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EAO Good Night Talk (75)

Ho Chi Minh City, 02 June 2020


Dear confreres and members of the Salesian Family,


For more than 3 months, the Pandemic Covid 19 has caused severe impact upon all the countries where Salesian works are present. Governments and agencies have made great efforts to keep under control the spread of this disease as well as to fix the damages it has caused to human lives, economy and works. At the same time, with great and prudent efforts, people have to get back to their work so that their life would not collapse. In particular, the life of the young whose future depends very much on constructive factors like education, jobs, social relationships. 


Together with all of you, I pray to God that this plague will be overcome soon and the Salesian Family can continue its contribution to the re-building of our communities in accord with our respective competence. Indeed, let us continue to pray together and do whatever we can for this re-building. 


And yet, I would like to ask myself together with my Salesians of Don Bosco: If Don Bosco had lived in this volatile period of pandemic, what could he have done? 


One idea comes to my mind and probably to yours also. Our founder did live through many hardships which were not very dissimilar to ours. We probably recall the days he was operating his oratories/schools when the Kingdom of Savoy went into the Crimea War, putting its young people to the frontiers of the battle!


Financial resources were very limited for charitable works. Meanwhile, the founding of a new religious congregation with its expanding educational and pastoral as well as missionaries works, all needed huge supports, otherwise, they stopped or collapsed! Besides, we have to take into account the anti-ecclesial atmosphere of his time! 


Yet, for me, Don Bosco left us precious lessons that I would like to point out: 


Understandingly, the most fragile yet the most promising part of the society was always the young themselves. They need to be fed, to be educated, to have safe environment to grow, to learn to become protagonists to build up their life and the society. Don Bosco was not paralyzed in facing the difficulties of his time. He worked harder and harder, creatively looking for ways to serve the young, the abandoned ones, looking for people, old and young, who could give a hand, with little or large sum of donation! It is evident that we, members of Salesian family are doing the same thing. Just to remind you, 35 to 40 yeas ago, Cambodia, a member of our EAO region, fell into such a dramatic situation. Our Salesians from Thailand did venture to serve the young in refugee camps, never minding the political factions they belonged to. They operated short term technical training programs to prepare the future rebuilders of the post-war Cambodia society, in spite of political tendencies. Like Don Bosco, let us continue to be convinced in the necessity of our charismatic mission in whatever circumstances we find ourselves. 


Secondly, Don Bosco has a deep conviction in the solidarity among humans. He himself, together with his spiritual family, prepared the young to live that profound reality. We are learning this lesson in a negative approach with the spread of the virus Covid-19. Never in human history have human communities experienced such a speed of contagion, no one is left intact, directly or indirectly. We are so connected with one another, for good as well as for bad. Here the revealed truth is verified: “no one dies for himself and no one lives for himself either!” 


But looking at a more positive perspective, for the last few months, we have witnessed how wonderful the spirit of solidarity has been expressed. From the very early days of the pandemic, as I know, the Province of Korea immediately shared its financial resources to other provinces in our Region. Confreres in formation house sat down and discussed how to help the poor by cutting down their expenses. 


Communities and Salesian parishes, together with other charitable agencies launched food-aid programs to save the unemployed, poor families in the neighborhood, thousands and maybe hundred thousand people did receive those helps. Non-Christians expressed their surprise how the Christian churches and communities took quick action of charity with such a great generosity. 


I believe and pray that our Salesians and members of the Salesian Family continue to engage themselves more to serve our young people where we are. My conviction is that what we are doing in these days are guaranteed premises for the continuation of our services once the Pandemic is over, regardless of all our limited resources in any aspect.


GOODNIGHT TALK of Fr. Joseph THINH PHUOC SDB - June 2020

  • ?
    vaclav 2020.06.09 15:15
    <日本語訳>

    兄弟会員の皆さん、サレジオ家族の皆さん、

     3か月以上にわたり、COVID-19の世界的蔓延は、サレジオの事業が存在するあらゆる国で深刻な影響をもたらしています。各国政府やさまざまな組織はこの病気の広がりを制御しようと、また人の命、経済、さまざまな活動に及んだ被害を修復しようと、大きな力を注いでいます。同時に、大きな賢明な努力を払いながら、生活の破綻を避けるため、人々は仕事に戻らなければなりません。特に、若者の生活において、その将来は、教育、仕事、人との社会的関わりといった建設的な要素に大きくかかっています。

     皆さんと一緒に、神に祈ります、この疫病に早く打ち勝つことができますように、そしてサレジオ家族がそれぞれの力に従い、私たちの共同体の再建のために、その貢献を続けることができますように。そうです、心を合わせて祈りつづけましょう、そしてこの再建のためにできることは何でもしましょう。

     しかし、ドン・ボスコのサレジオ会員の皆と共に、私は自問したいと思います。もしドン・ボスコがこの不安に満ちたパンデミックの時を生きていたなら、何をしたでしょう。

     一つの考えが私の心に浮かびますが、おそらく皆さんもそうでしょう。私たちの創立者は、多くの苦労を経験しました。その困難は、私たちが経験しているものとそう変わりません。私たちは思い起こせるでしょう。サヴォワ王朝がクリミア戦争に突入したころ、ドン・ボスコがオラトリオや学校を運営していて、若者たちは戦闘の前線に送られたのです!

     慈善活動のための資金は非常に限られていました。一方、創立された修道会の教育、司牧の事業、そして宣教の事業も拡大し、大きな支えが必要でした。支えがなければ、それらの事業は止まったり、倒れたりしたでしょう! その上、ドン・ボスコの時代の社会にあった反教会の空気も考慮しなければなりません!

     しかし私にとって、ドン・ボスコは2つの貴重な教訓を残してくれました。それを挙げたいと思います。

     一つめはもちろん、社会の最も弱く、それでいて希望である層は、常に若者たち自身であるということです。若者たちは食べていけること、教育を受けること、成長できる安全な環境、学び、人生の主役になり、自分の人生と社会を築き上げられるようになることが必要です。ドン・ボスコはその時代の困難を前にしたとき、麻痺して動けなくなるようなことはありませんでした。ますます熱心に働きました。創意工夫をして、見捨てられた若者に仕える方法を探しました。助けの手を差し伸べてくれる、額の多少にかかわらず寄付をしてくれる、老若男女を探し求めたのです! 私たちサレジオ家族が今日、同じことをしているのは明らかです。思い出していただきたいのですが、40年から35年くらい前、EAO地域の一員であるカンボジアは大変悲劇的な状況に陥りました。タイのサレジオ会員は、難民キャンプの若者に、所属する政治グループにかかわらず、仕えることに挑戦しました。政治的空気を乗り越え、戦後のカンボジア社会を再建する若者を育てるため、短期の職業訓練プログラムを運営したのです。ドン・ボスコのように、私たちも、自分たちの置かれた状況で、私たちのカリスマにおける使命と奉仕がなくてはならないものであることを確信し続けましょう。

     二つめは、ドン・ボスコが人間の連帯について深い確信を抱いていることです。ドン・ボスコ自身、大きな霊的家族と共に、その豊かな現実を生きるよう若者たちを育成しました。私たちはこの教訓を、コロナウィルスの蔓延というネガティブな状況の中、学んでいます。人類の歴史の中で、これほど急速な感染の広がりを人間社会は経験したことがありませんでした。直接的であれ、間接的であれ、影響を受けない人はいません。私たちは良きにつけ、悪しきにつけ、互いに密接に結ばれているのです。明らかになった真実がここに確認されます:「自分のために死ぬ人もいなければ、自分のために生きる人も誰一人いない!」

     しかし、よりポジティブな側面に目を向けると、この数か月、人々の示した連帯の精神がどれほどすばらしいものか、私たちは目の当たりにしました。私が知っているのは、パンデミックのごく初期の段階のとき、韓国管区はただちにEAO地域のほかの管区と資金を分かち合う支援をしました。養成支部の会員たちは、いかにして経費を節約して近隣の人々と分かち合い、貧しい人々を助けることができるか、話し合いました。

     サレジオの支部や小教区は、ほかの慈善団体と力を合わせ、地域の失業した貧しい家庭を救うため、食糧支援活動を立ち上げました。何千人も、もしかすると何万人もの人々がその支援を受けました。教会やキリスト者の共同体がすばやく、実に惜しみなく愛を行動に移したことに、キリスト者でない人々は驚きを隠せませんでした。

     私は信じ、祈っています。サレジオ会員、そしてサレジオ家族のメンバーが、私たちの置かれたさまざまな場で若者に仕えるため、これからもますます献身しますように。私は確信しています。今、この日々、私たちが行っていることは、いずれパンデミックが収束したなら、私たちの資金・手段のあらゆる限界にもかかわらず、私たちの奉仕が続けられることを保証する前提であると。

     神さまの祝福が皆さんの上にありますように。

    EAO東アジア・オセアニア地域顧問 ヨセフ・グェン・ティン・フォック, SDB

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