By Dr. Regio Sales, Bosconian
Bacolod, Philippines - The first of the Bicentenary fruits – dreams of the Rector Major – is about a ‘Happy Salesians and about happy Salesian Family members as the most important witnessing.
The Salesian Cooperators of China province ‘Happy Vocation movement’ (AustraLasia news n. 3567) launched last November 2014 this movement in line with ‘The Joy of The Gospel’ exhortation of Pope Francis. The badge of this movement was shared among all 400 Salesian Cooperators of Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.
Another similar Salesian family initiative of ‘Happy Bosconian’ was launched by Don Bosco Past Pupils (=Bosconians) in the Philippines South Province (FIS) of Cebu by Dr. Regio Sales:
“The Happy Bosconian initiative started three years ago (2012) when I was a parent coordinator in the Grade 7 class of my son at Don Bosco Technical Institute in Victorias, Negros Occidental, PH. Having heard the problems of the parents and teachers, I was compelled to study the basic teachings of St. John Bosco particularly the Preventive System of education. I also read up on works of his biographers like John Morrison to get more insight of his ideas, philosophy, and pedagogy.
Being a health scientist and clinician practicing Integrative Internal Medicine I have adopted a holistic view of health. And, with my scientific background and holistic perspective, I realized that what Don Bosco was advocating during the 19th century, as well as his pedagogy, are already being validated today by new discoveries in psychology, sociology, and the relatively new science of Positive Psychology. As an initial approach to understand the elements of good education under the Salesian system (St. John Bosco's Preventive System) I made a Mind Map of the ideal product of this educational system - the Happy Bosconian.
In the course of my search, I have come to realize two basic truths. First, is that all the work of Don Bosco was aimed at the salvation of souls (souls of the youth in his care and of his coworkers). Salvation was defined as "happiness on earth and eternal bliss in heaven." Secondly, the ideas and words of wisdom of Don Bosco are still very relevant today as they were in the nineteenth century, especially as they are currently being validated by the modern scientific studies particularly in the fields of Positive Psychology, Neuroscience, and Gender-specific education. Then I tried to envision what kind of person would Don Bosco like to produce is his school (or schools). This resulted in the idea or concept of the "Happy Bosconian".
After finishing the lectures for teachers, in order to strengthen the Happy Bosconian initiative's voice in addressing the needs of the parents and in seeking help from the alumni, a group of Bosconian parents, teachers, and alumni decided to form the Happy Bosconian Club on March 18, 2015. This club is initially composed of Don Bosco Alumni who are medical doctors, dentist, businessman and a parenting advocate. Another two parents of Bosconians; and four teacher-leaders of Don Bosco Victorias.”
Rector Major shares his 'Happy Salesian Dream': "Thinking about our origins never ceases to move me and confirms the strong conviction I have that putting God in the first place in our lives and keeping young people in our hearts, especially the poorest ones and those who have most need of us, we are marked out – I would almost say “deterministically” – for happiness as Salesians of Don Bosco..."