Each previous EAO Salesian Brother Congress was a precious opportunity to share and strengthen the Salesian Consecrated Vocation.
The first edition took place 32 years ago, in 1986, in Batualo, in the Philippines, and it studied the figure of the Salesian Brother starting from the Salesian Constitutions. The second meeting in 1991 in Hua Hin, Thailand, focused on "Identity, Vocation and Formation of the Salesian Brother."
Cebu, in the Philippines, 1995, the third event, was the most attended event so far, with 85 professed Salesians and 11 novices, its theme: "The Secular Dimension of the Salesian Congregation". In 1999, the congress was held in Melbourne, Australia, on Don Bosco's vision regarding the Salesian Brothers, with a gaze at the third millennium and beyond. In Phnom Phen, Cambodia, 2006, they discussed the "Promotion and Care of the vocation to the consecrated lay life "; and in 2013, again in Hua Hin, the theme focussed on "Salesian History, Pedagogy and Spirituality ", in light of the bicentenary of the birth of Don Bosco.
The preparation of this seventh edition – likely to be the most participated ever, with over 180 expected Salesians - has seen a great commitment in the animation and sharing of reflections and suggestions from the region's Salesian Brothers. On the regional site - "BoscoLink - AustraLasia" - more than 50 interviews with lay Salesians of the various circumscriptions of the region, together with the Acts of the previous congresses, are available.
Also the Rector Major has already sent his video message, available on YouTube in Italian with Khmer subtitles:
My dear Confreres, I greet you with true affection.
I cherish very much the theme of the 7th EAO Regional Salesian Brother Congress:
“We are all Brothers”. Great!
We have only one vocation – to be Salesians of Don Bosco - therefore we are indeed all brothers among us.
I am very happy to know that you will gather in Vietnam
And I remember the beautiful visit in Vietnam, and I thank you very much for that wonderful event - well, it makes me happy to hear that many Salesian Brothers will come together to reflect on the reality of our being all Brothers;
To reflect on the visibility of your being lay Salesians, Salesian Brothers;
and I’m equally happy for the fact that, beside all the journey that you have done during these past years up to this moment.
You are now already tuning up with the next General Chapter:
“What kind of Salesian Brothers for this beautiful Region?”
I like it so much.
I wish you a very fruitful work and I will be very glad to read your reflections, your conclusions.
I promise you my prayer.
I believe that many of us in different parts of the Salesian world wait eagerly for your reflections.
I add one more point:
My dear Confreres, my dear Brothers, I’m saying this all over the world, and I wish to tell you the same today:
The Salesian Brothers do not have a vocational crisis.
The Congregation has no difficulty about the vocation of Salesian Brother as such.
The great problem of the Church and the congregation too is “clericalism”, which can be really strong, and which, at times, do not allow us to see the beauty of this wonderful vocation shining.
I invite you to be frank and courageous in your reflections, in your pondering on the fact that the Salesian Brother vocation has much to offer to the world today and finding how to make it so.
I will be with you; I will be there with my heart, and I promise you my prayer.
I do love you wholeheartedly, my dear confreres.
All the best.
For those who are not able to join, there is a possibility to read, watch, enjoy and reflect many Salesian Brothers testimony and reflections, always on the Boscolink.