Young people around the world need
Seoul, November 1, 2018
Dear Friends and Salesian Family members,
A few days ago we followed the Fifth World Congress of the Salesian Cooperators in Rome (October 25-28), taking place at the same time as the final week of the 2018 Bishops Synod on ‘Youth – Faith – Vocation Discernment’. Over the last few years we have seen an overall growth of the Salesian Cooperator vocation in our Region, however there are still 5 EAO countries without any ASC members: Fiji, Laos, Pakistan, Myanmar and New Zealand. Yet the ‘rejuvenation process’ is clearly going on. World Congress ‘Dreams’ – Lines of Action 2019-2024 are promising: focusing on a credible and dynamic witness for effective help to vulnerable children and youth!
When our Father Don Bosco passed away (1888), there were about 800 SDB and 80,000 Salesian Cooperators, including many diocesan bishops and priests. In Fr Rua's time (1910) the number of Cooperators skyrocketed up to 400,000 members, mostly in Europe. During past 50 years with a large expansion of the Congregation in all continents and 134 countries, we can see that not all SDB or FMA missionaries were able to share this beautiful vocation with the lay and youth leaders. Today in the EAO region there are 2170 Salesian Cooperators out of a total of 30,000 members worldwide.
With the presence of the Rector Major – Good Night Talk and final Cultural night ‘Academy’, the theme ‘Salesian Cooperators: ‘Called to be co-responsible to respond to the new challenges’ was anchored in the wider universal Church vision of the Congress: ‘Young People around the world need the Salesian Cooperators… Where you are, you need to defend the young!’
Co-responsibility was visible concretely with the publication of the World Directory of the Association with the names of all 30,000 members, and the financial report of the World Council.
In the regional workshop during the World Congress the 20 EAO delegates discerned three goals for the next few years: (1) Formation of our own vocation; (2) Help the young with discernment toward the Salesian Cooperators vocation and (3) Family Education: Salesian Cooperators live out their identity to set the example for children in their own family.
At the end of the Congress the Rector Major also appointed a new World Coordinator 2019-2024, Mr Antonio Boccia (56 years of age, from Naples, Italy; since 2015 he has been the World Councillor for the Italy-Middle East region). We accompany Antonio in our prayers!
And World Congress materials are easily accessible:
Fr. Václav Klement, SDB
EAO Regional Councillor