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Written by Cl. Augustin Ko Byungjin
Photo by Bro. Mark Choi Jinwon

Naeri, Sth Korea, Monday 6 July 2024 -- From 1-4 July, Thursday, the summer seminar of the Korean Province's Initial Formands (young Salesians from the aspirant to their ordination) was held in Naeri, Taean. The theme of the seminar was "The Salesian Family." Twenty Initial Formands from our province participated. The formation committee and Fr. Provincial Thimoty Choi Won-Cheol accompanied them for the entire four-day program. It was a fruitful time to see how Don Bosco, a small seed planted by God, grew into a beautiful tree and finally into the huge and rich forest that is the Salesian Family today.

Over the course of four days and three nights, the Initial Formands had the opportunity to learn more about Don Bosco's Salesian Family. Starting with the introduction of the Salesian Family Identity Charter by Fr. BonaKim Sun-oh, the Formation Delegate, followed by lectures from the existing Salesian Family groups in Korea. Thanks to the lecturers from each group, who traveled long distances, the formands were able to hear vivid stories about the six organizations: the Salesian Cooperators, the Past Pupils Association, ADMA, FMA, VDB, and SCG. Thanks to them, the formands learned more about the identity and activities of the Salesian Family and were able to see that the realization of the Salesian mission, inherited from Don Bosco, is being carried out in a very diverse and enriching way.

As always, the formands breathed deeply of the family spirit as they were together in the beautiful nature of Naeri. Throughout the seminar, the formands enjoyed time for conversation, play, and sharing, enjoying the happiness of a family united as a community with a shared mission in the Lord. Especially, the rosary prayed together in tune with the sound of the waves against the backdrop of the tearfully beautiful sunset on the West Sea was heartwarming with the assurance that Mary, who has helped the young Salesians in their faith journey, will always accompany them.

Meanwhile, the confreres of the Naeri community, without exception, went out of their way to prepare and serve meals to the formands for all four days. The vivid demonstration and practice of family love by the senior brothers who willingly gave of themselves for their younger brothers was much more resonant and deeply moving than a hundred words of homily.

After lunch on Day 4, the initial formands were send off to their assigned summer apostle activity. The next month and a half will be a blessed time to live out and witness to the beauty of the Salesian family spirit that they learned and experienced during the seminar in their various summer apostolic sites.





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