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By Cl. John Paolo Romero, SDB and Fr. Donnie Duchin Duya, SDB


Makati City, the Philippines, 4 October 2017 -- The Salesian Assembly on Vocation Empowerment or its acronym SAVE succinctly intends to do is to foster a greater consciousness of the Salesian vocation and introduce interventions to promote it.


The event gathered about 60 confreres, representing all local settings of the FIN province, except for the newly established presence in Malaysia. It took place at the Carmelite Missionaries Center of Spirituality in Tagaytay last 29-30 September.


Fr. Jay David, vocation animation director of the FIN province and convener of the assembly, listed three to-do aims which the assembly ought to achieve: (1) Come up with an integrated, consolidated and organized province-wide vocation promotion programs and activities; (2) Ensure that all Salesian houses have Vocation Promotion Program; and (3) Discuss issues which touch on promotion and formation.


The event took off with a series of inputs and reflections coming from Fr. Philip Lazatin, current Novice Director of the two Philippine provinces. He emphasized how the religious atmosphere of the houses established by Don Bosco would become the veritable ground for the germination of the Salesian vocation, and would also yield thousands of priests for various dioceses.


Fr. Andy Wong, former EAO superior delegate, informed the assembly of the best practices observed by Salesian houses in the region.


Two rectors of the aspirantate communities from both FIN (Fr. Gerry Martin) and FIS (Fr. Mel Racelis) provinces shared the realities of the aspirantates in their respective contexts.


Two of the foremost vocation animators in the FIN Province, Fr. Remo Bati and Fr. Rene Lagaya, gave their pre-taped recollections and reflections as regards harnessing and recruiting Salesian Vocation.


The supper and a bonding moment among confreres ended the first day of the Assembly.


The second day was commenced with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist wherein Fr. Paul Bicomong, the provincial superior of FIN province, was the main presider.


After a short break the assembly was resumed, this time with Rev. Oliver Bautista communicating the result of a survey done with the confreres studying theology in Don Bosco Center of Studies in Parañaque. The aim of this survey is to know how is the formation process in the different provinces of East-Asia Oceania and South Asia Regions, especially with regards to the aspirantate, novitiate and Post-novitiate. A discussion followed the presentation.


As the final activity of the Assembly, the confreres were divided into three groups to discuss some important aspects of the formation and vocation ministry, such as the issue of the transition in the educational system in the country, the vocation fund of the province, the college courses that the aspirants may take, and the like. Each group then offered some recommendations on their respective topics. And as a conclusion, the assembly voted for the approval or disapproval of the recommendations. These will be forwarded to the provincial council for final approval.


The assembly surely has helped not only the province and the congregation but the whole Church for it has given new spirit on how can God’s call concretely reaches those whom He is calling.


More than the discussions and recommendations that the assembly had, the concern that each of the confreres has shown for the Vocation Animation of the Province is indeed commendable.




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