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Dalat Don Rua


Dalat, Vietnam, 13 September 2019 -- The Blessed Michael Rua Postnovitiate community in Dalat, Vietnam is probably the most missionary ‘producing’ venue in the whole Salesian world. Along the corridors of the large building you may read Cagliero11 in Vietnamese (translation by the Postnovitiate missionary group members), the missionary news from the Salesian world. But what strikes the imagination and attention of the visitor most is a simple ‘World Map’ with hundreds photos of the more than 120 ‘Alumni’ – former Dalat postnovices, who are now serving as missionaries ad gentes in all five continents and some 46 Salesian provinces. Yes, since last 1999 the great majority of the Vietnamese Salesians left for the missions at the end of this 3 year postnovitiate formation in Don Rua, Dalat. There are also 7 fresh graduates of this house in the 150th Salesian missionary expedition!

During this 2019-2020 school year, the 55-member community (Rector: Fr. Joseph Hung) of 40 postnovices in the 3 year course and their 10 formators is also busy in many ways. The construction of the long dreamt 'Pastoral Center' (new public chapel and venue for all youth ministry activities, until now mixed up within the postnovitiate space) is still half-way through and the young Salesians are also involved in a variety of manual work in the large Don Rua compound.

Among the 10 postnovices of the 3rd year no fewer than 6 of them are already determined to submit their ‘ad gentes application. Of course, the main inspiration is the story-telling of the missionaries when they return home to visit their families. The missionary group keeps in touch with the young missionaries abroad, prepares the 'Cagliero11' (Salesian missionary animation monthly newsletter) in Vietnamese version and animates a simple prayerful moment in the evening of each 11th of the month.

A visible and contagious joy is a striking element of the Don Rua Postnovitiate environment, a dynamic approach to community life, prayer, youth ministry and a hardworking attitude in all house maintenance works. Probably this industrious community lifestyle helps fosters the birth of new missionary vocations and prepares our young Salesians to serve "anywhere according the needs of the Salesian Congregation!"

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