EAO and Valdocco, 24 January 2024 -- Hundreds of East Asia-Oceania Region Salesian Family members from Pakistan to Samoa, from Mongolia to Australia came 'together' in the already traditional virtual encounter of the SF Spirituality Days. This Bicentennial anniversary of Don Bosco's Dream (1824-2024) produced some extraordinary results! Last Friday and Saturday (19-20 January) at 7 PM Manila time, from the Don Bosco Canlubang studio animated by young Salesians in a vibrant, joyful, and family style.
But who is behind the scenes of this hybrid (presence and virtual) event of the Salesian Family - both in Valdocco and within the EAO region?
Salesian Brother Dominic Nguyen Duc Nam, SDB - World delegate for the DB Past Pupils and Salesian Cooperators, based now in Valdocco, shares his 'World level experience' with 350+ Salesian family members while being a core animator of the online virtual events in the distant EAO region:
"We had a wonderful gathering of the Salesian Family members in Valdocco for these 42nd SF Spirituality Days from 18 to 21 January 2024, with around 370 people coming from all over the world, from Africa, Asia, America, and Europe. Valdocco was fully packed by people who gave life to this historical Salesian place.
As a member of the organizing team, I am happy to meet the people who came here with great love and devotion to Mary Help of Christians and Don Bosco. How nice to see the brothers and sisters of Don Bosco's Family stay together to celebrate the 200 years of Don Bosco's Dream. We provided them with a schedule that allowed them to participate in the program with different moments of sharing and visiting Salesian places in Valdocco and the city of Turin. This year, the participants also visited Valsalice, the community of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians just in front of the Basilica and the first Oratory of Don Bosco. All the visits and listening to the enriching stories of each place were very much appreciated. Also, the moments of common prayer in the Basilica, meal time and personal encounters in this multicultural community were very well attended. It was exciting to share our own vocation story, how we fell in love with Don Bosco, and personal dreams, desires and commitment to the mission. New generations are coming, but the Dream of Don Bosco goes on!"
After four days together, the Salesian Family members feel fearless about dreaming “God's dream in Don Bosco” 200 years ago, making that dream alive in their lives. All of them brought with them the spiritual gift 'Don Bosco's Letter', shared during the Sunday Eucharist by the Rector Major, 10th successor of Don Bosco."
We may also be inspired by the East Asia - Oceania participants in this event (a dozen of them in Valdocco, but hundreds followed in their home places in real-time):
"I couldn't watch the second day; I'd like to watch this event later. The first day, the EAO Round Table, was very interesting, both for theological reflection and for living out Don Bosco's dream today. I hope the program will be shared for the benefit of the Salesian Family." (Japan, Lay Mission Partner)
"Thanks for your appreciation of our contribution. We've had an internet signal problem here during the last presentation tonight. But it's just ok. We've profited a lot from this significant event." (Timor Leste, FMA)
"It was tiring, but I'm always happy to help. I want to train a new generation of IT support for this event who can do the same job, so we have more talent to tap for this kind of EAO regional event." (Filipino IT coordinator, DB Past Pupil)
"Thank you, dear Family, for all your time and sacrifices… I realize what Don Bosco’s dream-at-nine means for us NOW! It’s not only to have “a heart that transforms wolves into lambs, “ but also “a heart that transforms wolves and lambs…” (to TAME the wolf and to TRAIN the sheep" (Indonesia. Salesian SDB)
Yes, this precious annual event is over, but a very rich sharing from all corners of our EAO region is available on the internet (videos on the EAO-SF YouTube channel in 7 languages, text, and photos are also available on the Salesian website).
Viva Don Bosco!
EAO-World level 2024 SF Spirituality days materials available
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AustraLasia 6259: EAO Region is also ready for the 42nd Salesian Family Spirituality Days 2024