Fifth ASC World Congress - new vision, new World Coordinator
By Mr. Thomas Aquinas Lee
Provincial Councilor ASC, Korea
Rome, Italy, 28 October 2018 -- The past four short days of the Fifth World Congress of the Association of the Salesian Cooperators (October 25-28) in Rome have been a time of hard work, sharing, discernment and looking to the future.
First of all we were happy to give thanks for the outgoing World Coordinator, Ms Noemi Bertola (2014-2018) and welcome the newly appointed World Coordinator, Mr Antonio Boccia (2019-2024) who since 2015 has been the World Councillor for the Italy-Middle East Region (56 years of age, from Naples, Italy). In his first address the new World Coordinator requested we work on the personal and institutional visibility of the Salesian Cooperators in the Church and in society.
There were 3 key inputs: the World Coordinator (Ms Noemi), the World Delegate SDB (Fr Casti) and the World Administrator - financial solidarity report and animation (Ms Cinzia). Each delegate received an updated World Directory with the 30,000 names of all members.
Through the group - regional workshops the Congress delegates discerned and approved by vote the Lines of Action and Dream of the ASC for the next 6 years 2019-2024, along with the following scheme in synergy with the 2018 Synod of Bishops Final document:
- Challenge: Vulnerable and marginalized youth & family crisis
- Dream: To become credible witnesses
- Factors: Communion, Fraternity, Mission - Vocation proposal for the young - Integral Formation with the Salesian Family - Autonomy: to growth in shared responsiblity
- Values: Charismatic fidelity, family spirit, sense of belonging and commitment
- Processes of conversion
- Foster a deeper spirituality to know the young through the listening and accompaniment
- Internalise the PAL (Project of Apostolic Life) in the light of the Gospel light for ongoing discernment of our life and mission
- Become a point (community) of reference for outreach toward youth in need
- Leave our comfort zone to be credible and dynamic witnesses toward youth in need
In the regional workshop during the World Congress the 20 EAO delegates discerned three specific goals for the next few years: (1) Formation of our own vocation; (2) Help the young with discernment toward the Salesian Cooperators vocation and (3) Family Education: Salesian Cooperators live out identity to set the example for children in their own family.
The entire event was very well communicated through live streaming day by day, with key parts in simultaneous translation in 5 languages: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnpeXZeOe42YWA2nHiiTvaA: [ 5° Congresso Mondiale Salesiani Cooperatori ]
Three Korean delegates at the World Congress share their immediate insights:
'Facing the challenges within our province we never think about world-wide solidarity and try to find our 'home-made solution'. In the World Congress we felt a very strong solidarity and deep sense of belonging among the 340 delegates. In this context we were able to point to some concrete lines of action for our Korea province. In a special way we will try to focus on the 2018 Synod and Pope Francis' teaching in order to transform the mind and heart of our members in Korea through formation of formators among our Cooperators' (Mr Ivo Choi, provincial coordinator).
'I was deeply touched by the strong sense of communion and unity among the Salesian Cooperators, we strongly felt the same spirit. When I return to Korea I will be more faithful to the Salesian spirituality and mission for the young people!' (Mr Thomas Lee, provincial councillor)
'First of all, I experienced the deep faith and devotion of the Salesian Cooperators from all five continents. I wish that the whole Salesian Family will be more united in prayer to make the dreams of Don Bosco come true. Although the language, culture or nationality is different, we deeply felt our unity in the same vocation as Salesian Cooperators. I pledge to be more committed to the spiritual and formation accompaniment of our Salesian Cooperators in Korea. In these days with our Provincial Coordinator we worked out a plan for accompaniment in initial and ongoing formation." (Fr. John Chong, Provincial delegate SDB)