FIS — August 21, 2017/ Don Bosco Formation Center, Lawaan Talisay City – Cebu
About 50 Confreres and novices from the FIS province gathered for a conference of Fr. Vaclav Klement. He began by sharing his simple objective for coming: to keep in touch, inspire and let the confreres know what is happening in the Salesian world.
Fr. Vaclav Klement began with the presentation of the enlightening Cagliero project video produced by Australia. During the sharing, the Salesians noted how the young volunteers showed so much enthusiasm in sharing their gifts, not primarily their skills, but their capacity to give attention and time to less fortunate youth in different parts of the world. Also impressive was how the organization is dynamically ran by lay people who professionally explained the main elements of the program.
Fr. Vaclav Klement shared three important points with the confreres:
- The Salesian Brother.
There is the need for the Salesians to understand, live out and promote the Vocation of the Salesian Brother. He mentioned how the EAO region continues to have the highest number of Salesian Brothers and also seems to have a good number of activities related to encouraging more vocations. Vietnam continues to have the highest number of Salesian brothers. There is the Sandor formation community in Manila that is also gradually expanding.
He pointed out the need to revive and perhaps improve the way we explain the Salesian Vocation as one vocation with two forms. The Salesian presence is more complete when the two vocations go hand in hand. This reality will be further discussed in August 2018 during the EAO Salesian Brothers Congress to be held in Vietnam. Hopefully there will be a lot of new materials produced that will help promote the Salesian Brother Vocation.
- Salesian Accompaniment
We also have to revive the art of listening which enriches our Salesian brand of accompaniment. This art of accompaniment must be at all levels. The Provincial who listens to the rectors encourages the rectors to listen to their confreres. Confreres then learn to listen better to young people.
- The Salesian Presence in the Catholic Church
The Salesians have 90 provinces all over the world. They are in 134 countries. Malaysia is the latest addition to that list. The Church acknowledges the contribution of the Salesians, particularly in caring for the Christian formation of the youth. The Pope has particularly requested the Salesians to participate actively in the Synod that will happen in October 2018 with the theme: Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment. The Church expects much from the Salesians not only because of their number but because of their dedication to evangelizing youth and forming them to become evangelizers.
The second part of the meeting meeting was a “story telling” — open forum about the issues and challenges happening in the Salesian world. Fr. Vaclav Klement answered questions about the situation of the Generalate, the problem of sexual abuse, the Salesian presence in the boarding house, the cause for canonization of our Pakistani alumnus Akash Bashir, the sharing of human resources in EAO, the possibility of reviving the traditional “rendiconto.” The meeting ended with a strong emphasis on the need to promote a more wholesome image of the Salesian vocation, that presents the real image of the Salesian Brother.
By: FIS – SocCom