HCM City, Vietnam, 17 September 2017 -- To serve the youth and foster the charism of Don Bosco, the Salesian community of Ben Cat has various activities and apostolates, one of which is recruiting vocations to the Salesian life. This year, the community has 61 senior aspirants who belong to 4 batches. They are those who desire to follow the footsteps of Don Bosco as Salesians. Besides their studies at different universities and activities in their hostels, they join with Salesians in assisting junior aspirants, organizing activities at the oratory and helping out in classes for poor children.
The community of Ben Cat also takes care of a group of 160 junior aspirants making it the biggest group of all. They are students of junior and senior high schools in the locality. They live in hostels under the care of Salesians. After their classes, they are assisted by Salesians in different activities: prayer, Masses, meals, games, studies and personal enrichment.
After their break during summer, on Sunday, September 17, junior aspirants and senior aspirants gathered for the first time, together with their parents, for the opening of the new school year. Their parents came from different parts of the country. They were glad visiting the place where their children reside and have foretaste of Salesian life. Father Rector Peter Pham Huy Hoang, together with the In-Charge of aspirants, had a meeting with all the parents. He shared with them about temptations and challenges for the youth of today. He also invited them to show their support with prayers. Father Peter pointed out expectations that the community has for junior aspirants and senior aspirants who have the potentiality of becoming Salesians. The meeting ended with picture-taking according to batches.
The culmination of the day was the Eucharistic Celebration which was presided over by Father Rector and concelebrated by other Salesian priests. In his homily, Father Peter highlighted the vocation story of Saint Matthew, who was after material values, like most of young people of today, but once he encountered Jesus, he left everything behind and followed Him. Through the vocation story of Saint Matthew, Father Rector also invited aspirants to discern and discover their own vocations and generously respond to the call of God.
After the Mass, at 11:30am, everyone gathered for lunch which was filled with family spirit. Meanwhile, the aspirants added joy to the celebration with interesting items. The parents also showed their gratitude to Father Rector and the Salesian community for taking care and guiding their children, particularly in discerning the will of God