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By Br Joseph Tien

Dalat, Vietnam,, 12 June 2020 -- An example of the mission group from Vietnam:

How did you join the missionary group in the postnovitiate?

I took part in the missionary group from the first year in our post novitiate. I was invited by the group leader. Usually we participate in this group for the whole period of 3 years in this formation house.

What brings the missionary group to your personal life?

I am just one of the Dalat missionary group members in. Together with the other group members to join in this group good actions helps me remember better the call of God. However, I always pray the Rosary with Mary, our Mother and She usually helps me when I commit a mistake or face difficulties in my life.

What are the main activities and fruits of the missionary group?

My main expectation and fruit in the missionary group is to become a good model, in life and service to the young people and to our Salesian community. Besides, we learn always how to be ready in helping others and do daily some small manual works in the house (e.g. with our common sense for the community service in the maintenance and running of the house, like giving water to the trees or repairing some tools, machines).

How do you celebrate the 11th of the month as missionary day in Don Rua community?

On the 11th of each month, we have a special mission prayer in chapel, where our mission group members prepare a suitable decoration for the prayer. We pray to the Holy Spirit with songs and listen to the Gospel and one of our missionary group shares on the Gospel. Sometimes we watch a good missionary video sent by Vietnamese missionaries (e.g. recently from Nigeria based missionary). Then follows a short time for silent prayer. Before the conclusion there is an intercession prayer for the Universal (Catholic) Church, for the Congregation, for the missionaries all over the world and other needs. At times also the Rector address the community before his final blessing.

How often meet do the missionary group members meet?

Every second Sunday of the month, we have a short group meeting to exchange about our next month activity planning. We decide together about the ‘Cagliero11’ bulletin board news, testimonies and focus for the next month, with some missionary letters and sharing or missionary photos. And we also distribute the responsibilities for the next 11th of the month prayer service in the community. These meetings are always assisted also by Fr. Rector.

And now four members of your group applied for the mission ad gentes?

Yes, this group is also helpful in our missionary vocation discernment, when we know better about the realities of missionary life from the communications of our Vietnamese missionaries and through videos or reading. Since our English language capability is not good enough, after our postnovitiate graduation and traditional tour around Salesian communities we have an intense English course. Other postnovices will spend a good two month in apostolic communities both in the North and in the South of our country.

Do you have any questions?

Yes, myself and our missionary group members would like to receive more orientation and advice from our Mission Councilor and his team. We are keen to receive good suggestions to improve the group direction and impact on the missionary spirit!

NB: Most of the 120+ Vietnamese missionaries were sent for the missions immediately after the graduation from Dalat Philosophate - Postnovitiate. The missionary group is an important point of reference for all young Salesians who are discerning their missionary vocation ad gentes.

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