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2024.07.02 17:18

6474_Wake up the World!

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By Fr. John Laba, SDB

Don Bosco Tigaraksa, Indonesia, 2 July 2024 -- In accordance with the Salesian tradition, every year, there is always an opportunity for a Salesian to renew himself at an annual retreat. The Salesian constitution itself affirms: "Our will for conversion is strengthened in the monthly recollection and in the annual retreat. These are occasions of spiritual renewal, which Don Bosco considered the fundamental part and the synthesis of all the practices of piety" (C:91). In connection with this annual retreat, the Salesian confreres of the Vice-Province of Indonesia (INA) have just finished the First Batch of Annual Retreats guided by Most Rev. Patricio A. Buzon, SDB, D.D. Bishop Buzon is the Bishop of Bacolod in Negros Occidental. His previous appointment was as Bishop of Kabankalan.

Bishop Buzon, who before becoming the Bishop of Kabankalan was the Superior Provincial of the Salesians in the Southern Philippines (FIS), gave very interesting talks and shared his personal experiences with the 24 retreatants of the First Batch. Starting his first talk, Bishop Buzon reminded the Salesian Confreres about consecrated life today. He acknowledged that consecrated life today is not an easy matter. According to Bishop Buzon, there was an interesting phenomenon: many young people were more interested in consecrated life than becoming candidates for the diocesan priesthood. The reasons would vary. The religious were more serious and committed to living out their vocation; they were more exemplary and credible, and they were more dedicated and effective in their ministry. In short, there was a perception that the religious were better than their diocesan counterparts. But today, the trend seems to be the opposite. Diocesan seminaries are teeming with applicants, while religious formation houses are fast emptying. There is even the disturbing phenomenon of an increasing number of religious people leaving the convent and asking for incardination in dioceses." So according to Bishop Buzon, “Should the Salesian religious give up consecrated life? To borrow Pope Francis' words, the religious, especially the Salesians in Indonesia, must wake up the world! The Salesians must wake up the Indonesian youth."

Besides the talk about consecrated life today, Msgr. Buzon also gave various talks and sharing related to the religious life as consecrated life, namely about Sequela Christi, prayer life, communion, Servants and Pastors of the Young, synodality, The Evangelical Counsels, Sacrament of Reconciliation, Eucharist and Sense of Church, and Mary Help of Christians. Another thing that was also very interesting was the sharing of the retreatants, which Bishop Buzon called ‘Conversation in the Spirit.’

The annual retreat, which took place from June 23–29, 2024, in Don Bosco Tigaraksa Community, closed with the celebration of the solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul led by Bishop Buzon and also the renewal of the vows of the Confreres retreatants. Fr. Andrew Wong, SDB, as the Provincial Superior of INA Vice Province, representing the confreres of the First Batch, expressed the deepest gratitude to Bishop Buzon for his wisdom, spirituality, and guidance during the annual retreat 2024. Bishop Buzon once again reminded the confreres: "Go and wake up the world!” Wake up the youth in Indonesia!









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