During the Bicentenary year of Don Bosco there are five novices in Fiji (AUL) with 4 Samoans and 1 Aussie novice. The formation community has 3 formators and seven candidates to the priesthood studying philosophy, education and theology.
A Samoan novice, Lui Leiofi, tells his vocation story:
First and foremost, my vocation is not my action but it is a calling from God – as a gift. The significance of vocation in my life is that the vocation is an apostolic mission and the response to God despite whatever other things I may be doing…
I know from the vocation life I saw in the Salesian Priests and the Brothers of the community that they worked with the young people and they kept company with them many times. I pondered deeply about that, how I could give myself to be with the youngsters. This was very interesting for me, at that time I wanted to be like them because that was very similar to my mission at my Parish. This initial interest really inspired me to try this way of serving God.
Everyone has a different call from God (vocation), many people form the Church community, like Priests, Sisters and other vocations found in the family. For me this is similar to how in the family there are many different roles, like the head of the family or those who look after their whole family. For a scriptural experience I learnt from the Gospel of Mark; Jesus called his disciples and they responded immediately. ‘Take up your cross and follow me’, for me I always try to take up my cross and follow him. Our vocation is that call from God which forms our life, because of this it is God’s gift and a faithful communication of the way to fulfillment in Christ. Every call shows us that the Lord loves us, his children, and is leading and helping the Church.
There are several ways I want to offer my life for other people. Therefore, I can help with whatever they need and for the needs of the Church. Our call as Salesians is to focus on the needs of young people, who make up a part of the body of Christ. For us, we try to be aware of others and serve the people of God.
To be a gift to others: to have a relationship with one another and a relationship with God. To serve you and from this I too will find my reward in the successes of the young. This is mutual and it is like a gift for God and the Church, whilst God has also given a gift to me. For me, I feel this call is to the Salesains and I am thankful for this gift.