Darkhan, Mongolia, 27 January 2023 -- A historic date (23-24 January 2023) was chosen for an historic event. For the first time in the country, youth representing the three different Salesian presences in Mongolia (Ulan Bator, Shuvuu and Darkhan) got together for two days to celebrate the “First Salesian Youth Movement Gathering” in the “Mary Help of Christians” Parish in Darkhan. Forty-five young people from the ages of 14 to 28, in the company of SDBs and some collaborators, enjoyed the different activities prepared to commemorate Don Bosco and, of course, Saint Francis de Sales.
The main themes of the first day of the meeting were the Rector Major´s Strenna: “As the yeast in today´s human family”, and the examples of sainthood from among Don Bosco´s first alumni: Dominic Savio, Francesco Besucco and Michael Magone. All the attendees had the opportunity to building their knowledge on these important topics while they also enjoyed a Salesian environment of games, reflections and, of course, the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament in Adoration and in daily Mass.
During the second day the meaning of the “SYM” and the presentation of the saint who gives us our name: Saint Francis of Sales were explored. After each address everyone shared in group reflection and arriving at some consensus that later got tested with a quiz game demonstrating their comprehension of such an important day. The cherry on top of the cake (literally) was completed with the recognition of the 10th anniversary of priesthood of Father Paul Kang, recently arrived missionary from South Korea, who happily shared during mass that “these two days among you have been the best part of my new mission! Thank you for this.”
The excitement of the youngsters was evident throughout the whole gathering where they shared, in new friendships and understanding, the new Salesian world they are just starting to appreciate as part of their own in a culture where Catholicism is still unknown. Waiting with eagerness for the next opportunity to keep growing in a Salesian way as part of the “SYM”, everybody went back home with a big smile on their face and hearts warmed by Jesus' presence.