EAO Provincial meeting - Day 4
EAO Provincials learn from the Salesian Family
Dili, Timor Leste, 9 March 2018 -- The fourth day of the EAO provincial meeting 2018 started with many joyful moments. The participants finally welcome the last participants Fr. Alfred Maravilla (PGS), who travelled a long way from Fatima (Europe Seminar on Initial Proclamation of Jesus). Fr. John Bosco Theparat (THA) presided the Eucharist with a strong missionary homily about Thailand-Cambodia-Laos ending with an invitation 'Don't harden your hearts!'
Today the EAO provincial listened most of the day to the lay members of the Salesian Family - Salesian Cooperators (World Councilor for EAO Mr. Philip Yu; Jakarta Center Coordinator Mr. Jimmy and the Secretary Ms. Ernie and Dili Center Coordinator Mr. Manuel da Silva) and Don Bosco Alumni (World Councilor for GEX Asia-Oceania Mr. Alberto Piedade, Timor Leste GEX President Mr. Americo Valentim with their World Delegate Fr. Jayapalan Raphael).
The whole is more important than the parts! The morning session was introduced with a simple test about the quality of Salesian Family animation in each province (1-10 points) and followed by small group sharing about the strategic choices for the SF animation. Main attention attracted the formation of the SDB delegates or assistants for different groups of the Salesian Family.
Morning sessions were dedicated to the Association of Salesian Cooperators, guided by Dr. Philip Yu. Starting from the EAO 2017 Tokyo Congress with a large presence of young people emerged the wisdom of Young Cooperator centers (For the Young and With the Young) and the importance of quality ACS formation. Four pillars of the new Guidelines emerged again: Know - Know how to do - Know how to be and Know how to build communion! Plenty of questions emerged in the open forum: What is the formal way to become a Salesian Cooperator (Aspirants formation, Commentary to the PAL, 30 modules), What are the conditions to become a local center or province? Why all SDB have not the same attitude towards the Salesian Cooperators? What is the difference between ASC Delegate and Chaplain? How can we foster the autonomy of the Salesian Cooperators? How can the Buddhist friends participate in the local center activities and life? The personal presence of four ACS members allowed to listen directly to the expectations of the Salesian Cooperators from the SDB (not just from their Delegates) in general!
In the two afternoon sessions Mr. Alberto (living 15 minutes from Dili provincial house) together with the World Delegate Fr. Jayapalan guided the sharing. The presence of 4 Alumni and 4 Cooperators contributed to fruitful insight and sharing of the superiors. Large variety of province, country situations were introduced by Fr. Jayapalan and followed by lively sharing in smaller groups and in the Assembly. Main focus of the inputs were on formation of the Delegates (many digital materials available) and presentation of the 6 year Strategic Plan (2015-2021) of the World Confederation. Last moving sharing of journey as GEX was shared by Mr. Americo (Timor Leste, Los Palos). Wonderful day with the lay members of the Salesian Family was concluded by prayer - promise of Don Bosco Alumni (Statutes, 5b).
As already established tradition, the GNT give in the postnovitiate chapel by Fr. Maravilla was about missionary spirit and ad gentes vocation - a wonderful echo of the morning homily by Fr. Theparat.
After dinner with the Provincial house community all present participants prayed the Holy Rosary and rested for the last full day of their meeting.