Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, 6 March 2023 -- On the 1st Sunday of Lent, 26 February 2023, 130 aspirants from the three vocational centres: Ben Cat, Can Tho, Xuan Hiep, had a recollection at the Provincial House in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Fr. Joseph Nguyen Kim Khanh, the Vice Provincial, gave a few words to welcome everyone.
At 9 a.m, they listened to the sharing of Father Peter Nguyen Viet Quang Minh, the Provincial Delegate for Youth Ministry. He invited them to return to themselves, to identify themselves and to realise the love of God. “When people commit sin, they betray God's love.” He pointed out that “the more we identify ourselves, the more clearly we can identify our sins. When we have clearly identified sins, then we turn away from sin to return to the beauty when God created man.” Fr. Peter mentioned the 2023 Strenna of the Rector Major and asked them to be “Leaven” in their daily life, so that they could spread the positives and do good things to people around. He gave them two questions: “What is the bad leaven in my life?” and “What are the positives in my life?”
Then there was time for confession, and a friendly chat at the same time to share difficulties and everything about their vocations. The Mass was celebrated by the Provincial, Father Barnaba Le An Phong at 10.30 a.m. Concelebrating with him were Fr Nicolas Kieu Long Ho, the Provincial Economer and the Salesians in charge of the three vocational centres. In his homily, Father Provincial pointed out some temptations for religious. He shared his own stories, that the biggest temptation was to decide one's own life and push God out of our lives. He invited the aspirants to give God a place in their hearts, to pray to God to become wise to recognize the temptations of the three enemies and to live in God's love.
During the family lunch, animated by Fr. Paul Nguyen Toan Khoa, SDB and Cleric Dominic Le Hoang Truong Son, SDB, the representatives of the three centres performed some items.
The aspirants then divided into groups to share the topics given by Father Peter Minh after his sharing in the morning. They actively shared and got some positive points as well as recognising the bad leaven in their lives.
After that, they moved to the Philip Rinaldi Theological Community for sports. They were welcomed by Fr Joseph Le Ngoc Anh, SDB the Rector of the Community.
After the games, the aspirants from Xuan Hiep Center received first prize, followed by Can Tho and Ben Cat. After the match, in his talk, Fr. Joseph Le Ngoc Anh invited everyone to become good leaven in their lives and helped people around to spread that leaven.
The aspirants had learned many good things from one another. Hopefully, each of them would respond to God’s call to be leaven for the human family. Even though it’s just a little presence and with a small thing, it always actively spreads good things to those around, especially to become a good example for each other and people around.