On the eve of the installation of the new provincial, most of the 300 Salesians from Vietnam – Mongolia province gathered together with 15 novices and 23 pre-novices in the Ben Cat community, Ho Chi Min City for one very meaningful day. It was a wonderful time of sharing amidst a family spirit of provincial community together around Don Bosco, around the outgoing provincial Fr. Joseph Tran Van Hung and incoming provincial Fr. Joseph Nguyen Van Quang.
Before the celebrations on May 27, the confreres reflected together on the quality of Salesian Mission in the 21 canonical communities and ten more Salesian presences. A simple survey of 8 questions was answered by 1000 young people (15-30 years of age) in our parishes, vocation training centers, boarding houses and aspirant centers. The survey was focused on the impact of our youth ministry, the results were presented and discussed in the assembly: How the young people feel they are loved by the Salesians? Do we listen enough to the young? Are we able to accompany them on their faith journey?
Three panel sharing (each 90 minutes) were guided by provincial council members, study center professors and formators. Very skillful animation of the Assembly by Fr. FX Hien was made more interesting with group interaction from three formation houses. The pre-novices (Cau Bong), novices (Ba Thon) and post-novices (Da Lat) did their best to express the theme ‘With the young people like Don Bosco’ through short drama. Especially the lively and deep item of the pre-novices was appreciated a lot by all confreres! There was enough time for open forum after each panel discussion for many confreres, including former provincials as well the post-novices.
During the lunch time arrived also some of the international SDB guests – provincial of THA (Thailand-Cambodia-Laos) Fr. Paul Prasert with his Vicar Fr. Agustin Yarat, provincial of MYM (Myanmar) Fr. Charles Saw and delegate superior of PNG-SI Fr. Peter Baquero.
Before the conclusive Eucharistic adoration and blessing there was a time for the incoming provincial Fr. Joseph Quang, to share his feelings at the beginning of his service as well main thrust of the six years plan ‘still in the making’. The 13 items of the ‘Road Map’ received from the Rector Major last March 30 in Rome become a point of reference for his 6 years period of service. Three key words were mentioned: (1) clear plan prepared in a participatory way for the whole province and each sector – with every 6 months evaluation; (2) transparency in economic matters and generally in matters of provincial governance and animation and (3) team work with the involvement of all confreres at the provincial level. At the end Fr. Joseph also briefly introduced also the members of a renewed provincial council and new PDO director. In family spirit shared his willingness to listen to all, trying to be close to all confreres, having the provincial house always open.
At the end of the day most of the confreres were leaving with a great satisfaction of quality time sharing experienced in family spirit, a true experience of growing in Salesian vocation together!