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Interview with Br. Dominic Savio Wong:
in view of the EAO Salesian Brother Congress 2018


By Our Own Correspondent


Tainan, Taiwan, 8 December 2017 -- Br. Savio Wong is one among the senior Salesian Brothers of China province (82 years). His younger brother, Salesian priest Fr. Francis Wong just passed away in Hong Kong at the age of 74 years. Br. Savio spent most of his Salesian life in the technical school (mechanic department). At present he is part of the dynamic Tainan community in Tainan. He took part in almost all six Salesian Brother Congresses in the history of our Region.


What makes you happy as Salesian Brother?


In my opinion, I can serve and help others as Salesian Brother. Whenever I serve and help others, I happily feel that I am worthy. That is why I am always happy and joyful. Happiness is a choice. Joy is an attitude that maintains health. … “Being happy and having a smiling face” every day are my daily motto, which reminds me that I am a happy and joyful Salesian Brother.


Who did attract you to this form of Salesian vocation?


One summer holiday, when I was young, I was attracted by the cheerful aspirants in Hong Kong. I saw them playing cheerfully with smiling faces in the playground. From then on I decided to follow their life style. I began to ask for entering the Salesian aspirant seminary. Later, I understood the difference between the vocation of the Salesian Priest and the Salesian Brother. Finally I chose to be a Salesian Brother.


I think that to be a Salesian Brother is more amiable and easier than to be a Salesian Priest. A Salesian Brother in appearance looks like an ordinary man, whatever he does will really have great influence to the youth.


What is the specific contribution of Salesian Brother to our mission & community?


As far as I know, in the congregation Salesian Brothers can work based on their specialties besides the priests’ profession. For example, they can teach or work in the school, help some pastoral work in the parish, take care of the youth in the oratory, be present among the students in the school all the time, etc. In a word, do not ask what the congregation and community can do for you. You must do something for the congregation and community instead.


How can we make the Brother vocation more visible in the Church and in the Salesian Family?


First of all, we must give Salesian Brothers suitable formation as well as special profession for their requirements. Secondly, let them have more opportunities to cooperate with the lay people. Also, we can invite them to participate in meeting and congress of the Salesian family. Thirdly, we can offer them some pastoral work in the parish and school. Fourthly, we can let them take the responsibilities for some important tasks if possible. Lastly, we can train them for some special jobs. Above all, we can let Salesian Brothers go out to do some volunteer jobs in the parishes and schools. What I suggest above is my personal opinion. Hope they will be helpful to you all.


How can the Salesian priest contribute to the Salesian Brother Vocation promotion?


The Salesian priest ought to understand the Salesian Brother Vocation is created by our founder Don Bosco. All the Salesian Brothers enjoy the same rights as the Salesian priests in the Salesian Congregation. They have to love and respect one another. All of them are apple of our founder Don Bosco’s eyes and also Salesians in the congregation. The Salesian priests must respect and take good care of all the Salesian Brothers. Besides, they must admit the Salesian Brothers’ identities. They must appreciate and pay much attention to what the Salesian Brothers’ work in the congregation. The Salesian priests can propagate the Salesian Brother’s Vocation in public, inviting some senior Salesian Brothers to share their experiences in the schools and parishes. Also, they can introduce certain outstanding Salesian Bothers by posting on the bulletin board each month, which can clearly explain how to be Salesian Brothers in the congregation to our Salesian students and the Salesian Family.


What does sustain your vocation as Salesian Brother?


A Salesian Brother is a faithful servant of God. What he does is for the love of God and Our Holy Mother. With God and Our Holy mother, everything is OK. Recite Rosary fervently every day. Live a good prayer life in the community. Adore the Blessed Sacrament every day. Keep good communication between God and people. Do something for the congregation and community and take good care of the young Salesians in your community, especially about the senior confreres.


Are there any expectations about the future of Salesian Brother vocation?


I hope our congregation pays much attention to the Salesian Brothers’ Vocation. Try to give them the necessary formation both on spiritual basis and the academic ones, try to find a practical solution to the shortage of the Salesian Brothers in each province. Establish an regional association of the Salesian Brothers to deal with this problem among the provinces. Create an international Salesian Brothers’ website.


What are your suggestions for the path towards the EAO 2018 Congress?


Let all the Salesians, especially Salesian Brothers, know the main purpose and the agenda of the Salesian Brother Congress in advance in the coming year 2018 in Vietnam. First of all, solve all the language problems in order to let all participants express freely.


If possible, let all the Salesian Brothers in the region participate in this meeting. Make some practical and doable conclusions. Follow up all the conclusions, which should be uploaded on the Salesian Brothers’ website. Provide some useful information and a memorial souvenir T-shirts to all the participants.


Happy Feast of the Immaculate conception!!

God bless! Yours faithfully in Don Bosco

 




20171208_CIN1.jpg

Br. Savio with the first Salesian Brother of Taiwan - Br. Paul.


20171208_CIN2.jpg

Br. Savio in Tainan Salesian technical school Oratory


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20171208_CIN4.jpg


20171208_CIN5.jpg

CIN province Salesian Brothers around the tomb of Fr. Charles Braga in Canlubang and during the first EAO Congress in Batulao (1986)


20171208_CIN6.jpg

CIN province Salesian Brothers during their gathering in Hong Kong (1957)

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