Thailand – Harvesting the fruits of 4th EAO Salesian History Conference

18 February 2019

(ANS – Sam Phran) – After five full days, February 10-14 at the Ban Than Praphon, Sam Phran (FMA Retreat House), the 4th EAO Salesian History Conference concluded in the late evening of February 14th with a shared evaluation, a truly Salesian Academy with colourful dances and songs from participants from 10 countries.

It was the 22nd Continental ACSSA (Association of Salesian Historians) Conference since 1996 and the third of the 5 Continental Congresses going on to present the 'Relevant Salesian figures of the 20th Century' - ACSSA South Asia (June 2018), ACSSA Europe (November 2018) and ACSSA Africa and ACSSA America (March 2019).

What are the fruits of this 2019 EAO History Conference? Most of the answers revolve around the 'Why?' and 'How?' of Salesian history writing. Many of the SDB participants bring back home a strong motivation to inculcate a sense of history in the confreres that help to deepen our charismatic roots and also foster a much clearer future vision in each country, province or at the regional level.

On the last day the ACSSA World leadership: President Fr Francesco Motto, SDB, Vicepresident Sr Grazia Loparco and Secretary General Fr Stanislaw Zimniak and, in absence of Fr Thomas Anchukandam, Director of the Salesian Historical Institute, introduced the 46 participants to fundamental principles and gave them an introduction to historical research: how to preserve and pass on the 'Memory of the Salesian Tradition', how to interpret the different literary genres (critical approach to the sources).

Fr Zimniak shared the rich past and articulated present situation of ACSSA and the Salesian Historical Institute (, sharing on one website most of the almost 40 years of publications (available online), and introducing the national, continental and world structures of ACSSA (190 members in five continents).

Looking at the future, the 190 members of ACSSA worldwide are looking toward their November 2020 International (World) Conference - possibly - in Lisbon, Portugal, to improve their presentations from the five Continental Conferences ('Decalogue of Fr Motto').

Since there are only five EAO province-based ACSSA members (FIN - 2 SDB, CIN - 1 SDB, GIA - 1 FMA and AUL - 1 FMA) the participants were encouraged to join the Association or take advantage of their resources (e.g. ACSSA Italia:, such as an online course for the Salesian archivist with 10 video conferences.

In the region, two SF Congregations were identified as a model for making good progress in this field - the SIHM Sisters (Thailand-Cambodia) and the Caritas Sisters of Jesus (Japan-Korea) with formation of sisters, investing in archives and history writing.

The organizers hope that all 12 EAO provinces will be inspired by this recent Salesian history conference to improve their awareness about concrete historical charismatic roots in their territory within the wider context of secular and ecclesial history. Each participant was encouraged to contribute to the discernment (listen - interpret - way forward) about 'How to fall in love with Salesian history': simple concrete steps of solid Chronicle-writing, Provincial archive-keeping and basic formation of the Salesian Family member.

One of the EAO Salesians (TLS Vice-province) shared the following before departure from Bangkok: “We were struck by many interesting Salesian figures, most of them very attractive, since they were able to overcome many huge challenges in the past. We ask ourselves what they are telling us today. And we ask ourselves how we can share these shining models to the youth of today. However for us the question remains: how can we advance in documenting and preserving historical material before our Centenary in 2027?”

Source: AustraLasia


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

This site also uses third-party cookies to improve user experience and for statistical purposes. By scrolling through this page or by clicking on any of its elements, you consent to the use of cookies. To learn more or to opt out, click "Further Information".