By P. Noel, SDB
Jakarta, Indonesia, 28 May 2022 -- The Vice-Province of Indonesia has received a wonderful "gift" from Mary Help of Christians as 21 Salesian Cooperators of the Jakarta Centre renewed their Apostolic Promise on 27 May, Solemnity of Our Lord's Ascension into Heaven. Taking advantage of the National holiday, (yes, the Ascension of Isa Al Masih is observed as a holiday in this country which has the largest Islamic population in the world), the Salesian Cooperators convened for a half-day gathering to listen to the conference of INA Provincial, Fr Andrew Wong, and renewed their promises during the Mass. Departing from two conference-themes suggested by the Cooperators themselves, Fr Wong reminded them of the role of Mary Help of Christians as the special guide of the Salesian Family and that they have been entrusted to her by Don Bosco "so that they might receive protection and inspiration in their mission" (PAL 20). The second theme was on the "difference" between one who is a full-fledged Salesian Cooperator and an ordinary Christian who is actively involved in his/her Parish. At this point Fr Wong referred to the "four points" that they would declare in their renewal of Apostlic Promise as stipulated in PAL 32. Indeed it's THAT vocational identity and generous commitment that makes them "different" from non-Salesian Cooperator christians! Fr Wong then gave them some time for personal recollection to ponder and interiorise the essential points of his conference. This was followed by small group-sharing where each one had the opportunity to share how they try in their daily life to concretize their apostolic commitment in the family and the community.
As the group was quite complete, 21 members present (5 begged off for some personal reasons, and they will also renew their promise at some other convenient time), the Salesian Delegate Fr Noel took the opportunity to conduct a "snap elections" to determine the new coordinator to take the place of Mr Jimmy Wijaya. With an absolute majority the lot fell on Ms Olivia Ernie Djohan, an active and very capable member from the second batch of Jakarta Salesian Cooperators. The group then proceeded to the seminary chapel for the Eucharistic Celebration and the main event of the gathering, the renewal of their Apostolic Promise. After reciting together the Promise, they moved forward one by one and declared, "This I solemnly promise." A handful of SC aspirants were present to give their support and hopefully to be inspired by the generousity and commitment of their seniors!
The half-day assembly was capped by a sumptuous lunch, with the group joining the Salesians of the Post-Novitiate and Provincialate communities. All's well that ends well. Our Lady's "gift" to our Vice-Province in the persons of these Salesian Cooperators who renewed their Apostolic Promise recommence their commitment to be salt, light and Salesians in the world!