EAO new Rectors' course
Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, 27 November 2018 -- Finally at the end of the second full day of the EAO Rectors Formation course the whole group was complete, with some late arrivals from Thailand and Hong Kong. During common prayer time ‘the missing rectors’ of Indonesia, Japan and Myanmar were also remembered. This is the sixth rectors formation gathering since 2001, this time probably with the highest number of participants.
Fr Henry Bonetti in the morning and Br. Raymond Callo have been guiding the rectors through the revised ‘Rectors Handbook’ with lively interaction in smaller groups of 2-3 or large groups of 5-6 rectors each. Indeed the rectors appreciate the personal sharing most of all – listening to each other's life experience, listening and praying about their joy and challenges.
The animation of the Salesian local community is based on the figure of father, teacher and spiritual guide (SDB Constitutions art. 55). The whole day is geared to talks, short video clips, feedback and open questions to help the new (some returning to the job after some years) and rectors-to-be to take up their ministry with the heart of Don Bosco.
The rectors deepening of some practical points of spiritual accompaniment and guidance is based on listening, prayer and mature human attitudes of self-awareness. Among the comments: ‘Had I known, had I had this valuable occasion for formation earlier, I would have been a better rector!’
Today especially the value of sharing one's personal experience God was at the centre: if we listen to another Salesian's experience we relive the richness of his experience, we become more open to a fuller and deeper relationship with God; we deepen our own awareness of God in our life. It changes us from within (interiority), clarifies some life issues and feelings and helps us to grow in a contemplative attitude.
Fr Henry presided at the morning Eucharist , then there were chats at meal time, prayer together and a goodnight on the Mongolian experience (Fr.Simon) along with the supportive presence of the China provincial Fr Joseph Ng, his Vicar Fr Domingos Leong and logistics back up by provincial economer Fr Savio Yeung. It all helps the 63 rectors feel at home.
The second day of the course concluded after Rosary in the DB Youth Centre, a night walk around Cheung Chau island including the experience of the Don Bosco Oratory (Director Br Francis Lam Ying) located near the ferry pier. In a lively short video presentation by Brother Lam, some of the Oratorians shared their life experience of joy, growth, football, study and happiness. At the end, three former Oratorians, Oratory volunteers (leaders) contributed to this true