Focus 2006

Philippins DBCLAY - FIS01-11-2006

Project: Don Bosco Centre for Lay Adults & Youth (DB-CLAY)
Date of foundation: October 23, 2002
Place: Philippines
Province: Philippines South (FIS)

Aim: Don Bosco Centre for Lay Adults and Youth (DB-CLAY) is a Salesian Institute of formation for lay adults and youth to become Christ-centred, empowered servant-leaders, l.iving witnesses and agents of transformation in the family, society and the Church. DB-CLAY commits itself to providing an holistic Christian formation inspired by the spirit and example of St. John Bosco, to develop:
• lay people to respond to the call to holiness;
• members of the Salesian Family to grow in their Salesian vocation;
• Salesian Lay Mission Partners to deepen their involvement in the Salesian mission;
• Youth to grow into empowered servant-leaders-

The story
Starting DB- CLAY was a leap of faith. Not knowing what to do or how to go about it, a group of Salesian lay mission partners sought the assistance of the then provincial, Fr Pat Buzon, now Bishop. He led the effort to find a space and to find committed lay people to give their full-time services. This space initially was the Don Bosco Technology Resource Centre in Cebu City. A budget was prepared for its refurbishing and the centre was blessed on October 23rd, 2002.
Salesians, FMA, other members of the Salesian Family (Cooperators, Damas Salesianas, Volunteers of Don Bosco), parish volunteers, alumni and representatives from youth groups invited to journey for the first three months with the core group.
The first three months were 'baby steps', especially drawing up a profile of the Lay Mission Partner (LMP). Then a visioning exercise (see aim, above), and finally defining the structure of the Centre and the roles and functions it would be expecting from those ledning their services and their time.

DB-CLAY operates in the name of the Provincial of FIS (currently Fr Julius Arthur Sanchez), with an SDB as Spiritual Formation Director (currently Fr Roneldo Vilbar). Executive Directress is Mrs Lori Rago. Mr Alex del Mar is Formation Coordinator, Miss Marminda Lopez is in charge of the office and Fr Broderick Segovia sdb is Formation Youth Director. The three lay people named are Formators, and they are assisted by ten other volunteer lay people from various branches of the Salesian Family.
There has been a period of intensive formation for the group. For the frist six months it was offered twice a week for a total of 6 hours per week. This was reduced then to 3 hours per week. From the second half of 2005 until now, SDB postulants and novices have been part of this formation, focused on the life and works of Don Bosco, the spirituality of Don Bosco and Mary Mazzarello and the Life and Works of St Francis de Sales.

Programs and related activities of DB-CLAY
When DB-CLAY became operational, youth programs were immediately offered to schools and Salesian settings, programs such as Youth Encounter, Youth Encounter for Yuppies (Young Professionals), Youth Encounter Facilitators Seminar Workshop, Basic Christian Youth Movement, Leadership Training, Human Sexuality Seminar, Recollection.
A Basic Salesianity Formation for Lay Mission Partners was also set up. This was first offered to the core group and considered so successful that it is now offered more widely: at a total of seven levels -
• Basic Salesianity Level I: Don Bosco and his educative system
• Basic Salesianity Level II: Applications of the Preventive System
• Basic Salesianity Level III: Don Bosco and the Birth of the Salesian Society
• Basic Salesianity Level IV: Don Bosco and world expansion
• Basic Salesianity Level V: GC23 - a journey with the youngsters
• Basic Salesianity Level VI: GC24 - Salesians and lay communion and sharing in the spirit and mission of Don Bosco
• Basic Salesianity Level VII: Salesian skills (animation of liturgies, youth groups, etc).
Other programs given to Lay Mission Partners include: Team building, Trainer's training for formation, Parenting seminar, Salesianity retreat.
Still born out of the desire for formators to spread the charism of Don Bosco, a 4-page newsletter aptly called 'Mould', has been published. It will reach its fourth edition in December 2006.

Future thrusts
Recently DB-CLAY moved to a new space at Don Bosco Seminary, blessed on August 18tth 2006 by Fr Vaclav Klement East Asia-Oceania Regional Superior. The centre will soon boast its own A-V room and Training room, gearing itself to become a hub for lay formation activities, partnerships with academic institutions. Its offerings will become credited professional units for continuing education by the local Commision on Higher Education (CHED).

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