Don Bosco Philippines South Province

Salesians of Don Bosco – Philippine South Province FIS

5th National Salesian Family Encounter 2018

October 20, 2018. Don Bosco Technical Institute, Victorias City, Neg. Occ.

The 5th National Salesian Family (Salfam) Encounter was sponsored by the FIS province and was held at Don Bosco Victorias, Neg. Occ., October 20, 2018. The theme of the encounter is “Community of Communities.” It was attended by more than 200 participants coming from the SDBs, FMAs, Salesian Cooperators (who has the most delegates), VDB, GEX, Damas Salesianas and the CDB. The encounter started with the Holy Mass celebrated by Fr. Godofredo Atienza, SDB, FIS Provincial. It was then followed by the welcoming of the delegation by Fr. Santos, rector of DBTI, with a photo-op with Fr. Provincial.

After which, was the main talk delivered by the delegate on the Commission on Youth Ministry (FIS), Fr. Joriz F. Calsa, SDB developing the theme, “Community of Communities Together with the Youth.” (click the title to see the transcript of the talk). He structured his talk on the Church’s style of recognizing (listening), interpreting, and choosing focusing on Don Bosco’s method of responding to the contextual need of the youth in his locality. Also shared was the need of the youth in the ministry the presence of adults and family in view of their preparation becoming adults themselves. On the third part of his talk, Fr. Calsa developed the Salesian Family Spirit which exists prior to having the Educative Pastoral Community, the Salesian Congregation, and the Salesian Family (in the exact order). The main input was concluded with four proposals for study and reflection for the different members of the Salesian Family:

1) To make serious efforts in the remote, proximate, and immediate preparations for marriage.
(Remote preparation is in the level of Family Ministry, proximate preparations in Youth Ministry, and immediate preparations for Vocational Ministry; this will be another topic to discuss in depth).

2) Rethink of our oratory-youth centers with the involvement of the family.
(not just a parent but couples and their children). In any Pastoral reboot we must have a strong connection with the family, both as its point of departure and its goal.

3) Ongoing formation of adults. We need formed adults and families taking care of our ministries. Integral part of which is the spiritual growth and emphasis on prayer and discernment and the return to the true Family Spirit of Don Bosco.

4) Be immersed in the world of the youth and respond to their holistic needs.

Fr. Calsa concluded with the words: “As a conclusion let us be clear with this, AS SALESIANS and AS A SALESIAN FAMILY, WE DO NOT WANT A “FAMILY MINISTRY” THAT IS SEPARATE FROM “YOUTH MINISTRY.” What we want is a family spirit to be the hallmark of our works.

After the talk, some members of the Salfam shared how they put into practice the idea of Community of Communities, particularly doing some outreach program to the poor families of the parish. It was followed by an updating about the Salfam by Fr. Roxas, SF FIN.

In the afternoon, the Salfam were divided into groups for a short immersion to five different settings to listen to these people hoping to create a spark to do a full time ministry on them, namely: the sick, the delinquent youth, the youth groups, children of the Sacadas and the house of the aged. They were given two hours to encounter these people and share the hopes and joys of the sons and daughters of Don Bosco. When the group returned to Don Bosco, there was a common evening prayer and sharing of the immersion experiences facilitated by Fr. Borres, SF FIS Secretariat and it was amazing how majority were moved by the story of the lives of these people. Then for dinner, it was a barrio fiesta style hosted by the ever humorous dancing-priest, Fr. Satura, the provincial economer of FIS. Items were performed by the different delegations in the Filipiniana themed program. And to cap everything, the traditional Good Night Talk was given by Fr. Sanchez, rector of Borongan and fomer provincial superior of FIS.

(Email at [email protected] for the PPT presentation)