Nazareth House - Anisakan, Myanmar, 18 November 2020 -- As we celebrated the feast of Blessed Artemides Zatti a few days ago (13 November), we had a wonderful sharing time with our Nazareth boys and the volunteers about the Salesian Brother figure and vocation.
The inspiration to celebrate the feast day of Blessed Zatti in this manner came from our community weekly study-discussion on the manual of the Salesian Rector. In number 26 of the Rectors Manual, we are reminded that “the significant and complementary presence of clerical and lay Salesians in the community constitutes an essential element of its make-up and of its apostolic completeness.” If God is still blessing our congregation and our province with so many vocations, why has He stopped blessing us with Salesian brother vocations?
We all feel that it may not be that God is not blessing us, but that we are not cooperating enough with God’s plan. We all feel that we should make the beautiful Salesian Brother Vocation known to our young people. We must make known the lives of so many saintly Salesian Brothers to our young people. With all these inspirations we organized our simple and yet very meaningful and beautiful Salesian Brother Day at the community level.
The day started with the Eucharistic celebration during which the celebrant Fr. James Khen Khen Lian shared about Bro. Zatti. In the afternoon, we organized some games for the boys and the Salesians. In the evening from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m., we had two speakers, Rev. Fr. Maurice Vallance and Rev. Bro. Celestine Nathan.
Fr. Maurice, one of the senior-most confreres in the vice-province shared about five Salesian Brothers who came as missionaries and worked in Myanmar. Their lives were inspirational to all of us, boys and the Salesians. Then Bro. Celestine, a missionary in East Africa who is here in Myanmar for some time, shared in a very interesting way about his Salesian Brother vocation. Last year when there were 170 boys with us in the community, some five boys expressed their desire to become Salesian Brothers. But at the moment they are at home due to Covid 19. At present we have only 40 boys with us, and among them, some seven of them would like to become Salesian priests, but nobody is interested in becoming Salesian Brothers.
But to my surprise, after the Zatti Feast, many shared with me that they are very happy to know about the Salesian Brothers and two of them said they began to have an interest in becoming Salesian Brothers. I am not sure whether they will become Salesian Brothers one day or not, but I firmly believe that if God blessed our Congregation with so many Saintly Salesian Brothers in the past, He is surely blessing us today too. But what are we doing as a province, as an individual confrere to make this beautiful vocation known to our young people? God is blessing us but He seeks always our cooperation!
NB: On November 13th in many of the EAO formation houses or SDB communities dedicated to Brother Zatti, his figure was remembered and celebrated with the young people. We pray with the same faith of then Fr Jorge Mario Bergoglio, SJ in 1976 for new Brother vocations through Brother Zatti's intercession !