New Missionaries challenged by the Mercy of the Father
RMG - Rome, Italy | 11 September 2016 -
(Being the 11th of the month, we commemorate the First Missionary Expedition. We would like to share with you some updates of what is happening in the Orientation Course for New Missionaries)
The Members of the 147th Missionary Expedition for this year is blessed with an opportune moment to reflect upon the challenges of the Jubilee Year of Mercy. This could be the special ingredient of this group to the world. Topics for this year's orientation is injected with these themes which is vividly summarized in the celebration's icon and motto. Merciful Like the Father (from Luke 6:36), the motto, invites everyone to follow the Father's example not to judge or condemn. The clear action is to forgive and give love, and spread forgiveness without counting the cost. The invitation is to be like the Good Shepherd who concretely manifested the love of the Father to us, his children. In the logo, one can see Jesus sharing one eye with the man he is carrying. This captures God communicating himself in such a way that we are to see as He sees. Another invitation of the Year of Mercy to the missionaries is to have more time to pause and pray so that they may be able to listen to what God wants us to do to our brothers and sisters who are most in need of Mercy. When they receive the cross on 24 September from the Rector Major, they embrace the joys of being a missionary, but also the challenges and difficulties that is enclosed with it. Mary's advice to John Bosco to be "humble, steadfast and strong" is a clear way to take up the way to be merciful like the Father.
The Orientation for New Salesian Missionaries organized by the Missions Department has welcomed this year 18 confreres (2 Salesian Brothers, 3 priests, 13 cleric practical trainees) from the regions of South Asia (1), East-Asia Oceania (6), Africa (6), Europe (2) and the Americas (3).
The purpose of the course is to help the missionaries reflect upon his reasons for going to the missions and to equip them with the necessary tools to encounter a new people and imbibe the virtue of openness to situations and culture. The first series of activities and modules aimed at examining culture, its elements, how to encounter it and its importance to every missionary. Other topics that assist the missionaries are dialogue with secularism, techniques in learning a new culture, counter culture, culture shock and spiritual journaling among others. The program was designed to be process-oriented to help the participants reflect about their vocation, and later to formulate their Plan of Life for the Missions.
The course is not yet on its half way. We will update you in the coming days. Please continue praying for all of them!
(EAO Missionaries from VIE, FIN and ITM)
The pictures below gives us a glimpse of the activities during the past 10 days of the course.
1. Modular Sessions and Conferences: Culture, Secularism, Communication etc.
3. Pilgrimage: Tracing the footsteps of St. Paul
4. Canonization of St. Mother Teresa of Kolkata, a model missionary
5. Visit to the Office of Salesian Sanctity: Missionaries Challenged
7. Work and Games together, building the community
8. Cultural Night with the Rector Major
9. Pilgrimage to the Door of Mercy at Caritas-Roma