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By Viet SC

       Bathon, HCM City, 1 June 2023 -- According to tradition, after the feast of Mary Help of Christians the two classes of Novices and Pre Novices have an exchange day. Continuing that tradition, on 25 May 2023, two classes, Novice and Prenovices, had an exchange day at the Sacred Heart Institute, Ba Thon - HCM City. Present for the exchange day were 17 Novices (14 Vietnam, 3 Samoa), and 16 Prenovices and Superiors of two communites. The theme of this year's exchange day: "Together with Christ, we are the LEAVEN for life." The guest to share on the topic was Father Francis Xavier Tran Cong Phan, SDB.

       In the sharing, Father Francis Xavier spoke of two layers of relationships of “leaven” and “flour” in the same measure. According to him: in flour, "yeast" only needs a very small amount to be enough for the whole dough to ferment. So the yeast helped the dough to do something useful. In the same way, if the dough remains inert and does not allow leaven to work, the leaven will also become useless. In the same way, those who follow the Lord on the Salesian path, especially the Novices and Prenovices, are each a measure of flour and let the leaven of Christ, the leaven of the Salesian, touch and ferment within themselves. Otherwise, the good leaven will lose its usefulness and the dough will also become spoiled.

       At the end of the sharing, Father Francis left the young Salesians with three questions for reflection and study:

  1. What good leaven have I received from Christ?
  2. How do I make this good leaven spread in Christ?
  3. In your opinion, what kind of cake creates an attractive fragrance for young people today, specific examples?

       After Father Francis Xavier's sharing, the novices had a Congressino session based on Silent Footprints with content that speaks of the silent companionship of Mary in everyone's life, especially in the vocation path of Novices and Prenovices.

       The climax of the exchange day was Mass. The Mass was celebrated by Father Peter Pham Van Bo, SDB - Rector of Bathon Community. The homilist was Father Joseph Doan Hai Dang, SDB - Rector of Cau Bong Community. Father Joseph spoke of Our Lady at the wedding feast of Cana. It is possible that the newlyweds did not know the full history of Mary and Jesus, but the newlyweds dared and begged Mary's family to come to the wedding feast. In a secret way, Mary saved the newlyweds from the humiliation of running out of wine for unknown reasons.

       Next, Father Joseph also reminded all the brothers: Each brother in the two classes should also have their own plan for their own program. Give those plans to God and Our Lady. But first, each of them invite God and Our Lady to come in their own plan just as the couple invited Mary and Jesus to their wedding feast. The program of the exchange day was followed by a fraternal meal and then an expansion with three questions from the morning session. In this presentation, Fr Vincent Hoang Phi Hai summarised the five groups material, each with their own unique and creative ways of presenting. Every presentation brought fun, humour and lessons in each performance.

       The end of the day was a football tournament. After the exchange, confessor John Nguyen Van Kich - sponsor of the tournament, had a couple of meaningful statements: on the field we have a champion, but in common spirit, we only have a team that is the Don Bosco team, and the champion is Don Bosco.


















































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