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March 11, 2017

Also the last working session of the EAO 2017 TEAM VISIT was conducted in family environment. Before the final sharing of the Rector Major the full image of Don Bosco in the Meeting Hall was completed and Fr. Angel read his 'last piece of the mosaic' - a prayer addressed to Don Bosco. Then we gave thanks to all EAO Coordinators for all 6 Sectors: Formation - Br. Mon, YM - Fr. Jobeth (new!), SC - Fr. Drans, Missions - Fr. Fung, Economy - Fr. Satura, Salesian Family - Fr. Chong as well the EAO secretary Fr. Ditto.

In his final remarks the 10th Successor of Don Bosco shared 13 points in a simple way (translated from Spanish to Italian and English) to focus on the integral vision of the Salesian Charism growth. Does not matter if some province is slow or fast. What does matter that all of us are journeying in the right direction with a clear Salesian vision:

1. Appreciation about the constant growth in communion within the largest SDB region 
2. Appreciation of the greater openness and mutual collaboration among the EAO provinces
3. Clear vision as the main condition for a healthy Salesian charismatic identity growth
4. Shared mission with the Lay People (mission partners) as indispensable condition
5. Salesian Vocation in two complementary forms - Salesian Brother and Salesian Priest
6. Strong invitation to reach out, to go out of our comfort zones (missionary spirit)
7. Continue to prepare the ground for inter-cultural and international local and provincial communities
8. Transparency, proper use of our assets and properties
9. Formation as a high priority: Salesians as Servant of the Young, YM of process, Missionary vocation ad gentes
10. Formation of formators, qualification plan and action for all provinces and delegations
11. Strengthen and make grow the Salesian Family in each province as our common goal
12. Continue to push the AustraLasia and Boscolink (, sharing with the ANS and translations in to EAO languages
13. Accompany well all 6 Delegations as Region blessed with most delegations in the whole Congregation.

The last day was a wonderful family mixture of personal encounters, thanks from all parts to all parts, sharing of mutual gifts among the provinces and old or new friends. Each member contribution with his evaluation as well.

One of the EAO provincial shares his second team visit experience:
'This Team Visit involves us more than the previous one with it's different methodology, including more province group sharing. It help us to be more realistic in our sharing and future decision making. There were less talks like in the school where you receive so much informations. A mutual knowledge among the 95 participants from other EAO sector meetings helped to create a wonderful fraternity environment. The Rector Major was at the center of this encounter and he was well accompanied by his Councilors."

Very joyful family spirit was the trait of the last Thanksgiving Cultural Night moderated by Fr. Andy Satura (FIS) with contribution from all 11 provinces and concluded with the thanksgiving in all directions. The hosting provincial Fr. Theparat invited the Rector Major 'Come again back to your home - to Hua Hin'!

The Team Visit is followed by one full day of Provincial and Economers meeting on March 11 in the same venue of Hua Hin Salesian Retreat House. The Rector Major left back for Rome after lunch of March 11 with his Secretary. 


March 10, 2017

Last full day of the EAO 2017 Team Visit in Hua Hin started with a meditation at 6:30, followed by the Eucharist presided by the Rector Major and animated with a beautiful Thai songs.

The Salesian Retreat House in Hua Hin thanks to the creative hospitality of the Thai provincial, local community SDB and lay mission partners again changed during the day in order to conclude this important day with long lasting family memories.

As the sixth of the seven themes was studied Formation sector, with the clear and deep animation of Fr. Ivo Coelho, the General Councilor for Formation (India - Mumbai province). His multi-facet input was introduced by two commissioned videos from FIN - Paranaque formation communities: first focused on the multi-cultural formation dynamics in the Seminaryo ng Don Bosco and second featured the Sandor community for the specific formation of Salesian Brothers (both produced by young FIN Salesians and available on the Youtube).

Fr. Ivo shared his reflection about the state of the formation (both initial and ongoing) in the EAO region, and pointed the 3 main aims to follow in the future (GC27 main path):
·       To address fragility and to strengthen not only perseverance but also fidelity to our identity as Salesian consecrated priests and brothers.
·       To grow in fraternity
·       To grow as servant-apostles to the young. 

In the same time the Formation Councilor invited quite strongly to work on the following means in strengthening our vocation journey with multi-facet accompaniment. The departure and arrival point of Fr. Ivo was the article 98 of the Salesian Constitutions (The formation experience - commitment to life long formation growth in Salesian vocation):

* Reflection on the operative model of formation
* Formation of formators (especially with spiritual accompaniment)
* Governance and Formation (right vision and consistent decision making)
* Aspirantate experience to be renewed (joint action of YM and Formation)
* Formation for the Mission (connection to all other sectors of the Salesian Life and Mission)

In the province group sharing was confirmed the need to link more the Youth Ministry and Formation sectors, especially with a renewed attention to the Salesian Brother Vocation, Personal Accompaniment (both Youth and Salesians) and work for more adequate models of our Aspirantates. The EAO regional coordinator for Formation, Br. Raymond Callo also contributed to the Open Forum with his personal experience from all 11 EAO Provinces.

At the end of the Assembly also the Rector Major shared his feedback about Formation assignments as absolute priority for the provincials (Are you happy with your Formator teams and environment in formation houses?) and warned about Clericalism, the most serious challenge to the Church of today according Pope Francis (November 30, 2016 - Meeting with the Major Religious Superiors). 

The last morning of the Team Visit was concluded with an official photo session with the Rector Major and the Provinciala and Delegates for all respective sectors.



March 10, 2017

Rector Major
EAO REGION - Draft of the final points

Dear brothers, in my name and in the name of those who accompany me in this ministry of animation, I want to say a word of “thanks" for all that we have experienced these days.
I thank you all for the excellent fraternal climate of communion lived in these days. I thank especially the Province of Thailand / Cambodia for the wonderful welcome and friendly and gentle hospitality you have given us.

At the same time, I share with you some points that I hope will serve as the blueprint for the various Provinces and the whole region. You can consider these shared points as a first draft, anticipating the official letter that we will send you after a careful study in the Council.

1. I want to emphasize the growth of communion in the Region over the past 18 years. We must thank God for the journey done so far and for what is being done. Despite the great diversity present in the Region you are conducting a shared ministerial journey with commitment and in harmony, with common goals, trying to overcome the difficulties, always with respect to the autonomy of the provinces. All these elements are a guarantee of communion.

2. Today there are many signs of openness and mutual cooperation among the Provinces of the Region. This is a very positive sign and we encourage you to continue to look after them. No doubt, openness and mutual cooperation are a concrete way to make real communion.

3. The care and growth of Salesian identity in the region is a very important and permanent commitment. Identity means taking care of our charismatic dimension. It also means taking care that it is lived by every confrere through a life of consecration and mission as an inseparable combination of our identity. Identity means that the provincials together with their councils get a clearer vision with which to animate and govern the Provinces.

4. Identity also means being aware of the historical moment, thus taking seriously and with determination the reshaping of the Province. That is, ensure the priorities of the mission in the Province. Today the soul of this identity and this reshaping is the shared mission with the laity, their preparation and shared of responsibility. I remind you, brothers, what was said by GC 24, and what I have reiterated the conclusion of GC 27: the shared mission with the laity is not an option you can take or leave, but a question of identity.

5. At the same time we recognize the rich reality of the vocation of the lay Salesian coadjutors in some provinces of the Region. Others are weaker in this regard. We call for you to strongly consider this reality: a single vocation in two forms (Salesian lay brother and Salesian priest), while promoting the vocation of the Salesian lay brother.

6. The Provinces with SDB and lay people involved in the mission, must have the courage not to lose heart, to accept that the Province is a living organ, that the Salesian mission constantly calls us and challenges us, especially in life of the poorest youth. We must have the courage to go out, ask if there are no other peripheries that are waiting for us. The courage to get out of the comfort zone, from the already known and from securities, because we are persons of faith and we let ourselves be guided by the Spirit.

7. The Rector Major and his council ask you to work in a constant and careful manner to ensure fairness of our institutions and of each one of us, thus assuring economic transparency and the proper and clear use of property.

8. Formation is a high priority in this sexennium. We speak of a formation that takes care of the life and vocation of each Salesian to have the heart of the Good Shepherd like Don Bosco. Formation that prepares for the Salesian mission, made concrete in our youth ministry among young people, ministry of processes that lead to Jesus. Formation that prepares with a missionary vision to the point of "missio ad gentes" option.

9. We invite the Region and every province to continue to prepare the ground for international and intercultural dimensions that are sign of where the world is moving, a sign of an open Church, and of a rich reality of the Congregation that is more and more called to take on this format.

10. In a very conscious way, all provinces are called to make an option to ensure the formation of the confreres. It is important to guarantee the formation of the future formators. In this same sense, the qualification of a good number of confreres in youth ministry, spirituality and salesian studies to feature in your horizon and vision. For this I invite you to make the best use of our own Pontifical University in Rome (UPS).

11. It is also an opportune time to strengthen and grow as Salesian Family in the Region. You should not leave this to the liking of some confreres but must be, more and more clearly, the priority of the single province.

12. It is highly valued, brothers and sisters, the effort that the Region is making in print and video translations. These are modes of communication that bring the reality of the Congregation and the Rector Major closer to the brothers, allowing us to grow in a sense of belonging and participation. Likewise continue to push AustralAsia - Don Bosco Link, which unites and makes the Congregation visible in the Region. Effort should continue to make available the documents of the Church and of the Congregation in the local languages, to the Provinces and confreres as an aid to a stronger identity.

13. Finally now I am referring to the 6 delegations within the region. This reality is the most numerous in the Congregation. We invite you to continue accompanying the processes of the delegations, continuously taking care of them to move on in the right direction, always open to where Providence guiding us in the coming years.

In conclusion, Brothers, reiterating once again the joy of the journey we are engaged in and for the much valued communion. Lastly, I leave you this conviction: no Province should feel discouraged for having a development which is less or slower than others. What is important is that we are on the same path, taking the right and just direction.

Mary Help of Christians continue to bless each of us, our Provinces and the entire region.

Hua Hin, Thailand, March 10, 2017

The afternoon sessions of Day 3 (March 9) were dedicated to the theme of Social Communication (Councilor Fr. Filiberto Gonzalez, EAO regional coordinator Fr. Drans Nolasco, FIN), being personally present 5 provincial delegates for Social Communication.

After a show of three different video clips from THA-Cambodia Delegation (Social communication formation - VTC), FIS (Vibrant presentation of the Salesian Systems of Social Communication in the Visaya-Mindanao Context of the Philippines) and MYM (presentation of VTC in Myitkyina) followed the most vibrant and passionate input of the whole Team Visit.

Fr. Filiberto invited all Team Visit participants in his 25 minute input in a very convincing, passionate and dynamic way:

During this days the Rector Major is calling us to have a vision, Don Cereda calls us to be authentic like consecrated people, Don Fabio invites us not to improvise the Mission, Don Guillermo is pushing us to go out with missionary spirit, Br Jean Paul challenges us not to repeat the same as in times of Don Bosco… Why?

Because everything changes, only the love of God remains forever (=First line in the presentation of SSCS); also Christ is the same: yesterday, today and forever. God and Jesus Christ are the center of our life, and our mission are the young and poor people.

Look at that: 
Society is changing…
The culture is changing…
Technologies are changing…
Modes of communication are changing …
Young people are changing…
Is the Church changing?
Is the Congregation changing?
The provinces are changing?
Are our communities changing?"

[Full text of this input of the SC Councilor is available on the Boscolink:

During the province group workshop was discussed the plan for SC sector for net 3 years at the level of the provincial SC teams, at the provincial SC formation level and Social Communication EAO - World level coordination and formation. Formation, formation, formation ... of the Salesians as Consecrated Educators, Pastors and Communicators!  

In the open forum and assembly were appreciated some Social Commgood practices at the provincial 
level (formation, information, production) as well appreciated the Boscolink ( with Australasia news and regional resource website!

Thanks to Fr. Filiberto and all our SC delegates!

March 9, 2017


March 7
The two morning sessions of DAY 3 (March 7) were focused on Economy at the Service of the Mission. In the absence of the Economer General, the Rector Major himself introduced the deep reflection of Br. Jean Paul Muller send already ahead of the Team Visit to the participants: The common good, ethics, assets and administration: four pillars to navigate a complex society'.

Before the first session was shown an inspiring video clip with the story of the PDO flagship of our Region: FIS PDO in Cebu (Philippines), appreciated by many participants.

The successor of Don Bosco highlighted especially many economy & administration related issues connected to the governance in our provinces: witness of poverty, professional approach to Salesian administration at all levels,  solidarity at provincial and congregational level, ethics in all of our operations and especially vision about our mission including also the economic factor.

In the rich discussion in the provincial groups emerged a large variety of experiences, with few questions (funds, investment, authorizations for constructions etc). Then the RM offered short feedback:

  "We are on the right track, some provinces are faster, some slower, but there is a clear feeling that all EAO provinces are taking seriously the direction of two previous General Chapter 26 and 27 regarding administration. Then were addressed few topics:

TRANSPARENCY: During 6 years period from the RM and his Council are trying very seriously the transparency culture in our Congregation, at all level, with proper (external) auditing and other regular practices.
MISSION at the center: Economy should not determine our Mission! There should be no doubt about our identity, with a focus on charismatic preference for the poor young people.
LAY MISSION PARTNERS IN ECONOMY: Again we come back to this theme. Why do we still need Salesians as economers in our large school works? When shall we say, we put in practice this decision? Yes, we object - we have few confreres? How many of the confreres are Salesian priests? There are not enough reliable lay mission partners? We need to change our mentality, paradigm and method. 
This is very serious issue to this danger, it's vicious circle, that means that the same persons are doing everything, but we can never create transparency. But we need to move forward with patience. 

The EAO regional coordinator for Economy, Fr. Andy Satura (FIS), being present all 11 provincial economers, two delegation economers (Mongolia and Indonesia) and PDO director (Vietnam). The working paper of Br. Jean Paul Muller is avialable on the Boscolin:

After lunch followed an annual Curatorium meeting of the AUL - Melbourne, Clifton Hill formation house, attended by Fr. Ivo Coelho, 6 provincials, 2 superiors of the delegations and EAO regional councilor. 

March 8, 2017

Hua Hin, THA



The third theme of the EAO Team Visit was dedicated to the Youth Ministry. Fr. Fabio Attard (born in Malta) the General Councilor for the Youth Ministry was animating the two sessions in the afternoon time. The Team Visit dynamics of Short Input - Group sharing - Assembly with presentation - open forum and the conclusion of the Rector Major - helped to focus our vision on the YM in the 11 provinces and 6 delegations.

Fr. Fabio shared his journey with the EAO region in past 9 years and appreciated a significant growth of the YM animation in all EAO provinces developing in a very systematic approach with a focus attention of the provincials and YM Delegates, publication and translations of the YM Framework of Reference (FoR) to many EAO languages and close accompaniment of the YM Councilor and his team.

The YM Councilor also pointed to 4 main challenges of the EAO provinces, regarding
1. The pastoral leadership of the Provincials
2. Inculturation of the Preventive System of Don Bosco, systematically disseminating the Youth Ministry FoR
3. Involvement and formation of our Lay Mission Partners
4. Family - one of the main pastoral option of the Congregation in this 6 year period

During the lively discussion emerged also some specific challenges of our provinces and some (new) provincials were able to get her province animated during this year (out of schedule!) by Fr. Fabio himself. Not less than ITM, MYM, AUL and PGS provinces during this year! All province group sharing were collated by Fr. Jobeth Vivo (FIN YM Delegate). At the end of the day the large EAO Map in front of the Meeting Hall did reveal already a significant part of Don Bosco's face composed of the 'Action Plan' for each sector.

Before the evening prayer animated by the ITM Viceprovince (Fr. Joao Boavida, YM delegate - the youngest Team Visit participant, 34 years) as every evening, the Rector Major offered with great passion his feedback on the previous two sessions (Themes of Reshaping and Missions) with a special focus on provincial and government interventions. 

Each participants appreciates after two full days of the Team Visit the impact of the marvellous Thai hospitality on our work and proceeding with serenity, calm and deep sharing. We pray, that these 4 days of EAO Salesian Pentecost will help us on our Conversion journey as Salesians of Don Bosco!

Dear Friends

Welcome (again) to Hua Hin!
Great thanks for the hosting province wonderful preparation!
We pray for the safe arrival of all 97 participants!

So far we have the following video of the good practices available on Youtube
some of them not yet uploaded, still waiting for the missing provinces.

AUL - Cagliero Volunteer project

CIN - Salesians and Lay Mission Partners

CIN - Salesian Youth Ministry

FIS - Formation to the Social Communication (USB available)

FIN - Paranaque multicultural and spiritual accompaniment (USB available)

FIN - Paranaque Salesian Brothers specific formation (USB available)

GIA – Reshaping of the Salesian Presences

ITM –  Salesian Family (ASC, DB Past Pupils: USB available)

KOR – Mission Office

MYM – Vocation Training Center

THA - Formation to the Social Communication (Cambodia)

VIE - Ad gentes missionaries

VIE - Reshaping of the Salesian presences - planning culture

March 7, 2017

    The morning time of the second day of the EAO Team Visit (March 8) was dedicated to the SALESIAN MISSIONS!  First of all the participants appreciated two Missions related video clips from AUL (Australia - Pacific) province about the 'Cagliero Project' of missionary volunteers, presented by the first EAO Lay Provincial Delegate for the Missions - Ms. Laureen Hichbaaba (exactly on the International Women's Day!) and KOR (Korea) province video about the 5 years old Mission Office in Seoul working closely with the Fr. John Lee Foundation.

 In his powerful and short talk Fr. Guillermo Basanes, General Councilor for the Missions shared the vision and SWOT about the EAO missionary culture. Main focus was on missionary culture and formation of all Salesians (including also a due missionary vocation discernment), about overall need to be open to send and receive missionaries, importance of the Missionary animation delegate as member of the provincial council.

After a lively inter-provincial groups sharing emerged some common challenges to the provincial council and in the open forum were raised many questions about missionary vocation discernment and formation, especially to invest more into missionary reflection (need of experts in inter-religious dialogue).

In the last intervention the Provincial-elect of PGS, Fr. Alfred Maravilla was asked to introduce the 'Project Europe' (PE) after his 7 years-long experience with accompaniment of PE missionaries. His points 'PE as Kairos for the Congregation' were very much appreciated by the participants: PE can renew the whole Salesian Congregation, with a renewed concept of the mission (not Euro-centric, not just working for the poor), foster the necessary pastoral conversion of our provinces and help us to be more open to the truly Catholic-Universal communion in the Church and within the Congregation.

Lunch time of Day 2 was rather rich in events. With the coming of Mons. Joseph Prathan, SDB (Bishop of Surathani diocese, including also Hua Hin, 8000 Catholics among 9 million of population, 1000 km long) who went to greet the Rector Major and shared some typical Surat Thani sweets with all participants. In his short address during lunch shared his strong Salesian sense of belonging as 'recycled Salesian provincial before' and now as truly Salesian Bishop. After lunch there was a chance to experience the Thai massage offered by SDB Vocation Trainees from Bangkok and have a rare experience with Thai elephants around the Retreat house. 

March 6, 2017

The Rector Major Fr. Angel F. Artime reached Thailand, Bangkok one day before the Team visit of the EAO region, being already present all other 7 General Councilors. Together with Fr. Francesco Cereda (Birthday celebration yesterday) and his personal secretary Fr. Horacio Lopes reached the venue of the EAO TEAM VISIT in Hua Hin for lunch of March 6. 

All 9 groups of the Salesian Family in Thailand were present from the early morning in the Hua Hin Parish Hall of St. Therese for the SF Day of Thailand focused on the Strenna 2017 'WE ARE FAMILY'. After an introduction talk given by Fr. Joseph Banchong all participants were delighted to listen to the confrerence of Fr. Fabio Attard, General Councilor for the Youth Ministry about the 'Amoris Letitia'. Fortunately the Thai translation of the Exhortation was released by the Bishops Confrerence just few days ago!

More than 500 SDB, FMA, SIHM Sisters, DQM and SQM sisters, Salesian Cooperators, ADMA, VDB and many groups of the Don Bosco Past Pupils together with Hua Hin Salesian School community teachers and some students (summer holiday started already last weekend) joined the RM for lunch animated by Hua Hin school orchestra, dances and other cultural performances of high quality. 

Almost half of the Team Visit participants from 6 EAO provinces did join the lunch and get know each other after a long time, some of the them reviving the memories of past two previous Team Visit (also in Hua Hin) in 2005 and 2011.