By Fr. Noel SDB
Wisma Salesian Sunter, Jakarta, Indonesia, 30 January 2023 -- Note the initial reactions of some of those who pronounced their Apostolic Promise in Jakarta on 29 January 2023:
"Proud of it!"
"Today, making the Apostolic Promise in the Mass and being officially inducted into the Association... I remembered my feeling during my Wedding Day! Just pure joy... and no more doubts, the Lord will always be with me and guide me."
"I remembered the promise of Don Bosco to his followers: Bread, Work and Heaven."
"Deeply grateful and joyful!"
"Amazed and speechless! I am now officially a Salesian Cooperator and member of the Salesian Family founded by Don Bosco himself."
"Thank you dear Salesian priests and brothers. We are now Salesians in the world!"
"Honestly, I'm still a bit 'confused' about what I've gotten into! But I'm really sure the Holy Spirit will gradually guide me to understand more and more God's will. One thing is certain, though, the Salesian principles and teachings, particularly the Preventive System, I have been receiving all this time in the initial formation have not been empty talks. They do work."
"I am full of joy and gratitude that I am closer to God and Don Bosco."
"Thank you, Lord. You have called me and here I am ready to follow You as a Salesian Cooperator. Praise the Lord!"
"I am deeply moved. Tears of joy... and truly grateful for my Salesian Cooperator vocation! I am ready to labor in the Lord's field."
These are just some of the initial reactions and feelings of the Aspirants who pronounced the Apostolic Promise and were inducted into the Association of Salesian Cooperators on 29 January 2023. A most beautiful and precious gift of Don Bosco to our Province, and our own 'offering' to him on the second day of the Triduum of his Feast day, the 24 Aspirants were received and welcomed by Father Provincial, in the name of the Rector Major, as full-fledged Salesian Cooperators. The joyful event took place in the chapel of Wisma Salesian in Sunter Jakarta, the 'Mother House' of the INA Province, during the 7am Sunday Mass attended by the seminarians and a sizeable crowd of the faithful, mostly from nearby St John Bosco Parish.
After thanking the new Salesian Cooperators for their generosity and congratulating them for their beautiful application letters, which he did read attentively one by one, Father Provincial proposed to them the cost and reward of the Beatitudes... the demand to be faithful and true to their calling and the assurance of “your reward will be great in Heaven.” Pepped up by Father Provincial's touching but challenging homily on the Sunday's Gospel, the Aspirants then recited together the Apostolic Promise, after which they proceeded one after another to kneel in front of the altar and exclaim: "This I solemnly promise." As Father Provincial accepted them in the name of the Rector Major, a beautiful and moving manifestation of encouragement and support erupted as the Salesians, seminarians and the faithful present applauded and cheered the newest Salesian Family members.
“Father what’s next after this?” eagerly asked one of our fledgling Cooperators. Good question. The answer is, hard work… and lots of it! The Association of Salesian Cooperators of the INA Province, now numbering more than 50 members, is still in need of much coordination and organization, besides the upgrading of the ongoing formation program. This new blood is certainly a "big booster," and their generosity, joy and dedication will hopefully add up to the spirit and enthusiasm of the senior members. The dream in line with this year's Strenna is that our Salesian Cooperators will be more and more independent and self-sustaining, and as the largest lay group in our Salesian Family, truly become like yeast in society.