Deep sharing and discernment for the future of the Salesian Charism
By Fr. Michael Lap
Chofu, Japan, 1 December 2019 -- Just a few hours after the memorable apostolic visit of Pope Francis (23-26 November) we welcomed our EAO Regional Councilor at Narita airport for his last animation visit within our Region in 2019. Four full days of this visit were carefully planned and helped Fr Klement to get in touch with the changing realities of our provincial community once more. Fr. Vaclav was based this time in Chofu Formation community, praying and sharing his Good night talks with the young Salesians, candidates and vocation prospecst. For us it was a good chance to get in touch with the wider worldwide reality of the Salesian Congregation.
First day for the visit to the Salesian Family - provincial house of Caritas Sisters of Jesus in Suginami (Tokyo) and provincial house of FMA Sisters in Chofu (Tokyo). Accompanied by the Provincial, Fr. Jacob Hamaguchi and his Vicar, Fr. Michael Lap, our Regional Councillor had ample time to understand the impact of Pope Francis' visit on the Japanese Catholic community and on civil society. All three religious Congregations of the Salesian Family are making progress in the systematic formation of their lay mission partners.
Second day was dedicated in the morning to visiting Tokyo - Kodaira (Salesian Boys Home and Salesian Primary and High school), with a longer interaction with the Salesians and leadership of both works. In the afternoon followed the visit to Salesian Polytechnic in Machida City - a quality time was spent in deeper dialogue with Fr Kojima (principal of the school) and his leadership team.
Last two days of our province animation visit our Regional spent with the rectors and provincial councillors in the Salesio Gakuin (Yokohama) - High school (Rector: Fr. Torigoe). Both meetings of the provincial council and the rectors began with Salesian Lectio Divina, based on the Scripture and Salesian Constitutions. Traditionally, this is one of the three Rector meetings during the year before the Advent season.
The province leadership tackled a wide range of issues: from Salesian Brother vocation, Reshaping or Salesian presences, Child Protection Guidelines, DB Green Alliance, Finance and sustainability of our Mission, Lay mission partners formation, Commitment to Vietnamese Migrant Workers in Japan, Youth ministry survey about our daily time spent with the young, up to the Strenna 2020 Poster. As usual, our rectors meeting (overnight experience) was a good opportunity for fraternal sharing, prayer for each other, Gospel magic from Fr Mickey and ongoing discernment about vocation culture and Salesian Mission.