Last ten days of the General Chapter (April 12 is the last day)
Two days ago we met Pope Francis, listen to his very deeply Gospel rooted (Give ONLY the best Salesians for the ministry to the most poor youth!) and very deeply Salesian (Work and temperance make florish the Congregation - 'In our school the siesta was forbidden both for students as well for the Salesians!)
I have greeted the Pope 'Welcome to Korea!' - His answer 'Sure, I will come next August'. First visit of the Pope to Asia in this century... Thanks be to God (finally!)
Yesterday celebrating the Silver Jubilee of Religious profession of Br. Mon (FIN), the only EAO delegate-brother to the GC27, we had also a wonderful time as a Region with the new Rector Major, Fr. Angel Fernandez.
Now we try to get the best of the sharing, prayer on the track of the Holy Spirit - 'Radical Witness to the Gospel' for the next six years.
As a recycled Regional councilor for the EAO (East Asia - Oceania) Region, i left my office this morning (2 AM) and from now on I'm back to the 'first love' - EAO regional office, started only 12 years ago.
St. Luis Versiglia and Callistus Caravario, pray for us!
March 28, 2014
From the world wide animation of the MISSIONS to the East Asia Oceania region!
This day changed again the life of some Salesians who were called to serve the Salesian Congregation as Regional councilors. Seven Salesians... and seven regions (one less!).
Coming back again to the beloved EAO 'our region' - I will spend the whole of Sunday with my successor Fr. Guillermo as the new Councilor for the Missions - to facilitate the smooth hand over of the contacts, processes, people and territories, provinces to follow etc.
The 2015 Salesian Mission Day poster is the expression of continuity. Another Salesian missionary in charge to 'foster in the whole Congregation the missionary spirit and commitment'...
Please, pray for us....
Suddenly from Cagliero to Versiglia and Caravario...
St. John Bosco, pray for us!
Thanks be to God for the new Rector Major coming from Buenos Aires and for his Vicar, experienced General Councilor for formation. Two happy days with a strong feeling of the presence and guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Yes, the elections of the 14 general councilors is going on, BUT the main underlining issue of this GC27 - about WITNESS to the RADICAL APPROACH to the GOSPEL - is still an open questions. We need very badly the help of the Holy Spirit - to be his instruments, as daily reminded by Fr. Jose Cristo Rey Garcia Paredes, Claretian!
Just one point about the 'main' commodity of the rich part of the world - electric power! Indeed to be spoilt of some basic comodities is a part of an ordinary poor life in many parts of the world!
Electricity has become so normal in our everyday living that when it goes out we can become iritated, at least I do anyhow.
I can’t read in the dark, cook in the dark, or even find my way to the bathroom.
I can’t even find my candles. So I sit there waiting, praying, “God, please put the electricity back on so I can do something, anything.”
Without electricity I am faced with a serious problem:
life without things to entertain me.
I don’t have my phone charged so I can’t play games.
I can’t read my books. I can’t use the internet.
What do I do now? This is a problem I often faced overseas.
I did learn some things when the power was out though, especially about myself. In many visited African, American or Asian 'mission lands' it's a daily challenge:
Life without electricity is teaching us:
1. I don’t need electricity to live.
2. I don’t need ‘stuff’ to entertain me.
3. I am not entitled to electricity. It’s not a human rights issue.
4. I let things like the power going out affect me too much.
5. I can always pray more.
Indeed the 'most prayerful communities are in the Papua New Guinea jungleOR in other electricity-free missions...
What have power out (black out)s taught you?
Already for last 22 years this day of March 24 we remember the 'MISSIONARIES - MARTYRS' around the world.
Indeed, this is just the top of the iceberg of disciples - missionaries of Jesus killed every year for their faith witness & proclamation in many parts of the world. Since 1980 the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (Propaganda Fide) counts some 1100+ 'martyrs - pastoral agents' all around the world. In past few years the majority are killed in Latin America and are priests.
However, we know, that at least some 50.000 Christians are killed every year for the confession of their faith and their life-witness to Jesus Christ.
This day of discernment for the new Rector Major of the Salesians, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit we try to select the leader of radical testimony to the Gospel for next 6 years. Under the protection of Mary, Help of Christians (=March 24) and with Her help!
The comment of Pope Francis gives us a good indication to point to the essentials:
'We remember those missionaries who in all simplicity and withouth many noise are working every day for the Gospel and even giving their life every day for Christ' (World Mission Day 2013)