4724(I)_Together towards the Centenary of Salesian presence in Timor Leste

by ceteratolle posted May 12, 2018


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Conclusion of the ITM Viceprovince extraordinary visitation

By Fr. Jose de Sa, SDB

Dili, Timor Leste, 10 May 2018 -- With a meeting of Rectors and last historical meeting of the Indonesia - Timor Leste complete provincial council (including the Delegate for Indonesia, Fr. Lino Belo) in Fatumaca (May 8-9) was concluded the 2018 Extraordinary visitation of the St. Callistus Caravario Vice-province (ITM), that lasted three and half months. Since the foundation of ITM (1998) there were 4 extraordinary visitations of the ITM: 1999 by Fr. Antonio R. Tallon, in 2006 by Fr. Vaclav Klement, in 2012 by Fr. Andrew Wong in 2018.

The Regional councilor invited the Rectors and Provincial Councilors to share their feedback on the collated reports to the 11 communities in East Timor, each with a three fold recommendations about consecrated and spiritual life, about community and fraternity building as well for being more effective servants of the young.

Both meetings (rectors and provincial council) were held as an open forum, listening to the most important call of present times:

  • Focus on formation of the Salesians: starting from more solid preparation for the novitiate (human maturity, sufficient language skills - especially in English, closer personal spiritual accompaniment and more contact with the candidate families), through the necessary long term SDB qualification plan until the necessary Salesian leadership formation (future rectors, formators, spiritual guides, principals, catechists, parish priests or delegates to the Salesian family groups).

  • Need to strengthen the Salesian consecrated vocation, especially that of the Salesian Brother (among the 150+ Salesians there are only 16 Brothers)

  • Need to foster mutual trust and synergy among the confreres, including mutual appreciation and correction, as well a consistent effort to produce solid province vision and plan for the balanced growth of Salesian charism

At present there are 150+ Salesians of Timor Leste, living in 11 local communities, three of them not yet fully consistent in personnel. Salesians are blessed with ongoing vocations: 73+17 senior aspirants, 25 prenovices, 21 novices, 28 postnovices, 19 practical trainees, 20 Salesians in specific formation (priesthood and Brothers) and 14 Salesian priests and Brothers in Quinquennium. There are also 10 Timorese missionary ad gentes working in Europe, Latin America, African and East Asia.

Don Bosco is much alive in East Timor! The of Don Bosco is expressed also in continuous numeric and quality growth of three main Salesian Family groups - ADMA, Don Bosco Alumni and Salesian Cooperators. Salesians reach 14.000+ youth in 10 large and 60 smaller parish schools with 700 teachers, more than 150.000+ Catholics in our six parishes and through the numerous groups of the SYM are reaching out as well.

The extraordinary visitation was concluded 91 years after arrival of the first Salesian missionaries including St. Callistus Caravario and 20 years after establishment of ITM Viceprovince. The Salesians of Timor Leste are looking into future - Centenary of the Salesian presence in 1927 - with optimism, faith and more commitment in our mission for the young.