Seoul, South Korea, 28 April 2023 -- Six years after the previous EAO regional congress in Tokyo (May 2017) each of the 8 Salesian ASC provinces in the East Asia - Oceania Region is preparing for the upcoming Hong Kong Congress. Beside the election of the new World Councillor for the East Asia-Oceania Region, each province will report on the life, vocation, formation and mission of their members.
Statistics speak loudly: At present the Korea province has 29 local centres and another 4 'in the making' (to be soon officially established) with 704 promised members and 96 aspirants (3 years period). However among these 800 are 264 non-active members, most of them non-active for more than 5 years or can't be reached.
The EAO 'For the Young' Project launched in 2017 Congress brings growth to the 'Salesith' (Salesio+Youth) young cooperators team, that was launched in 2015 by the sons and daughters of parent's cooperators. Now there are 5 promised and 3 aspirants, accompanied by senior members.
'With the Young' - the variety of ASC mission is focused on youth in conflict with the law and juvenile prisoners volunteer service, SDB and FMA group homes or two Oratories in Gwangju and Seoul. Mass celebration, recreation and counselling activities are part of this apostolate. Another mission field was developed with 'MOM's Food' for youth lacking daily food, 'Fish Bread Day' of senior ASC serving the young of group homes.
'Laudato Si' activities with the 'Don Bosco Green Alliance' network motivations has brought multiple fruits (since 2020) and interaction through the EAO ECO team (since 2021): Most of the members have read the whole 'Laudato Si' encyclical twice and spread it through daily SMS messages over 24 months. A specific 'Ecology Spirituality corner' has been established on the ASC-KOREA site, with 14 video lectures or other Catholic church LS formation events; until now the ASC has submitted 4 items for the EAO Eco Art Festival (ongoing until October 2023). Two former ASC provincial coordinators are active in thecCatholic Church Climate movement (Mr Ivo Choi and Mr Celestino Yoon) at a national level (Korea Climate movement and Friends of Heaven, Earth and Water').
Since last 2017 Congress the Korea province has grown in its communication culture. On 15 Aug. 2019 the provincial website was launched ( http;//www.cooperator.co.kr) as a powerful tool of internal and external communication. Each semester a hard copy of 'Salesian Cooperators Bulletin (32 pages) is published and a digital newsletter is issued monthly. Also the Korean translation of the 'Project of Apostolic Life' official commentary (ed. 2015) is being published in 2023.
Most of the ASC KOR provincial council energies are focused on the formation of their members and aspirants (3 years course) by running a 'Formation School' (Seoul and Gwangju) made up of lectures, life experience sharing and field trips. In the first semester of 2023 39 new aspirants enrolled and in 2022 23 aspirants committed with their promise to live the Salesian vocation. 54 video formation talks have been made available on the KOR-ASC YouTube channel since 2013.
We give thanks for this encouraging report from Korea and eagerly wait other EAO provinces (China, Japan, Philippines North, Philippines South, Thailand-Cambodia, Timor Leste and Vietnam) as well as Pakistan, Mongolia, Pacific (Samoa), Australia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.