By Ms. Rica Lavilla, ASC
Salesian Cooperator (Provincial Delegate PGS)
Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, 29 April 2019 -- I have been in Papua New Guinea for a total of eight (8) years. I first came here as a Salesian lay volunteer under the volunteer program of the Philippine North Province. I belong to first batch of lay volunteers to Don Bosco Lariau and Araimiri. I stayed there for three (3) years, from 2001 to 2004.
When I went back to the Philippines, I was offered a scholarship by the Salesian Commission on Youth Ministry - FIN and I earned my education units at Don Bosco Canlubang. I was studying and at the same time they asked me to teach also Values Education.
Right after I finish the course, I was offered by my parish priest to work as a full-time Pastoral Worker for the Youth, the position I held for eight years before coming back to PNG. Then I returned as a teacher here in Don Bosco Gabutu in 2015. This is my fifth year.
I was invited by Fr. Roger Miranda, SDB to join the formation for SC aspirants in 2016 and I made my promise in 2018.
What makes you happy as Salesian Cooperators’ Delegate?
Honestly, I am humbled and still in awe at this very moment. To be a Delegate for the Salesian Cooperators of PNG was not even in my wildest dreams. When Fr. Provincial approached and asked if I can help him by being his delegate at the beginning of this year, my first thought was “Am I worthy?”
After he explained to me the role that I will be taking up if ever I accept, I felt assured and at the same time HAPPY because I believe God is calling me once again to say YES to another mission.
And as regards to my answer to this question, WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY AS A SALESIAN COOPERATOR DELEGATE (even though it’s only been few months that I was appointed and I have yet to fully assume my duties that I hope will become more clearer to me when I attend the EAO Formation Workshop of the Salesian Cooperators) IS TO BE ABLE TO SHARE IN THE DREAM OF DON BOSCO FOR HIS BELOVED YOUNG PEOPLE through this association.
What helps you as Salesian Cooperators grow in your vocation?
The FORMATION and the APOSTOLATE helps me grow in my vocation as a Salesian Cooperator.
What are the major challenges in vocation growth of the Salesian Cooperators in PNG?
We are just starting here in Gabutu and the major challenge I think for us is how to sustain the existing group and how to make our group grow in number.
How do you prepare yourself as formator - delegate? What do you need (more) for your task?
I prepare myself through prayer and by reading some materials about the Salesian Cooperators.
What do I need for my task? Knowing what specifically the ROLE OF THE DELEGATE is.
What exchange among the EAO Salesian Cooperator provinces do you dream about?
I dream that there will be an exchange of resource materials, some guidelines to look into as models than we can later modify to adapt for our context.
What do you expect from the 2019 EAO Formation Workshop in Cambodia?
This will be my first time to attend. I would like to listen and learn from the experiences of others. I expect that when I return to PNG after the workshop I bring with me a formative and enriching experience that will help me fulfill my role as the Delegate for Salesian Cooperators for PNG.
How do you put in practice the four pillars of formation: Know – Know how to do? – Know how to be? – Know how to live in communion?
Through the witness of my daily life.