Paranaque, Pilippines, June 8 - The liturgical memorial of Blessed Stephen (Istvan) Sandor is celebrated on 8th of June – day of his martyrdom in 1953 (Budapest – Hungary). For the Paranaque based community for the specific formation of Salesian Brothers, living under the protection of Blessed Stephen Sandor, it’s a special day.
There are 12 Brothers for this school year (five perpetually professed and seven temporary professed) belonging to eight different provinces (FIS, FIN, ITM, THA, CIN, MYM, INM and VIE). Students of the Biennium (specific formation for Brothers) are originally from Vietnam (6), India (2), Indonesia (1), Timor Leste (1), Thailand (1) and Myanmar (1). Among them are also three missionaries ad gentes (Pakistan, Papua New Guinea – Solomon Islands and China-Hong Kong). During this school year they are studying English (newcomers), Biennium for Salesian Brothers, Master in Religious Studies, Bachelor in Theology. For the first time there are two brothers from South Asia region (India-Chennai province) still on arrival. Quite large family – Armando, Luyen, Saraphan, Hai, Bernardinus, Columban, Minh Tam, Thien, Hung, Khai, Vanathayian and Selladurai – together with their three formators.
For first year brothers will either take the English course first (if needed, as determined by their entrance exam) or the Biennium course. Fr. Rey Dela Cruz of DBCS is working to make the Biennium of the Brothers an MRS (Master in Religious Studies) Course.
Fr. Arnold Sanico (rector of Sandor Community) shares: “By the way, we shall be celebrating the feast of Blessed Stephen Sandor this Monday, June 8. This coincides with the opening Mass of the DBCS school year. Pray for us formators and Salesian Brothers, we might growth in Salesian vocation day by day.”
At the moment, there are only two communities around the Salesian Congregation for the specific formation of Brothers – one in Guatemala (Cresco) with 15 Brothers from all American provinces and the second one in Paranaque with 12 Brothers (Sandor).
Through the intercession of Blessed Stephen Sandor let’s pray for the attractive life witness of 2000 Salesian Brothers around the world and for new Salesian Brothers Vocation.