BANGKOK, Thailand: 12 October 2011 — In spite of the inclement weather and recent typhoons that have wracked Thailand, the 7th East Asia-Oceania Regional Assembly of the Association of Salesian Cooperators was formally opened today in Bangkok by the Provincial Coordinator for the ASC inThailand, Mr. Francis Wichai Srisura.
The very first meeting of this kind was held in Hua Hin, also in Thailand, seventeen years ago, and now the Provincial of Thailand, Fr. Paul Prasert Somngam and the representative of the FMA Provincial were happy to welcome all participants and treat them to a delightful supper in the Fortune Grand Mercure Hotel.
The study of the current rule of life of the ASC, the PAL (Project of Apostolic Life) has been the main topic for study in the Region since the last Congress in Macau in 2008. Each ASC Group should have already well understood the Salesian Cooperator’s identity, vocation and mission. It is timely that they meet again to discuss and plan for the future so that the ASC Members may be united in their mission among the young in this part of the world.
The theme of the gathering is “Called to be united, let us renew our identity.” The first to arrive in Bangkok were the 42 SDB and FMA Delegates for the Cooperators and the Coordinators of each ASC Provincial Council in each country of the Region for their Leadership Meeting. For two complete days (11 and 12 Oct.) they received input and engaged in discussions on important topics like Unity and Identity, Formation of New Members, On-Going Formation and Economic Solidarity.
Among the prominent speakers were Fr. Stjepan Bolkovak sdb, World Delegate for the ASC (who is ending his term) and Sr Maria Trigila from Rome, and Mr Carlos Escobar (Australia), a representative of the ASC World Council.
For the next three days (13 to 15 Oct.) the 172 Cooperators who have came for the Assembly will review the Project of Life, reflect on its applicability in their lives, discuss the renewal of their identity today, and propose plans on how to be more united among themselves in each province, and in the region itself. There will also be moments of interaction, visits to Don Bosco schools, and excursions to some beautiful places in Bangkok and its vicinity, weather permitting.
The Cooperators and SDB/FMA Delegates who came for the Regional Assembly representing each country were 1 from Australia, 3 from Cambodia, 33 from China, 1 from Indonesia, 8 from Japan, 10 from Korea, 1 from Laos, 3 from Mongolia, 73 from Northern Philippines, 9 from Southern Philippines, 1 from Singapore, 3 from Timor Leste, 5 from Vietnam, and 22 from the host country, Thailand.