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By Fr. Mario Gaspar dos Santos, SDB

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, 12 April 2024 -- The Salesian Mission started in Mongolia in 2001. Five pioneers started the Salesian Mission in Mongolia. From them, there are two pioneer confreres till now still in the Mongolian mission. Last year, Fr Alfred, the Mission Councillor made an Extrordinary Visitation to the Mongolian Delegation, and he asked us a crucial question, what will be the future of the Mongolian Delegation?

Furthermore, in the final message from the Rector Major and Council during the Team Visit to the EAO Region in Vietnam, the Rector Major gave 10 points encouraging and inviting the confreres in the EAO region: ‘We are aware of the change in the circumstances of the provinces, very much altered from previous decades both in terms of growth in the number of works, the decrease in the number of Salesians and the increase in employees. It is urgent that the provinces make decisions on the future management and sustainability of the works, always giving priority to the option for the most needy.’

Moreover, after the COVID-19 pandemic, we are now, one way or another, on shaky ground due to the worldwide financial crisis. We, too, experienced the financial difficulties to continue the mission in Mongolia. After more than 20 years of the Salesian Mission in Mongolia, we have done so many great different kinds of apostolates. Oftentimes, we do it out of our passion and our initiatives, but without carefully discerning which apostolate we are able to undertake and which one we should hinder.

So much so that we should make an evaluation of the whole apostolate in Mongolian Delegation, which apostolate we should continue, and which apostolate we must reshape or reorganize. In fact, this is a little bit painful and at the same time difficult, but we should be dared to do it.

The pandemic catastrophe and the message of Fr. Rector Major and his councilors during TeamVisit in Vietnam somehow invited us to put strength and energy together in order to continue the mission we have undertaken for more than 20 years. Therefore, we have decided to have a delegation assembly in order to discuss the apostolates that we have undertaken so far together as brothers.

The delegation assembly started at the Handgait retreat house, which was attended by all the conference members of the Mongolian mission and Fr. Marcello (representative of Korean provincial councilors) on April 8-10. The Delegation Assembly started with the reflection, which was guided by Fr. Mario Gaspar dos Santos, SDB at 09:30 to 12:00 and then continued with the first session of the Delegation Assembly and then the second day and third day, which was concluded with the remark from Fr. Marcello. He stated that all confreres actively participated in the delegation assembly and ran smoothly without any tension.

This assembly is the first face, and there will be another delegation assembly. The first delegation assembly is to present the general situation of the mission so that all the confreres who are now working in the Mongolian Delegation are aware of the real situation of the Mongolian delegation as a whole. The following assembly will be crucial where we can make a decision on which apostolates we should continue and which ones must be cut off or reorganized.






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