There is no better way than thanksgiving
EAO, 31 December 2019 -- There is a good tradition to end the calendar year with a good time of thanksgiving, for many also with a longer Eucharistic adoration on the last evening of December 31st. Indeed each of the past 365 days was a time of grace for each Salesian in the EAO region. Probably the most graceful events were the two visits of Pope Francis to Thailand and Japan (Nov 20-26), with a good involvement of Salesian Family members in both countries.
First of all we express our thanksgiving for the most visible signs of growth in our 12 provinces:
- Last year we were blessed with two new provincials who began their ministry - Fr. Tim Choi in March (KOR) and Fr. Gerry Martin in June (FIN). Also last September another new Delegation in the north of Vietnam was inaugurated (first Delegate-Superior Fr. Thomas Aquinas Tuan)
- The Rector Major, Fr Angel Fernandez Artime, visited the last of 12 provinces - China (Macau, Taiwan and Hong Kong) in August and all other sector councilors dedicated their precious time to animation of our regional meetings (Br Jean Paul with provincial economers in PNG; Fr. Ivo with formation delegates in Hong Kong and with the EAO provincials in Seoul; Fr. Fabio with youth ministry delegates in Timor Leste and with the EAO provincials in Seoul), Fr. Filiberto with SC delegates in Hong Kong and Fr. Guillermo with Mission Animation delegates in Dili). Also good numbers of our 23 countries were visited by one or more sector councillors for a brief animation visit (Samoa, Fiji, Australia, Timor Leste, Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam) or for spiritual retreat (Vietnam).
- Our region produced three quite meaningful publications in 2019 : 'The 7th EAO Salesian Brothers Congress' (1000 copies by DB Press, Manila), The Handbook of the Salesian Translators (300 copies, Seoul, DB Media) and The Salesian Dictionary (300 copies). The latter two books as fruit of the 2nd EAO Translators Workshop.
We give thanks too for many 'FIRSTs' within our Region
- The first ever EAO regional workshop for the Vice-provincials (Religious discipline) was held in Vietnam last October
- The first ever EAO formation of formators (Association of Salesian Cooperators) was held in Sihanoukville, Cambodia last May
- The first cycle (3 years) of EAO Salesianity formation (SDB with Lay people, SF members) concluded in Batulao, Philippines, last May
We might give thanks for all the signs of charismatic growth in our EAO province during last year, like the revival of the Youth Ministry in FIN province, the blessing of the Study Center (Philosophy-Education) in Dili, TImor Leste (TLS), the Blessed Stephen Sandor community life in their new building since last December, opening of new works and communities in Korea (Busan, Gwangju and Jeju).
But most of all we are grateful for the continuous blessing of our Congregation with new vocations, for all senior Salesians who support the mission with their prayers and offering of their sickness, for all Salesians who passed away during this year 2019. We give thanks also for all 1500 Salesians and novices spread across our 23 countries, for all missionaries ad gentes - those who were sent out or those who are coming to our Region. We also remember with a grateful heart thousands of our benefactors without whom our mission would be impossible!
During the last few hours of 2019, let's give thanks from the bottom of our hearts for the Hand of God that guides, protects and sustains us day by day!
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