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Signs of growth in Asia

By Our Own Correspondent

Manila, Philippines, 13 December 2018 -- During the recent animation visit to FIN province in Manila, the EAO Regional Councillor had an opportunity to meet three members of the first and so far, the only CDB (Con Don Bosco = With Don Bosco) Salesian secular institute in Asia. Their vocation journey began 4 years ago, and last October 2015 the Manila group was officially established by the CDB World Coordinator. Four young adults, all of them Bosconians (Alumni of Don Bosco) and between 20-40 years of age, are assisted monthly by Fr Eli Cruz, their Ecclesiastical Assistant, during their monthly recollection and formation encounter.

On their vocation journey, exploring the 'secular Salesian consecration' they appreciate most that: "I'm equipped with the Salesian spirituality for my daily life, not just spiritual, but also down-to-earth. Now I know better how to deal with my coworkers. Until now we have been reading the Constitutions, asking questions of the other CDB leaders online (one of them is in Mexico, another in Italy) and we are slowly introduced also to the practical ways of CDB administration.

Looking forward to the growth of their vocation, they dream about a pilgrimage to Rome in 2019, since the CDB Institute will be celebrating it's 25th anniversary next year (12 September 2019).

Among their challenges: "We still need to understand the Constitutions better, learn how to grasp the basics of living the lay consecration - with its vows of chastity, poverty and obedience - in secular life. We share our own personal experience with other CDBs and ask them."

Their working places are very different: "For me maybe there is no difficulty, since I am working as a teacher in the school, where I can apply the preventive system of Don Bosco with the youth." Another is working in the world of finance: "After a long time struggling to find my vocation, I am now at peace with God for the rest of my life, doing 'missionary work' in the secular environment." Some are looking after their elderly parents and all of the CDB aspirants are trying to be holy in their family, in their office or in their parish.

The first CDB group in Asia is full of energy and excitement, wanting to lay down a solid foundation for their group, looking for more effective and regular ways of personal and group spiritual accompaniment, gathering all possible formation materials for the Salesian consecrated secular life (including VDB documents). They have also begun to write up their own 'chronicles'.

Like Jesus in Nazareth, this humble secular consecrated call is slowly putting down roots in Asian soil. Let us pray for possible new members in other EAO countries!

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