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SF Day in Dili

By Fr. Mario do Rosario
Delegate for the Salesian Family

Comoro, Dili, Timor Leste, 18 October 2019 -- On the occasion of the animation visit by Sr Maria Luisa Miranda (FMA General Councillor for the SF) and by Fr Vaclav Klement (SDB General Councillor for the EAO region) the almost 100 members of the TLS Salesian Family came together in Dili, Comoro (FMA compound: Center of St John Paul II, Friday - 18 October). Thanks to the extraordinary missionary month and incoming 30th anniversary of the visit of St John Paul II to Timor Leste (October 1989-2019) the 6 groups of the Salesian Family (SDB, FMA, Salesian Cooperators, ADMA, Alumni of DB and Alumni of Mary Help of Christians) were focused on a joint mission reflection.

After the well-animated morning Eucharist celebrated by Fr Apolinario Neto (SDB provincial) in the DB Centec chapel, all participants moved to the nearby FMA compound for their snacks and family greetings. Fr Abilio (MC) and both provincial delegates for the SF were animating the formation morning. Two guest speakers focused on the missionary spirit of the Church in the times of Pope Francis - to reach out from the comfort zone to the people in need.

Sister Maria Louisa listed the priorities of Salesian holiness today - that should be the answer to the needs of suffering humanity with the respect of each human person dignity: Outgoing Church of today is the only way to be a holy Church! The participants were especially deeply touched by the strong focus on family ministry. With Pope Francis we remembered that 'Nobody builds the future alone!' Her talk was translated by Sr.Alma Castagno (FMA provincial Indonesia-Timor Leste)

Fr Klement started his sharing from the Salesian Mission Day 2019 introduction video (Focus on Salesian mission for the refugees in Africa). Then with the ready Tetum translation of the 3 steps 'missionary discernment' for the whole missionary action of the whole Salesian Family: Listening to the missionary vision of Pope Francis - Interpret the personal and group missionary commitment and search for a concrete missionary commitment. The 13 Timorese missionaries ad gentes were also remembered (SDB - Frs Natalino, Enio and Brigildo in America; Cl. Cirilo in Europe; Fr. Adolfo and Br. Eligio and Crispim in Africa, Frs Mario Gaspar and Ambrosio in Asia; FMA - 3 Sisters in Southern Africa and Brasil). The talk was translated by Fr Mario do Rosario (TLS delegate for the Salesian Family and EAO coordinator for the SF).

Before the wonderful family lunch there was a time of open sharing, appreciation of concrete missionary action:

  • Most of the SF lay groups shared their personal and group action for their families, vulnerable youth around their parishes (food ministry)
  • Different kind of missionary 'mobile' prayer with the statutes of Don Bosco or Mary Help of Christians travelling around the families (from house to house, with Bible sharing and Rosary prayers), prayers for the (Timorese) missionaries ad gentes and new missionary vocation
  • Reaching out to Dili prisoners as ADMA or Alumni group action
  • Consistent logistic support of the Sunday oratories in the chapels with the transportation of the young.

At the end of the sharing some concrete possible actions as the whole Salesian family emerged:

  • Discern one simple concrete project for the youth at risk in Dili (like the possible care about the 'martial arts youth groups' driving other out from the Church)
  • Make more alive the communication between all groups of the Salesian Family through the Salesian Bulletin (only 300 copies now) and possible SF Facebook
  • Plan more systematic joint formation of the Salesian Family (February 25 - Feast of St. Callisto Caravario - Patron of TLS province)

We hope the missionary fire of the young Church in Timor Leste will bring numerous benefits, including through the joint commitment of the Salesian Family!

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