Sihanoukville, Cambodia, 25 May 2019 -- Two years after the successful EAO 2017 Regional Congress in Tokyo the leadership of the Salesian Cooperators in our EAO region gathered together at the Don Bosco Hotel School in Sihanoukville (Cambodia), convoked by the World Councillor for the EAO, Mr. Philip Yu (2014-2020). All 55 participants from 11 countries and 7 ASC provinces (China, Korea, Japan, Philippines North and South, Vietnam and Thailand, together with the PGS provincial delegate and large group of 7 Salesian Cooperators of Cambodia arrived in the afternoon of May 24.
The hosting Cambodia Delegation (Fr Roel Soto - Delegate) and hosting community of Sihanoukville (Fr Eugene Xalxo - Rector) with other Cambodia Salesians, Lay misison partners and Youth of Sihanoukville welcome the Workshop participants coming by air, by land from many directions. All participants are enjoying the hospitality of our Hotel School (Director Brother Martin Tai with the numerous staff and youth under the training).
First event was a great celebration of the Solemnity of Mary Help of Christians with the Eucharist and procession at 6 p.m. in the school chapel. The Mass celebrated by Fr Roel and preached both in Khmer and English by Fr Roel was participated in by our Don Bosco boarding students - boys and girls as well by all EAO workshop participants. The very warm and humid environment was a struggle but created a nice family spirit. The candlelight procession with the statue of Mary Help of Christians around the large DB school compound concluded with the burning of May resolutions and distribution of 'Messages from Mary'.
After a wonderful dinner in the Hotel, the first day concluded with Vespers and a Good Night from the Japan province participants, with a focus on Salesian family partnership between the religious and lay partners as the way to the future.
Second day (25 May, Saturday) began once more with the Eucharist and first morning working sessions. Mr. Philip Yu in his opening inspirational talk presented the main facilitator of the Workshop - the Holy Spirit! The 55 participants were encouraged to get the key to hearts where the Holy Spirit dwells - fraternal love and and listening spirit. Before the opening prayer the EAO Regional Councillor, Fr. Klement, presented the Workshop preparation process fruits - a booklet with 50 interviews from all EAO Salesian Cooperators provinces and the key to the Workshop: Listening spirit and Questions. 'No question, no Formation!"
In the two morning sessions progress in the 'For the Young' projec twas shared and reflected on in province groups. It is the fruit of the EAO 2017 Regional congress. Each participant was made responsible with the results of his/her insights posted at the central stage of the conference hall.
The Saturday afternoon is offering a chance of interaction with the DB Hotel school youth and staff as well a pilgrimage to the local Catholic parish of St. Michael in Sihanoukville.
Mary, Help of Christians, pray for us!