Vocation journey of VIDES member
Tokyo, Japan, 26 November 2018 -- In November 2018 the Salesian Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernandez Artime, visited Japan and made enlightening comments on Japan’s pastoral condition. His comments made me consider if I, as young Salesian Family member, was truly living the life of a lay apostle. My thoughts quickly moved to my own Salesian-influenced vocation.
VIDES - a Lesson in Pro-Active Life
In my primary school days I was under the care of the Salesian Sisters (FMA) and soon joined the VIDES International Volunteer group (www.vides.org) which gave me opportunities to participate in youth events in an international setting. It was there I learned the importance of moving out of one’s self and that being proactive was a necessary requirement for a church to become open to society.
Doing Charity by Doing Business
Building on this conviction later in my life I was taken with the concept of “Doing Charity by Doing Business”. In my university days this idea had particular resonance as I had to discern my future path. Would I lead a monastic life or enter into secular society? At this time I became acquainted with the work of a Japanese NGO- Seibo Japan (named after Our Lady) who provided school meals in Malawi, Africa.(cfr: www.seibojapan.or.jp).
The organization was built on the concept of “Doing Charity by Doing Business”. Inspired by the efforts of Mobal (UK-based Catholic owned telecom company: www.mobal.com/our-story) to me it exemplified Don Bosco’s “pro-active approach” in action.In Mobal’s commitment to use the majority of their business profits for charitable purposes I found my own vocation.
Sharing the Gospel in Japan can be challenging. The same applies to doing charity.
Don Bosco faced similar challenges yet through proactive actions could turn any space into an oratory. He believed the power of the Gospel could enable change in society. The Salesian spirit is similar in that it calls us to live our vocation in a pro-active way. Through VIDES and the life of Don Bosco I have found life guidance. I hope and pray as a member of the Salesian Family that I will continue my role in participation with the wider Don Bosco Family worldwide.
I’m personally glad to live a new call – vocation, being part of a social enterprise helping the poor children in Malawi, Africa. I"m happy to work with VIDES to make the spirit of Don Bosco more deeply rooted in Japanese context in the future.
NB: The Makoto Company rises to the challenge of putting nearly 90 ％ of its profit toward this African charity. (https://www.mobal.com/our-story) Makoto is involved in the NGO ‘Seibo’, founded in order to protect all human beings, especially children like Mary.