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By Fr. Donnie Duchin Duya, SDB
Fr. Trung Hoan Phan, SDB
and Fr. Ambrose Pereira, SDB

       EAO, Via Zoom, 15 September 2021--The Social Communication (SC) Department kicked off its School of Formation in East Asia and Oceania Region (EAO) with more than 60 SC delegates, Salesians of Don Bosco, Lay and young people as participants. The nearly 3-hour session was held on 15 September at 3.00pm PNG time. (7am Rome time - 1pm Manila / 3pm Papua New Guinea).

       No less than SC General Councillor Fr. Gildásio Mendes, SDB delivered a lively and energetic presentation. It was entitled, ‘The Biblical Dimension of Communication’ and is the first in a series of five sessions to be delivered during the rest of the year. The interactive session generated open interaction and led the participants to reflect and share their experiences and insights from their respective contexts.

       Deepening the knowledge of the dynamics of the digital environment, living communication in an evangelical and synodal way and utilizing the ‘grammar’ of symbols, sounds, texts and images are targets of the program.

       The session highlighted the need to engage our young people in an effective understanding of Scripture through the engagement of the senses, symbols, images, and emotion. “Communicate your thoughts and ideas, through rituals, culture and symbols for this is our human Eco system”, said Fr Gildásio.

       Highlighting stories, parables and miracles, the participants were led to reflect on how they can lead young people to a reflective appreciation of God’s Word, evangelization and inculturalization. “Our Blessed Mother and Don Bosco are persons on who we can model our style of Evangelization”, Gildásio stressed.

       The newly-minted EAO SC Coordinator Fr. Ambrose Pereira, SDB welcomed the participants to the inaugural session of the School of Formation and facilitated the discussion.

       Fr. Gregorio Bicomong, SDB, PGS Provincial, attended the workshop and stayed throughout the session which had participants across eight different time zones in the East Asia Oceania Region.

       In his welcome address, Fr. Gildásio thanked Fr. Joseph Phuoc, EAO Regional Superior for his steadfast commitment and formidable support to the School of Formation. He also acknowledged the late Fr. Peter Chính, SDB, past EAO SC Coordinator, for his work for the mission, and Fr. Ambrose, for agreeing to carry the baton. Fr Gildásio expressed his satisfaction for the preparation, presence, and participation at the program. He invited the participants to consecrate the School of Formation to the maternal intercession of Mary Help of Christians, today (15th September) being the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows.

       Participants from the different countries were Pakistan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Philippines, East Timor, Myanmar, Mongolia, Japan, Korea, Australia and Solomon Islands. The two-year program will conclude at Valdocco in 2024.















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