these programs.

This experience has been going on for more than 25 years. Can you say that it is bearing good fruits?

By God’s grace surely it does, in both the ways I mentioned. Most of the students who passed through this kind of experience are very committed not only in their professional field, but also in society. Among the Catholics who followed the vocational path, many have become lay leaders in their Christian communities, several joined the diocese as priests, not a few are now members of various religious Congregations, and also a meaningful number every year ask to become Salesian of Don Bosco. This year, for instance, we have 19 prenovices and 32 doing the year of preparation to the prenovitiate, and the very large majority of these youth come from this university students animation experience.

Fr Joseph, if you have to summarize in few words the ‘secret’ behind this original way of being present among young people during their university studies, what would you say?

Intensive group and personal Salesian accompaniment: that’s what makes the difference.




Maximum Attachments : 0Byte/ 15.00MB
Maximum File Size : 15.00MB (Allowed extentsions : *.*)

  1. 4884(II)_"What is your deepest desire?"

    Synod 2018: Two questions to young people By Bishop Patrick Buzon, SDB Vatican City, 17 October 2018 -- Along with Bishop Luc Van Looy SDB, Bishop Patrick Buzon also spoke for the regulation 4 minutes at the Synod. This ...
    Date2018.10.17 CategoryWorld Reply0 Views421 newfile
    Read More
  2. 4884(I)_Youth Ministry Delegate and his Commission - CIN province model

    Interview with Fr Antonio Leung, Youth Ministry Delegate CIN By Our Own Correspondent Hong Kong, 17 October 2018 -- Fr Antonio Leung is the Youth Ministry Delegate of China Province, based in Hong Kong. He replies as the...
    Date2018.10.17 CategoryCIN Reply0 Views389 newfile
    Read More
  3. 4883(II)_Accompaniment - to be present in the life of the young

    Talk in the Synod Assembly By Bishop Luc Van Looy, SDB Vatican City, 15 October 2018 -- Bishop of Ghent (Belgium) Luc Van Looy, SDB was previously a missionary in South Korea (1964-1984), then member of the General Counc...
    Date2018.10.16 CategoryWorld Reply0 Views400 file
    Read More
  4. 4883(I)_Salesian style ports on White Sunday in Samoa

    The holiday for the children By Cl Peter Duc Nguyen, SDB Salelologa - Savaii, Samoa, 14 October 2018 -- The third Sunday of October is White Sunday, the holiday for the children in Samoa. On this occasion the children re...
    Date2018.10.16 Reply0 Views68 file
    Read More
  5. 4882(VI)_Synod 2018 - Week three opens: the way forward

    By Fr Renato De Guzman, SDB Rome, Italy, 15 October 2018 -- Among the 16 Salesians present in the 2018 Synod is also Fr Renato De Guzman (aka Degz) who is assigned as one of the assistants to the two Special Secretaries of the Syn...
    Date2018.10.15 Reply0 Views603 file
    Read More
  6. 4882(V)_A Family that Prays Together, Becomes Holy Together

    FIN Salesian Family Recollection Day 2018 By Cl. Paolo Romero, SDB Makati City, the Philippines, 13 October 2018 – On the memorial of Bl. Alexandrina Da Costa, a Salesian Cooperator, the various members of the Salesian F...
    Date2018.10.15 CategoryFIN Reply0 Views338 file
    Read More
  7. 4882(IV)_Salesian Brother running 1760 km from the South to the North

    S2N Charity Run in Laos with Bro. Carlo Bacalla, SDB By Bro. Carlo Bacalla, SDB Vientiane, Laos, 15 October 2018 -- The S2N (South to North) Charity Run will be the longest run on foot in Laos, People Democractic Republi...
    Date2018.10.15 CategoryTHA Reply0 Views278 file
    Read More
  8. 4882(III)_My journey: Understanding the Preventive System of St John Bosco

    Don Bosco Technological Institute, Boroko By Dr Catherine Nongkas Principal of DBTI Port Moresby, PNG, 15 October 2018 -- Catherine Nongkas PhD, is the principal of Don Bosco Technological Institute, Boroko, Port Mores...
    Date2018.10.15 CategoryPGS Reply0 Views194 file
    Read More
  9. 4882(II)_Strong at 80: Fr. Salvatore Putzu, SDB celebrates his 80th Birthday!

    By Fr. Drans Nolasco, SDB Makati City, the Philippines, 12 October 2018 -- Fr. Salvatore Putzu, SDB was surrounded by confreres, benefactors, past and present lay mission partners of Word And Life Publications and many other frien...
    Date2018.10.15 CategoryFIN Reply1 Views164 file
    Read More
  10. 4882(I)_SIHM lay mission partners learn good communication

    SIHM teachers seminar at Thidamaepra School By Sr Maliwan Paramathawirote Surat Thani, Thailand. 15 October 2018 --As is the case every five years, also this October 2018 a seminar for all our teachers from 9 SIHM school...
    Date2018.10.15 Reply0 Views74 file
    Read More
Board Pagination Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ... 232 Next
/ 232