Samoan Salesian Cooperators

The most Eastern country of the EAO region with two Salesian communities does celebrate at many occasions during this DB 200 Jubilee Year. Four months after the memorable visit of the Rector Major, one month after the 5th edition of the Salesian Youth Day (SamBosco 2015) and few days after the recently concluded Commonwealth Youth Games – just tomorrow the Catholic Church remembers 170th of the first Eucharistic Celebration in this country (15th September 1845, in the island of Savaii). Most of the Samoan clergy with their Archbishop Alapati presides the Eucharist in the same village like 170 years ago did the first missionaries.

On the Eve of this Jubilee the Alafua community (since 1988, Rector Fr. Petelo Vito Pau) with seven confreres and six aspirants invited for the second time the whole group of the incoming Salesian Cooperators. The Eucharist was presided by the Regional Councilor Fr. Klement and was followed by a short video presentation about the Salesian Family today (ANS Channel). Then continued a short overview about the identity, history, mission, formation and practical hints to the starting group. Indeed the Salesian Family in Samoa after 35 years of history is composed only of the SDB and FMA communities with some not-so-organized Past Pupils group. Fr. Ángel during his May visit entrusted the Pacific Delegate Fr. Mosese Tui (Rector of Saleleloga community in the other Samoa island of Savaii) with one copy of the Salesian Cooperators PAL (Project of Apostolic Life). Rector Major expressed his dream that this essential group of the Salesian Family will come soon to life in this Salesian fertile soil of the Polynesian Church with many vocation.

Main point of this ‘introduction’ was taken from the same words of Don Bosco to Dominic Savio: ‘There is no holier work in the world than to cooperate for the good of souls. Jesus Christ shed up to the last drop of his precious blood for this!’ (Life of Dominic Savio, chapter XI). So at the beginning of their journey the Aspirants could clarify that it’s not about to become a ‘Cooperator of Fr. X-Y’ or Cooperator of Alafua community, but their vocation is about to become a Cooperator of God, like Don Bosco!

Among all comments, one deep question was raised: ”How can the Salesian Cooperator become holy?” After a short look at the Poster of 166 Salesian Saints, Blessed and Servants of God, Mr. Simon was strongly impressed about the ‘power’ of the Salesian Charism. Short life story about Attilio Giordani or Mamma Margaret provoked indeed this basic question about the Salesian Cooperator Vocation meaning!

Among the first group of 10+ Catholic committed men and women of mature age are our school teachers, parish permanent deacon and council members, school staff, parents of the young Salesians or cook of the SDB community. First reactions on the presentation were a wonderful mixture of excitement, questions – about Mamma Margaret, Don Bosco, Pope Francis and the two year ‘course’ of formation necessary for the solid preparation for the promise. Alafua group of Salesian Cooperator Aspirants resolved to meet every month with the accompaniment of the Rector to discover the simple and attractive Salesian vocation.

By Fr Petelo Vito Pau SDB, Rector

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