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EAO Salesian Cooperators Workshop (IV)

By Mr. Dominic Pornsawath, ASC
THA Provincial Coordinator and Organizing team

Sihanoukville, Cambodia, 27 May 2019 -- On the last day of the First EAO Salesian Cooperators Formation Workshop in Cambodia, Sihanoukville, the respective EAO provinces finalized their Dream (Action Plan) about inspiring formation in the future (May 27).

According to some participants it was atruly overhelming experience of family spirit, inspiration, new awareness, connecting between the Salesian Cooperators coming together from 11 different countries.

Among the highlights of the 4 day dynamic experience were some very practical learning experiences:

  • Economic solidarity in action: during the Sunday Mass collection the participants were able to collect 1100 USD to cover the participation fee for some members coming from developing countries
  • 50 interviews delivered online (Boscolink) before the Workshop were analyzed by Ms. Flora May Figuracion (FIS) and shared during her excellent talk based also on her personal experience with EAO Salesianity Formation (Manila 2017-2019)
  • Three young participants: Teresa (26, Korea), John (30, Hong Kong-China) and Teresa (32, Vietnam) shared their insights on how to rejuvenate the Association especially through an extensive listening to the young people and connection to the SYM (Salesian Youth Movement)
  • Many good formation practices were shared in detail (Formation school, ongoing formation and provincial system of ASC social communication - Korea), 24 modules made according the new ASC Formation guidelines in the Philippines North) and creative, dynamic methodology of formation sessions (music, meditation, group dynamics - Thailand, by Fr. Peter Niphon and Mr. Dominic Pornsawath).

The future 'Dreams' about formation in each province were shared on the Day 3 (May 26), summarized by Fr. Suphot (THA - EAO regional delegate ASC) and digested and clarified during focused reflection on Day 4 (May 27) with the moderation of the EAO Regional Councilor, Fr. Klement. Four emerging 'RESOLUTION - ACTION PLAN POINTS' strike with their simplicity and convergence: VOCATION + FORMATION + MISSION + COMMUNICATION!

  1. VOCATION: the need for young Salesian Cooperators is strong in each province: need to listen and accompany the youth, to know their needs and their points of (vocation) attraction
  2. FORMATION: Formation team at province level (reflection, translations, formation of formators and production of common formation modules and programs; New formators need, Formation of the Salesian cooperators to the basics of social communication (SNS, website or FB administration)
  3. SOCIAL COMMUNICATION: Province level website (so far only CIN-FIN-KOR) or province official FB pages, foster effective internal communication among the centers (province) and external communication (for the young, Salesian Family members).
  4. MISSION: Family ministry (today we can't imagine youth ministry without family involvement) and working for the margninalized and poor youth people (who are saving the Salesian Cooperators!)

Before the departure, Mr. Philip Yu shared his heartfelt thanksgiving with hosts, Cambodia SDBs and Salesian Cooperators, THA provincial coordinator and SDB provincial delegate as well with everyone who contributed in many ways to the success and fruits of this first EAO Formators Workshop in our EAO Region.

As a matter of fact, there are 350 SDB and FMA religious communities but only 126 Local Salesian Cooperator Centres in the whole EAO region (2500 ASC members with promise and few more hundreds of Aspirant). Fr. Klement invited everyone to pray that the remaining 226 SDB and FMA communities may be able to start their own Salesian Cooperators centre in the near future.

Last but not the least, the Vietnamese participants invited everyone to pray for the preparation of the next EAO Regional (elective) Congress, to be held in Vietnam in July 23-26, 2020 near Ho Chi Minh City.

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