EAO Good Night Talk (78)
Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam
05 September 2020
Dear confreres, members of the Salesian Family and friends,
In our East Asia Oceania Region, the last six months have been a great trial for us. We had to stop or put in pending many of our works and services as the pandemic is still going on. We have to confess that we are facing an uncertain future and many communities have not yet had sustainable programs to respond to the urgent needs of the young. Nevertheless, like our Founder Don Bosco, our Salesian family members do not give up.
The General Councillors are searching ways to fulfil their animation functions among provinces. For example, Fr. Santos Gildasio, Councillor for Social communication has created online meetings with those in charge in each region. The General Councillor for Youth ministry, Fr. Garcia Angel has contacted and dialogues with each delegate for Youth ministry in each province of the world and those of our Region. Fr. Garcias Angel sent us a wonderful synthesis where he appreciates the resilience and creativity of all provinces in our Region regarding services to the young in this difficult moment.
And then, through the facilitation of the former Regional, Fr. Vaclav Klement, the Delegate for Salesian Co-operators and Alumni, Brother Dominic Nam, and myself, have had the opportunities to contact those in charge of alumni of the provinces, both Salesians and leaders of alumni themselves at the national and provincial levels.
Beside, together with those in charge of vocation ministry in EAO regions, we had a wonderful online meeting to know one another, to know the challenges of this specific ministry, that is, searching for, culturing and forming the candidates to Salesian consecrated life. We also exchanged the best practices we have completed in this demanding yet rewarding ministry.
For me, it’s amazing to meet people of the two sectors of Salesian services, those in charge of the alumni, taking care of the young who come out of our Salesian formation settings, who have received our Salesian formation and completed it, and those in charge of the incoming candidates to Salesian life, to start the process of initial formation.
Both ministries are integral in our Salesian mission. We do not really stop our services when the young get out of our schools, oratories or youth groups to advance in their own life. They need us to continue our accompaniment as they desire to continue the relationship with Salesian roots. At the same time, requesting the help of adult alumni under various forms, we could shape our current formation programs to respond to the real needs of the society. Listening to the achievements, I learn that the Salesian alumni groups or associations at local or national levels are very important. This year, they are celebrating 150th anniversary of Salesian Alumni association with various programs in their availability, for example, the Gexpresso, an online platform for young alumni in EAO region.
During the sharing, one interesting issue came out. The alumni wish to have Salesians to accompany them. But the Salesians are not sufficient in terms of number, there is in fact a limited number of candidates. And the alumni see the issue too. One of them raised the question: Why don’t we also care about the vocations to Salesian life? We do not only care about the “recruitment of Salesian graduates” to become active members of the Alumni associations, but also introduce the young to Salesian Society too!
Dear Confreres, members of Salesian Family and friends, the article 21 of The Charter of Salesian Family, entitled, Apostolic Co-responsibility reminds us that Don Bosco involved many people in his educational and missionary work; at all levels he tried to ensure that attention was given to his boys and to people in need.
The Salesians are invited to continue to accompany their alumni and the alumni are also invited to be involved in Salesian work, in which vocation ministry is an essential part for both groups to continue and expand the Salesian educational and evangelizing services.
Fr. Joseph Nguyen Thinh Phuoc, SDB
EAO Good Night Talk (78) Video in English and Vietnamese on YouTube
- GOODNIGHT TALK: Two interlocked ministries with one convergent goal (September 2020)
- TỔNG CỐ VẤN VÙNG: HUẤN TỪ THÁNG 9.2020