Interview with Fr Robert (Bobby) Roxas:
FIN provincial delegate to the Salesian Cooperators
Manila, the Philippines, 15 December 2018 -- Fr Bobby is the vice rector of the SDB formation community in Paranaque, and, since 2006, the FIN provincial delegate for the Salesian Family and for the Salesian Cooperators. Also his mother (like many SDB parents in the Philippines) is a senior Salesian Cooperator. Let's now hear what he has to say:
What makes you happy as the Salesian Cooperators Provincial Delegate?
I am happy as an ASC Delegate because I am given an opportunity to animate the Salesian Cooperators in their Salesian vocation. I am getting more convinced that they have the Salesian vocation but are living in the world, unlike us who are living within a Religious community.
What helps the Salesian Cooperator vocation and mission to grow?
I am stressing to them that we share in the mission given to Don Bosco to take care of the young people entrusted to our care. As Salesians they must be aware of their vocation as God’s Cooperators in saving the young. The Salesian Cooperators should also be signs and bearers of God’s love for the young.
What are the major challenges in vocation growth (personal and the centre)?
How to be conscious of their Salesian vocation in the midst of their secular life. How can they be true Salesians living in the world. They are living their ordinary life as a lay person but still need to be aware of their Salesian vocation. They are fighting the daily struggles in their life and they meet together only once a month. Maybe there should be more occasions to meet together in other activities aside from the formal meeting once a month.
What do you need for your task as Delegate and Formator of SDB Delegates and Salesian Cooperators?
First of all, a Salesian Delegate should be aware of the identity of the vocation of Salesian Cooperators. He must be convinced that the Cooperators are really part of the Salesian Family working for the salvation of the young. The Salesian Family or ASC Delegate should show interest in the activities of the ASC. Minimum is to attend the monthly meeting where he provides the Salesian element of their Christian formation. Attending their activities would show that the SF Delegate is really interested in them, in supporting their Salesian Vocation.
What exchange among the EAO Salesian Cooperators do you dream about?
I dream that one day our EAO Salesian Cooperators may be fully charged with that apostolic zeal for souls like the motto of Don Bosco: Da Mihi animas Cetera Tolle. I hope one day every Salesian Cooperator can be proud of their identity as true Salesians. We might be few in number of SDBs in a particular setting but we can be sure that there are other Salesians coming from the other SF Groups that are willing to work for the salvation of the young especially the poor and the marginalized.
What do you expect from the 2019 EAO Formators Workshop in Cambodia?
I expect that the 2019 Workshop will empower the participants to be capable and available in helping the formation of their fellow Cooperators. I hope this workshop will strengthen their love for their Salesian vocation so that they can share this with their fellow members. I hope they will learn the skill of making formation plans following the four pillars of formation. This workshop will help them to be true salesian cooperators in
How you put into practice the 4 pillars: Know? – Know how to do? – Know how to be? – Know how to live in communion?
Indeed this is a tall order. Information is not enough. We must be able to do it in practice always keeping in mind our identity as Salesians. And this we do in communion with our fellow Salesian Cooperators. We always consider their three aspects of Formation in forming them : as HUMAN, as CHRISTIAN and as a SALESIAN. This is something that I have to learn: how to integrate all the different aspects.