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VDB Mission in the World of Today (AG8)

By Our Own Correspondent

Frascati, Italy, 23 July 2019 -- The 8th General Assembly (every 6 years with delegates from all VDB regions around the world) opened on 18 July at Frascati, in the John XXIII Centre. The World Moderator, Olga K, shared before the official declaration of the AG8 opening: "Our mission today is to live with responsibility and integrity for God and for the world. We are called to participate in the construction of the new civilization of love. It is definitely not a time to be self-centred. It is Jesus who knocks on our hearts through every person in need. Jesus does not seek words, but transformed people, able to hear the cry of the world. It is only when linked to Jesus that we are able to hear this cry and respond."

The AG8 aims at discerning more deeply the vision for the VDB Mission in the world of today 'The World is Knocking at your Heart!' Based on the working document the secular consecrated Salesian women gathered from 4 continents (VDB are not yet present in the Oceania - Pacific!) focus until next Thursday (25 July) on the main theme of the world level meeting.

Through the large diversity of cultures, languages, colours it is easy to grasp the global spread of the largest secular institute in the Catholic Church. Each day one of the SDB General Councillors is invited to presideat their Eucharist, but Fr. Joan Lluis Playa (VDB Central Ecclesiastical Assistant) with another three Regional Assistants and translators (Brazil, Korea and Thailand) are the only SDBs permanently present.

Visiting the GA-8 venue, The John XXIII Centre, everybody is immediately touched by the rich 'home-made decorations' shared with the art production related to the theme 'Give me Water' with ceramics. The world map decoration is another striking item - probably to make feel everybody at home and also to highlight that still many 'SDB countries' are without any VDB presence.

Looking at the VDB 2019 updated statistics, one is immediately caught by the geographical changes in vocations. The 27 VDB Regionsare made up of some 127 local Groups, most of them spread around Europe and Latin America. There is a large number of 69 VDB directly depending on the 'Central Council': 4 in Asia (Turkey, Lebanon, Indonesia, Timor Leste), 51 in Africa and 8 in North America (USA, Canada). Within East Asia - Oceania region there are four VDB Regions: FILA - Philippines (46 VDB), KOR (Korea - 23 VDB), VIE (Vietnam - 29 VDB), THA-India-Cambodia (24 VDB), CIG (China and Japan, 35 VDB).

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