By Fr Joseph Sin Minsoo, SDB
On the large campus immersed in the Il Gog Dong Valley, every day from Monday to Friday, almost 1400 students (grade 6-12) experience the heart of Don Bosco in their daily lives. In spite of South Korea's highly competitive educational system, whose main focus is the university admittance exam in November, the school's nine Salesians - Rector Fr Mike Chang, 6 Salesian priests, 1 coadjutor and two trainees - and more than 100 lay mission partners, including 15 Don Bosco Alumni and Salesian Cooperators, are always trying their best to foster the human(e) growth of its young.
Do you know K-Pop, Korea Pop? Here, every Friday at lunch, in the Salesian High School, we have concerts by Salesian Pop Stars (S-Pop) with songs that are sometimes improvised, other times well-prepared, and they are accompanied by dances and other games. All 1400 students are happy to contribute, as are the Spiritual coordinators, or Cathechists, the young Salesian interns, and a number of teachers, all at the very center of this meaningful time together.
Furthermore, the family spirit is expressed on campus in hundreds of different ways – origami, for example, in the Catechist room, or in the dialogue between teachers and students during their campus walks or before the reproduction of the Grotto of Our Lady, or while strolling around the green hills – the school campus is extremely clean and tidy -, playing different table games, or sports such as football or basketball.
“Yes, for us Salesians wasting time with young people, listening to their hearts during breaks is the best way to their hearts. In these moments together, our students feel they are really loved and thus our education is able to be truly Salesian.”
“We are grateful to many generations of Salesians, teachers, lay mission partners and past pupils, all of whom, for over sixty years, have contributed to this wonderful Salesian environment on the outskirts of Gwangju!”