EAO 16 January 2019 — In each of the 90 Salesian provinces around the world we are already used to celebrating Salesian Family Day with meaning. The annual world level ‘Salesian Family Days’ started in 1973 and since 2017 are being held at Valdocco, Turin. What makes the difference? You can ask the 360 participants who spent 4 days at Valdocco.This year also 21 EAO participants from Irak-Australia, Timor Leste (East Timor) – Ireland, China, Japan, Korea, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam were among them.
What are the fruits of the world level ‘Salesian Family Spirituality Days’? One of the 2019 SF Days EAO participants expressed this strong conviction: “During the language group sharing we spoke again and again of our profound gratitude for the gift of the Salesian Family! We pledged to live our religious life in the future with a deeper identity as one Salesian Family! I personally want this too!”
What does the presence of 21 SF members of EAO origin mean in this context? Three SDBs, two FMA Sisters, two SIHM Sisters and 14 Caritas of Jesus Sisters with one lay Friend of Don Bosco was probably the record for our regional participation at this world level Salesian Family event. One Sister Congregation made the strategic choice to take part every year with the complete General Council and representatives from all 6 provinces; another group of Sisters are sending two delegates every year and one SDB province is quite consistent with one participant each year.
At the provincial level we are not able to experience the rich charismatic, are unable to listen directly to the Rector Major. We are not able to take advantage of the large multi-cultural expressions of Don Bosco’s Salesian Family. And the gathering at Valdocco brings one more priceless experience — the holy places of Don Bosco, where each stone speaks loudly of Salesian holiness. It might be enriching for each EAO province to send one delegate each year to experience the Salesian Family in this way!