There is a story behind each Salesian presence around the world.
MALAYSIA is not yet on the map of the Salesians of Don Bosco.
MALAYSIA is still a dream of the Salesians of Don Bosco.
First prospection trip to Malaysia, exactly to Kota Kinabalu archdiocese is over. Three Salesians (one from the General Council, fr. Guillermo - one from Indonesia, Surabaya and one from the Philippines, Manila) just finished our first official touch with the Church in this country, January 26 - February 1, 2015.
They celebrated the Feastday of Don Bosco in this Eastern part of Malaysia, brought the Statue of Mary Help of Christians, some Salesian materials in Bahasa Indonesia and English - and especially talked to many local clergy, religioius, lay mission partners.
Listening is always the first step on the journey. Means listen heart to heart, what God does want from us. One archbishop, many priests, deacon(s) and consecrated people forming part of this vibrant Church in South East Asia helped us to do this first step.
St. John Bosco, pray for us!
January 2015 - a special month of Don Bosco for our Region of East Asia - Oceania in this special year of 2015
Four new provincials were appointed in the Philippines, Indonesia-Timor Leste, Myanmar and Vietnam
Fr. Godo (Godofredo Atienza - FIS province), Fr. Virgilio (Do Carmo Da Silva Virgilio-ITM province), Fr. Charles (Saw Thi Han Lwin- MYM province) and Fr. Giuse (Nguyen Van Quang Joseph-VIE province).
Together with the new provincial of Japan, GIA province - Fr. Mario Yamanouchi - half of the ten EAO provincials are starting afresh from Christ and afresh from Don Bosco in this Don Bosco 200th Birthday Jubilee Year.
What they have in common?
There are three former novice masters (Godo - Mario - Virgilio).
There are four Salesian spreading the devotion to Mary Help of Christians (Mario, Godo, Quang, Virglio).
There are three who were Vice-provincials in the past or at this moment (Charles, Mario, Godo)
There are all of them zelaous Salesians in pastoral field: Quang and Charles in the Vocation Traning Center; Godo and Virgilio in the education (school); Mario in the migrant ministry
Two of them studied in the Salesian University in Rome (UPS - Charles and Virgilio: philosophy and salesian spirituality); two of them studied in Manila DBCS (Godo and Virgilio); one of them studied in ChengChau (Hong Kong).
Mario have already started his service (January 12), Virgilio (January 28), Charles (February 4), Godo (April 11) and Quang on May 26.
WITH A PRAYER for all EAO provincials, especially those just recently appointed, to be to their confreres truly like Don Bosco - Father and Brother in Jesus Christ!
Christmas 2014 celebrated in Idonesia - Jakarta, Parish of St. John Bosco
December 25 - finally arrived from Rome - just to celebrate the youth animated Mass in our Jakarta parish, with the presence of four different groups of the Salesian Family, few hundreds of youngsters and the whole SDB community of the postnovitiate.
December 26 - we had the new provincial consultation sessions in Tigaraksa and Wisma, last finished at 11 PM, really done with devotion, depth and community - family dynamics.
December 27 - the usual Jakarta Salesian Family day, this year for the first time also with the Don Bosco Solidarity network (Don Bosco Friends) celebrated in the postnovitiate. Eucharist, Games, Meal and Singing together with some Christmas dances and songs.. Really everybody enjoyed and participated.
The posted pictures of broken-color-glass decorations was the most striking experience. In the parish compound five different sets, in the postnovitiate house some 4 different cribs (the most attractive - Jesus, Bless Jakarta!)
Really this year the Christmas celebrations are a wonderful gift of the Lord, thank you Jesus!
Christmas 2014 is coming soon.
This morning we started the 7 days of the Christmas countdown (Dec 17-24) and I was able to share the Japanese DB 200 celebrations poster with the SUNFLOWER symbol, to be always turned towards the living SUN - JESUS CHRIST born from the Virgin Mary, assuming all of our weak humanity (with the exception of sins).
As usual, every 6 months, there is the NEW PROVINCIAL course in the general house, this time with 12 provincials from 4 continents, among them also the new provincial of FIN - Manila, Fr. Paul and of KOR-Seoul, Fr. Stefano.
There is the 'class' every morning and afternoon, and there are every evening also personal talks - to the Rector Major, his Vicar and all 4 councilors of the sectors! In spite of this 'tough schedule', there is enough of fraternal time - to pray and share together, to discuss some important elements in the life of the province and it's animation and governance. Starting from Youth ministry, Formation, Social communication, Missions, Economy and Salesian Family up to juridical elements of the government (persmissions, authorization, dispensations... how to get in, how to separate from the Society etc).
Due to the communication challenge, I was asked to interpret (simultaneous translation) for both EAO new provincials. It was a very fraternal time of deep sharing, with one common point - the Rector major doing every effort to get the grasp of the dynamics of each province (LISTENING) and his reminder about the main priorities of the Salesian radical approach to the Gospel: becoming poor Salesian serving the poor youth - especially through the POOREST YOUTH - who will save the Salesians!
This occasion is for me a very good time to pray and remember all other eight EAO provincials and pray for them!
With a very grateful heart for all Salesians who are involved in the service of authority, especially on the provincial level!
Rome, Salesian pontifical university - EAO diaspora students (+one professor!)
December 6, 2014
As every semester, also last Saturday there was a simple Eucharist at the UPS in ROME with the regional councilor and all EAO students who were able to be there (in fact one community was just on the monthly recollection at la Pisana... but there is nothing perfect in this world..)
To celebrate the Eucharist with a personal sharing is of great value.
To share during the Eucharist gives to our sharing more meaning and the right environment.
After sharing the EAO prayer card, the picture of late Fr. Aldo Cipriani (GIA) and highlithing some recent 5 months long journey experiences all of us (=9 priests and one deacon) from Vietnam (2), Papua New Guinea - Solomon Islands delegation (1), Korea (3), Mayanmar (1), Timor Leste (1) and Indonesia (1) - shared some deep personal experience:
From the two recent pilgrim groups (VIETNAM) to the Holy Places of Don Bosco - never enough to stay at Valdocco!
After few months in Rome realized how far are we (=EAO region) geographically and in other sense too - far from Rome and Valdocco. Probably next Christmas break a short visit to Becchi will be fruit of this awareness.
Struggles with language, with studies, with short period of time remaining still in Rome to finish the course.
Preparation for the fast coming priestly ordination (January 18,2015) in the home place...
Asking prayers for the incoming Malaysia new frontier operation...
Living close to those great men of the Congregation like late Fr. Pietro Braido.. (that old man...)...
At the moment there are in ROME:
UPS based: 4 EAO missionaries (2 PNG-SI, Pakistan and Mongolia), 4 Korean SDB (canon law, Catechetics - Pedagogy, Social communication and Salesian spirituality), 2 ITM confreres (social communication, spirituality), 1 professor of Canon Law (Vietnam) , 1 MYM confrere (education - school), 1 VIE confrere (catechetics)
Testaccio based: 1 FIN (Holy Scriptures)
Gerini based theology student: 1 ITM, 1 VIE, 1 CIN
Jerusalem based theology student: 1 CIN, 1 VIE...