Sandor community - Paranaque, Manila, Philippines. 6 December 2022 -- The Economer General of the Congregation since 2010, Brother Jean Paul Muller, made an animation visit some days ago to the Philippines North - Malaysia province (FIN) especially Manila. On this occasion, Br Jean Paul gave also a conference to the Salesian Brothers in specific formation community at the Blessed Stephen Sandor community in Paranaque on 12 November 2022.
In his conference, Br Muller highlighted the identity of the Salesian Brother who is working closely and directly with lay people as our mission partners and also is very close to the young people in his ministry. He stressed that the Salesian Brothers usually serve in specific areas like schools and vocational training centers. While working as administrators or TVET directors, at the same time they also guide, accompany and teach the young people entrusted to them by God through the skills they have. According to Br. Muller, our lay mission partners can also perform these and similar tasks. But what makes the consecrated Brother different from the lay person is his very own consecrated identity and spirituality.
In a short address the Economer General encouraged the Brothers in specific formation in Sandor Community to use their time properly to prepare themselves for the ministry when they return to their respective provinces after this 2-year course. They are to become teachers and catechists of the young people; a witness to Christ to the young people. He added that the young people will not see them as just as an 'ordinary men', but there is something in them that would remind them about Christ being with them. Salesian Brother presence is not only to give the young people some technical skills but they are also present as educators of the faith.
At present the Sandor community (Rector, Fr Ronel Vilbar) is made up of 4 formators and 7 Salesian Brothers in specific formation heading from Indonesia, Timor Leste, Vietnam and India. In the whole Congregation there are only 3 similar venues for this stage of Brother's formation - in Mexico (MEG - Tlaquepaque), in Cameroon (AET - Yaounde) and in Spain (SMX - Barcelona). The two-year specific formation course in English is also open for Brothers from other Salesian Regions.