SALESIAN MISSIONARY INTENTION IN THE LIGHT OF THE HOLY FATHER’S PRAYER INTENTION
For Salesians in Asia That they may be builders of communion in diversity.
For the Salesian Family in the countries of Asia, that they may know how to initiate always the first step to reach out to their neighbour, learn to live with a heart open to the young and to the followers of other religions.
In this way may they grow by
listening to and understanding
other religions and thus foster
the interreligious dialogue of
N. 107 - November 2017 Newsletter for Salesian Missionary Animation A Publication of the Missions Sector for the Salesian Communities and Friends of the Salesian Missionp>We still have in our mind and heart the words of Pope Francis in his message for the World Mission Day 2017: "The world is absolutely in need of the Gospel of Jesus Christ ... And, thanks be to God, there are also significant instances that testify to the transforming power of the Gospel. I think of the sacrifice of the Dinka student" (in South Sudan) "who, at the expense of his own life, protects a student of the Nuer tribe student, who had been destined to be killed "(No. 5).
Synod for the Pan-Amazonian region deeply involves the Salesian Family
Pope Francis has not finished taking us by surprise. On Sunday, October 15, before the recitation of the Angelus, he announced: "Welcoming the desire of some Episcopal Conferences of Latin America, as well as the voice of various Pastors and faithful from other parts of the world, I am convening a Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazonian region. It will be held at Rome in October 2019. The main purpose of this gathering is to identify new paths for the evangelization of that portion of the People of God, especially the Indigenous peoples, who are often forgotten and without the prospect of a peaceful future. It is also because of the crisis in the Amazon rainforest, a vitally important lung of our planet."
This synod is dedicated to a reflection on the peoples and nations living in the Amazon rainforest. They are in nine countries: Brazil (67 per cent), Peru (13 per cent), Bolivia (11 per cent), Colombia (6 per cent), Ecuador (2 per cent), Venezuela (1 per cent), Suriname, Guyana and French Guiana (together make 0.15 per cent). In the Amazon region of South America, there are 2,797,478 aborigines belonging to 390 indigenous peoples and 137 peoples "not yet Involved" completely. They speak 240 different languages that belong to 49 very important linguistic groups from a historical and cultural point of view.
This event is of particular interest to our Salesian family. Our presence in the Amazon has a history of 125 years. Our ministry is strongest in the Amazon valley of Brazil, Venezuela, Peru and Ecuador. Here is an opportunity for a reflection based on our Salesian historical records of the region, our very rich cultural and social patrimony as evangelizers and as Salesians. We have worked among the Shuar, Achuar, Bororos, Xavantes, Yanomami and Tucanos, etc.. We need to analyze our social, cultural, ecological and pastoral challenges. We now have an opportunity to relaunch our presence, in communion with the whole church, in this part of the world, which is so important not only for the countries of the region, but for the whole planet.
May Blessed Maria Troncanti, and the Servants of God Rodolfo Lunkenbein and Simon Bororo, accompany us these days that we may answer positively to the the Lords plans for our Family among the Amazonian peoples.
Salesian Missionary IntentionFor Salesians in AsiaThat they may be builders of communion in diversity
For the Salesian Family in the countries of Asia, that they may always take the first step to reach out to their neighbor; that they learn to live with a heart open to the young and to the followers of other religions; that they may in this way grow, through listening to and understanding other religions, and thus foster the interreligious dialogue of daily life.
Witness of Salesian Missionary Sanctity
Fr. Pierluigi Cameroni SDB, Postulator General for the Causes of Saints
Venerable Momma Margaret (1878-1856), had already noticed that Divine Providence had not destined John for a life in the fields. One morning, John talked to the family about a strange dream that had lasted all night. He seemed to be in the midst of a multitude of children. At first they had the appearance of every kind of wild animals. They were then transformed into flocks of sheep. A mysterious voice commanded him to take them to the pasture ... Margaret reflected for a moment, looking at her son, and then said, "Who knows, may be one day you will be a priest!" This thought remained engraved on the mind of the good mother, who could read the most secret inclinations in the heart of her son.
Knowledge of the language of the people is indispensable for a missionary
I never really thought of becoming a missionary because I did not feel confident that I could overcome the difficulties I would face in a mission land. I left it to the others to go to the missions. When I was a deacon, I went to Cambodia for a short-term volunteer work with some Korean students. We were at Phnom Penhs Don Bosco technical school. At that time I said to myself that I was there just to take care of my students. Over a few days of work I noticed that I hardly met any of the Salesians in the school. I realized that there were only a few confreres in Cambodia, where there were many young Khmers who needed them. I came across many poor young people in trouble. A thought flashed through my mind, that perhaps I was needed more in Cambodia than in Korea. I felt that the Korean province would not suffer from my absence because there were many confreres there. I do not think my missionary passion was just a sudden impulse. It is, indeed, natural to feel like helping people in trouble only when they are right in front of us. That was not my case. I felt the missionary call over three and a half years. It was only then that I took a decision and wrote to the Rector Major offering myself to be a missionary.
My biggest challenge is the Khmer language. I realize that if I do not speak it correctly I will be just like any other staff of an NGO, not really a missionary. The local language is an essential factor in proclaiming the Gospel. Without it, our proclamation is very limited. With English I can run a school like a business and communicate with my confreres. To share my experience of the Faith with the Khmer youth, I need to use their language. My greatest joy is to stay with these young people, share their lives and meet my God in Khmer people.
When we think of missionary life we are likely to imagine too many difficulties in a strange land. We are tempted to avoid becoming a missionary. We cannot really anticipate the difficulties we will encounter. No
one becomes a missionary because he is sure he will overcome all
challenges. As a missionary, I have learned to place my trust totally in
God. I also understand that, though we all wear the same jackets from
the local culture, our missionary communities are international. I must
accept also the culture of my fellow missionaries. It is important to have
a mind that is receptive to various cultures. This also implies openness to
the cultures of the other confreres in the community. When there is mutual openness, there is interculturality in the community and we become more credible witnesses of Jesus!
Fr. Mark Yang Korean, missionary in Cambodia
“ I FEEL WANTED, WELCOMED AND ACCOMPANIED ”
Salesian Missionary Intentions in the light of the Holy Father’s Prayer Intentions for 2017
JANUARY FOR ALL SALESIANS That they may always and everywhere be men of the Church and of unity.
FEBRUARY FOR SALESIANS IN THE AMERICAS That they may keep alive in their hearts the love of Jesus for poor youth. MARCH FOR SALESIANS IN THE MIDDLE EAST That Salesians may continue to be signs of faith and hope among the persecuted Christians of the Middle East. APRIL FOR SALESIAN VOCATIONS That every Salesian community may radiate the joy of being called by the Lord. MAY FOR SALESIANS IN AFRICA AND MADAGASCAR That, as prophets of mercy, justice and peace, they may know how to educate the young to the social dimension of charity. JUNE FOR SALESIANS WHO WORK IN CONFLICT AREAS That they may be Builders of Peace through the weapon of “education” and the proclamation of the “Prince of Peace” JULY FOR SALESIANS IN EUROPE That Project Europe, a missionary project of the Congregation, may bear abundant fruit.
AUGUST FOR SALESIANS IN OCEANIA That they may share with the young the beauty of their vocation. SEPTEMBER FOR THE 148 TH MISSIONARY EXPEDITION That every Salesian may be a missionary according to the heart of Don Bosco. OCTOBER FOR SALESIANS IN VOCATIONAL TRAINING CENTRES That vocational training centres continue to be schools of development and Christian humanism in the world of work. NOVEMBER FOR SALESIANS IN ASIA That they may be builders of communion in diversity. DECEMBER FOR OLD AND SICK SALESIANS That they may continue to radiate the joy of their vocation call and be intercessors for abundant graces of the Lord for the Salesian mission.