By Fr Jay David, SDB
FIN Vocation Director
Manila and Cebu, Philippines, 28 November 2018 -- Over the last two years (2017-2018) both provinces of the Philippines, FIN and FIS, have embarked on the journey to relaunch their vocation culture in the hearts of all Salesians and Lay Mission Partners. In the fast changing scenario of Filipino Youth Culture, along with the recent reshuffle of the country's education system 'K-12' (from Kindergarten to Grade 12 of secondary school), which was just completed last school year, this vocation 'empowerment' is really a timely move.
In the FIN the whole process started with the Provincial Chapter 2016 and the whole provincial community, all schools and parishes, including our lay mission partners are getting involved. The following clear goals of the 'FIN Vocation OPP' are being followed with the enthusiasm of young and not-so-young Salesians. Especially the appointment of the full time 'Vocation Director' with a team of 10 SDB and other Youth and Lay Mission Partners.
- Appoint a full time Salesian exclusively for vocation promotion who will implement, follow-up and evaluate the plan.
- Appoint Salesians to comprise the Vocation Team of the province.
- Update and report to all confreres the vocation situation of the province.
- Organise an assembly of confreres on vocation animation - S.A.V.E.
- Create and disseminate promotional materials for the Salesian vocation in all types of media with the help of the Post-Novitiate community.
- Disseminate vocation posters with a specific focus on parishes of Laguna diocese, parochial schools and schools run by female congregations without male congregation counterpart.
- Promote in the social media through a creative and interactive website.
- Include vocation promotion announcements in the Euchalet and Family Matter Magazine.
- Challenge every Salesian to be able to invite a suitable candidate for the seminary.
- Network with the ECV (Episcopal Commission on Vocations) and the DVP (Directors and Directresses of Vocations in the Philippines) for proper coordination, support and exposure.
- Conduct vocation talks and give retreats/recollections to grades 10-12 of Don Bosco and non-Don Bosco settings (Tal Kumbinse and Re Kumbinse).
- Celebrate Masses to DB settings and Non-DB settings. (Mass Kumbinse)
Salesians are motivated not only by the dropping numbers of new Salesian consecrated vocations, but first of all by the need to relaunch a truly 'Vocation Youth Ministry' as envisioned by the Church and by the Congregation in the 'Salesian Youth Ministry Frame of Reference'.
Our vocation team is happy to share this ongoing experience with other EAO provinces and also learn from other, more difficult vocation environments in non-Christian majority countries of our Region.
The Prayer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus (O Cor Iesus Sacratissimo) and many other 'small daily signs' are helping our confreres and lay mission partners to build our vocation culture: O Cor Jesu Sacratissimum, ut bonos et dignos operarios piae Salesianorum Societati mittere et in ea conservatore digneris. Te rogamus audi nos!' (Lyrics Blessed Michael Rua, Music: Fr Carreno)
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus,
guide into the Salesian Congregation many good and zealous apostles
and help them to persevere
in their vocation.
We humbly pray.