By Viet SocCom
Xuan Hiep, Vietnam, 19 November 2023 -- “Be a witness of Mercy and Forgiveness” - This message of Pope Francis during his visit to Mongolia is the theme of the 2023 PROVINCIAL MISSIONARY ACTIVITY DAY, organized by the Missionary Commission.
This year, the Provincial Missionary Day was held in 2 regions at two different times: Saigon - Western region (November 18) and Highlands region (November 22). The Mission Day in the Saigon-Western region was held at Don Bosco Xuan Hiep Community, Thu Duc. Attending the program was the very lively and active presence of about 500 members of the Don Bosco Salesian Family, including Father Barnaba Le An Phong - Provincial of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB) and Sister Mary Hoang Thi Thu Ha - Provincial of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA).
Every year, the Salesian Mission Commission organizes this event to renew the awareness and missionary responsibility of the Salesian Family, just as the Rector Major said in his latest interview about missions: “The Salesian Don Bosco Family is like a big tree, carrying within itself a missionary identity.”
At 8:00 a.m., the program started with a lively part and introduction of participants. Afterwards, Father Provincial Barnaba Le An Phong gave the opening address. He emphasized that the true meaning of Mission is to proclaim the Gospel with a heart burning with love and quick steps to reach all people.
The program progressed with sharing about Mission, and illustrations. First, Father Toma Vu Kim Long presented an explanation of the theme of the mission day, which is also the message that Pope Francis left behind after his Apostolic Trip to Mongolia: "Be a witness of mercy and forgiveness." He developed 3 main points: Today's world context from a missionary perspective, Looking at the mission from the heart of a God of love; The mission of mercy and forgiveness in Salesian Missionary Spirituality.
In the second sharing, Sister Mary Thuy Nga presented the Ad Gentes mission of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA) through 3 "stories": Her presentation helped everyone gain an overview as well as interesting details in the stories about the missionary history of the FMA Sisters.
The community continues to live in a missionary atmosphere with a very lively and realistic sharing through a video about the South American mission land. These images and videos were recorded during the visit of Father Toma Vu Kim Long and Father Joseph Tran Van Hien to countries where Salesians and FMA sisters are present and enthusiastically proclaim the Good News.
To end the sharing, Father Joseph Tran Van Hien presented a summary of the evaluations on Mission that the Salesian Mission Commission gained in its consultation throughout the Province through 6 questions.
The highlight of the program was the Mass presided over by Father Barnabas at 11:00 a.m. In the homily, he invited the community to reflect and answer for themselves the meaning of "Being disciples" before making all nations disciples. After Mass, everyone took souvenir photos and continued to live family love at lunch at Don Bosco Xuan Hiep Parish Hall.