Don Bosco Mati, Mindanao, 3 November 2019 -- Interview with the most senior vocation promotor in the EAO region - Br. Tena. Among the 9 first year Aspirants at the Don Bosco College Aspirantate in Lawaan (Cebu-FIS) this school year are 9 newcomers - no less than 7 of them are from Don Bosco Mati - the result of the whole Salesian community witnessing and of patient, consistent and passionate vocation accompaniment by Br. Lamberto Tena. Brother Lamberto is still assisting the Don Bosco Mati (Mindanao) 300+ Trainees and Secondary High School students, is active teaching technical drawing and is the vocation animator. The Mati DB vocation group comes together every day for moments of sharing, prayer and simple guidance. Indeed an inspiring witness of an 80 years young Salesian Brother!
Many Salesian family members are impressed by your vocation ministry passion and consistent commitment. What keeps you working with the vocation ministry?
From the time I become Salesian in 1960 I already had an interest in looking for young people to become a Salesian to serve the Lord. And much more so when I was assigned to the Salesian Brother Aspirantate (Seminary) - Cebu as formator. In my 6 years at the Don Bosco Salesian Brothers Aspirantate a lot of boys joined both from Victorias, DBTI Cebu, and Manila and they reached a total of 70 Salesian Brother Aspirants. I truly love this vocation work.
How do you attract and accompany the DB Mati students on their vocation journey?
First, I must be a good Salesian, giving good example as a religious brother, a son of Don Bosco, someone who is kind, loving and generous.
Second, I talk to them, knowing their family and their interest in spirituality – and am consistent in being with them often, helping and guiding them.
What can you share with other Salesians about their personal and community contribution to the vocation ministry?
I just wish that all Salesians young and old would always be with the young entrusted to our care. Be with them always, if we want to have more vocations to the Salesians then be of service to them 24 hours a day, they need us.
Thanks to my Salesian community in Mati for being supportive to all my activities in this matter.
Concluding my simple sharing
I am happy as a Salesian Brother because I was given the opportunity to be assigned to the Oratory, the first work of Don Bosco working for poor boys. Teaching the elementary grades, Physical Education. Looking after boarding houses, being in the orphanage for abandoned youth, retreat houses. Lastly in the Training Center where I found happiness teaching for many years and found vocations from among them.