Focus 2022

Philippines - FIS14-07-2022

Don Bosco “mother-house” in Mindanao: all about growth

During the past 30 or so years, Don Bosco Mati (“mother-house” of the FIS Salesians on Mindanao island) with its large parish and TVET, is slowly growing, journeying with the people of God and offering many young people wonderful opportunities to be prepared for life at the Vocational Training Center. Their agriculture (farm) and varied technical skills training are already well known in this part of Mindanao.

Fr Joriz Calsa was assigned to Mati in 2021 and now shares his experience: “We are glad that the training has center continued its operation even amidst the pandemic with almost 300 students, thanks to our humble boarding houses and the continuous support through scholarships from government institutions like DepEd and TESDA. This year we even managed to send around 30 students for on-the-job training in Bulacan and Cavite [Luzon island, close to Manila], and I have witnessed companies coming over to look for our graduates for a job opening. Our DBTC has also acquired a Star Rating from TESDA for its welding course and we have also received a three-year approval as a 'donee' institution from the Philippine Council for NGO Certification (PCNC), and that means we can take donations from partner industries which would convert their taxes into donating goods for DBTC”.

The long dreamed of DBTC chapel construction is coming to completion (2022) and so we will be able to celebrate a daily class Mass with our students.

Formation for the various ministries in the parish have also continued. This year, too, we made a point of making the Sacraments more accessible to the poor by offering them more frequently even in their own villages.

In one pastoral year (2021-2022) at the Sacred Heart of Jesus parish, Mati, which includes many villages and barrios, the Catholic community is growing with 331 Baptized new Catholics, 576 teenagers who received the sacrament of Confirmation, with 120 first Communions, 62 weddings. But the main good news is about the growth of two new BEC (Basic Ecclesial Communities) with 100-120 families.

Thanks to the presence of Br Tena, the vocational culture at Mati continues to be fruitful. At present there are 8 Aspirants in the Don Bosco Formation House (Lawaan) and another 6 are being prepared to join for the next school year.