By Fr. Joriz Foz Calsa, SDB
Provincial Youth Ministry Delegate
Batulao, Philippines, March 11, 2016 - I was graced substituting our FIS provincial superior, Fr. Godofredo Atienza, to substitute him in the EAO Provincial meeting from March 9-11, 2016. It was a sort of sacrifice for the fact that I was out of my province while the Rector Major happily hops in and out of the different community and most especially intimately talking to the Salesians which I hope to hear even through audio recording.
But I was not at all a loser in way because who among us would also have a unique experience being with the EAO provincials? It was days of blessing, camaraderie and fraternal encounter, and of course a vocation and passion booster.
I know that these provincials are fully loaded with concerns and responsibilities and seeing them happy, optimistic, and sharing stories of the primacy of God in their life makes me really appreciate the grace which God gives to people who govern and animate our communities. God chose and God equips.
The provincials were one in sharing during a short evaluation facilitated by Fr. Klement Vaclav that the very fruit of this encounter comes from the very encounter with the Rector Major, Fr. Angel Artime Fernandez, SDB, who gave them clear and direct guidelines, and of course the reports given by the different departments on Youth Ministry, Social Communications, Missionary Animation, and Formation which emphasized on synergy. On a lighter tone, everyone will also never forget the trip to Taal Volcano and that great experience of horseback riding (poor young horses!).
But on a personal note, I was really impressed with the process of active listening our superiors are doing. Gone where the days of imposing their ideas to the provinces; this time, it is so obvious, that our superiors are very interested with what we are doing, what are initiatives are, and guiding us in a clear way our future direction. Likewise, LISTENING was very much stressed when it comes to dealing with confreres and our Lay Mission Partners.
My days with the provincials and our general councilors in Batulao are indeed days of grace and immediate preparation for an additional task given to me by the Lord through my provincial. All for the greater glory of God!