By Fr. Vaclav Klement, SDB
Rome-Torino, Italy, December 3, 2015 - As every year the Salesian Mission Day animation materials are distributed in all 90 provinces of our Congregation, open to all members of Salesian Family. The usual poster, animation booklet and prayer card did already reach all of EAO provincial houses during past two months.
For our Region the incoming year topic is very meaningful, due to the focus on the Oceania part of EAO region: Australia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Samoa and Solomon Islands - all six countries of Oceania are highlighted by nice videoclips. Short videos are not anymore distributed by the DVD, but are available on the website of the Torino Mission Office: www.missionidonbosco.tv/en, also for download.
Today as in 1875, the Salesian Congregation is pursuing that desire of evangelization of peoples and for that reason it celebrates an annual Salesian Mission Day. In each of our EAO provinces there is an annual 'Mission Day or Mission Week or even Mission Month', according the school or liturgical year of each country is celebrated in February, May, October or November.
Next year of 2016 it focuses specifically on the situation of the Salesian mission in Oceania and the themes of Initial Proclamation and New Frontiers.
Salesian Mission Day is an important time for Missionary Animation in each Salesian community, youth group, school or parish as well in the Salesian Family. It is an opportunity to involve the Salesian community SDB and the Educative-Pastoral Community (EPC) in the dynamics of the universal Church, strengthening the missionary culture and widening the horizons of faith.
World Mission Sunday has been celebrated in the universal Church since 1926 and in the Salesian Congregation a concrete mission theme has been offered since 1988. Today, thanks to Salesian Mission Day, all the Salesian communities have the opportunity to learn about a specific missionary situation.
The goal of Salesian Mission Day is to stimulate Mission Animation by offering a proposal that can become an annual concrete project. It is meant to help the whole Salesian Family to get to know the missionary commitment of the Congregation, to open their eyes to new missionary realities, overcoming every temptation to withdraw within its own context and to remember the universal outreach of the Salesian charism.
In 1885 Don Bosco dreamed about the future of the Salesian Society in the boundless field of the missions. Don Bosco shared it on the evening of 2 July 1885. He saw a multitude of young people who lived in the islands of Oceania. They held out their hands, reaching out towards Don Bosco and the Salesians, saying: “Come help us! Why do you not do the work your fathers have begun?” Many of them stopped, others with huge effort passed through the wild animals and came to mingle with the Salesians, whom I did not know, and began to sing: “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
It is also the cry today of a multitude of young people from many islands of Oceania awaiting Don Bosco and his Salesians. It is also an invitation to Salesians to offer themselves generously as missionaries ad gentes for life and to promote the initial proclamation of Jesus in their own ‘periphery’ and in the new frontiers in Oceania.
Salesian Mission Day 2016 basic materials are available on the Boscolink (www.bosco.link/index.php?mid=resource&document_srl=8885 ) and six short videos will be soon available on the Torino Mission Office website. For those, who need more printed materials, contact the Mission sector in Rome: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The animation materials are available on the Boscolink: www.bosco.link/index.php?document_srl=8885&mid=resource