10 Salesian Family groups in Thailand
Bangkok, Thailand, 14 October 2018 -- During the extraodinary visitation in Thailand two days have been dedicated to encounters with Salesian Family groups as well as the Provincial Council of of Salesian Family, known as the 'Consulta'. Together with Fr Theparat Pitisant SDB, the provincial, another 15 superiors and delegates from 8 of 10 SF groups present in the country were involved.
After watching the 'Dear Confreres' video message from the Rector Major (August 2018), the participants took the question of the SDB General Chapter 28 'What kind of Salesians for the youth of Thailand?' with the following 'dream profile of the Salesians': "Salesians who are closer, listening and sensitive to the young, especially those with problems and challenges. Salesians who are not busy with administration but spend time among young people in the playground. Salesians who are closer to poor young people..."
Fr Francis Cais, Provincial delegate for the Salesian Family, introduced the recent Guidelines for the SF Provincial Council (Consulta). Participants were given (again!) the Identity Charter of the Salesian Family (Thai translation, ed. 2013) and explained the importance of the Salesian Bulletin for the formation of each member of the Salesian Family, especially for the Lay groups like Salesian Cooperators, ADMA and Alumni.
In the second round of sharing, the Superiors and Delegates expressed their dreams about more intense sharing and working together as one spiritual and apostolic family of Don Bosco: Good morning talks given in the schools of other SF members; good night talks given in the formation houses of other SF groups; a joint Salesian pilgrimage to the roots of the Don Bosco work in Thailand (preparing for the Centenary in 2027); foster a local SF council in towns where more groups can be found (Banpong, Hat Yai, Sampran); foster more exchange among Alumni of different groups of the Salesian Family; continuous exchange between all groups regarding current initiatives in formation and mission etc.
At present among the 10 Salesian Family groups in Thailand there are 6 with consecrated members: 98 SDB Salesians, 91 SIHM (Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary), 83 FMA Sisters, 40 members of DQM Secular Institute (Queenship of Mary), 27 Sisters of Queenship of Mary and 12 VDB. Among the other 4 lay groups are Salesian Cooperators with 181 members, 45 ADMA and many thousands of the Don Bosco Alumni Federation and Mary Help of Christians Alumni. or
The Provincial Council of the Salesian Family has already developed a long tradition in Thailand, with quality celebrations, events and formation occasions. F the Centenary of the Salesians in Thailand (1927-2027) the focus of common growth may be more geared toward the common mission for the disadvantaged youth and missionary commitment. Indeed the Salesian Family of Thailand has a lot of energy, dreams and opportunities to grow!