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By Cl. Francis Mallol, SDB

Port Moresby, PNG, 28 September 2020 -- From Wednesday to Friday, 23-25 September 2020, the practical trainees of Blessed Philip Rinaldi Vice-Province gathered together for their seminar at the Provincial House. The Seminar was animated by the Provincial delegate for formation Fr. Pedro Sachitula, SDB.

The Vice provincial of PGS, Fr. Dominic Kachira, SDB welcomed the practical trainees and assured them of his prayers for the seminar. Fr. Gregorio Bicomong, SDB the Provincial Superior of the PGS sent a written message to the practical trainees, which was read before the first session.

The first session was about the educative and pastoral experience of the practical training (letter of Fr. Ivo Coelho, SDB Councilor for Formation). This letter underscored the need to develop a discerning and learning attitude in the midst of numerous activities set before the practical trainees. The second session focused on Salesian assistance. An extract from GC28 Post-Chapter Reflection - “Salesian Sacrament of presence” was studied. The third session was about accompaniment. Based on the new document from the departments of formation and youth ministry – Young Salesians and Accompaniment. Special attention was given to the three key Salesian ways of accompaniment: the Rector of the community, the confessor and the spiritual guide.

In the light of the documents presented during the sessions, the practical trainees openly shared the struggles and challenges they encounter in their respective missions and how they can be help to improve or live meaningfully their Salesian vocation. The sharing helped each one of them to grow in their Salesian Assistance among those whom they are entrusted. One’s strength can be other’s weakness and one’s weakness can be others strength, there for one needs to discover his strength in his weakest point in life to grow.

The reason of the seminar is all about accompaniment of the young confreres. And this is very true for those in the initial formation: When there is good accompaniment, and when the young confrere feels understood and affirmed, he grows and profits from the experience, even when it is very challenging and demanding. Accompaniment of experienced confreres clarifies and reinforces his motivations and the right intention, which is the basic energy behind the Salesian vocational journey and opens the confreres to new opportunities for growth and the flowering of his inner potential.

The concluding Eucharist was celebrated by the delegate for Mission Fr. Joseph Than, SDB. In his homily he told the brothers; “you are the assistants of our houses, but you also need to be assisted in order to grow in your Salesian life”. He challenge the brothers to find their strength before the blessed Sacrament, he said, “when there is no more strength and you feel empty you need to gain back your strength before the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, make the chapel your favourite place to draw your courage”

In the concluding part of the seminar Fr. Pedro, distributed an evaluation sheet to be given back to him and encouraged the practical trainees to revisit their plan of life and to integrate some points discussed during the sessions in their plan of life, which will help each one to grow in their Salesian life. The seminar was concluded with an outing outside of Port Moresby, at Cristal Rapids, a day off for the brothers to relax, refresh and rejuvenate before going back to their communities.




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