What makes you happy as a Salesian Brother?
In my opinion, I can serve and help others as a Salesian Brother. Whenever I serve and help others, I happily feel that I am worthy. That is why I am always happy and joyful. Happiness is a choice. Joy is an attitude that maintains health. … “Being happy and having a smiling face” every day is my daily motto, which reminds me that I am a happy and joyful Salesian Brother.
Who attracted you to this form of Salesian vocation?
One summer holiday, when I was young, I was attracted by the cheerful aspirants in Hong Kong. I saw them playing cheerfully with smiling faces in the playground. From then on, I decided to follow their lifestyle. I began to ask about entering the Salesian aspirant seminary. Later, I understood the difference between the vocation of the Salesian Priest and the Salesian Brother. Finally, I chose to be a Salesian Brother.
I think that to be a Salesian Brother is more amiable and easier than to be a Salesian Priest. A Salesian Brother, in appearance, looks like an ordinary man; whatever he does will really have great influence on young people.
What is the specific contribution of a Salesian Brother to the Salesian mission and community?
As far as I know, Salesian Brothers can work in the congregation based on their specialties, alongside priests. For example, they can teach or work in the school, help with pastoral work in the parish, take care of the young in the oratory, be present among the students in the school all the time, etc. In a word, do not ask what the congregation and community can do for you... You must do something for the congregation and community instead.
How can the Salesian priest contribute to the promotion of the Salesian Brother vocation?
The Salesian priest ought to understand that the vocation of Salesian Brother was created by our founder Don Bosco. All the Salesian Brothers enjoy the same rights as the Salesian priests in the Salesian Congregation. They have to love and respect one another. All of them are apple of our founder Don Bosco’s eyes and also Salesians in the congregation. The Salesian priests must respect and take good care of all the Salesian Brothers. Besides, they must admit the Salesian Brothers’ identities. They must appreciate and pay much attention to the Salesian Brothers' work in the congregation. The Salesian priests can propagate the Salesian Brother Vocation in public, inviting some senior Salesian Brothers to share their experiences in schools and parishes. Also, they can present certain outstanding Salesian Bothers by posting on the bulletin board each month, items which clearly explain how to be Salesian Brothers in the congregation to our Salesian students and the Salesian Family.
What sustains your vocation as Salesian Brother?
A Salesian Brother is a faithful servant of God. What he does is for the love of God and Our Holy Mother. With God and Our Holy mother, everything is okay. Recite the Rosary fervently every day. Live a good life of prayer in the community. Adore the Blessed Sacrament every day. Keep good communications between God and people. Do something for the congregation and community, and take good care of the young Salesians in your community, and its senior confreres.
Are there any expectations regarding the future of Salesian Brother vocation?
I hope our congregation pays much attention to the Salesian Brother Vocation. Try to give them the necessary formation on both a spiritual basis and academic ones. Try to find a practical solution to the shortage of the Salesian Brothers in each province. Establish a regional association of the Salesian Brothers to deal with this problem among the provinces. Create an international Salesian Brothers’ website.
What are your suggestions for the path towards the EAO 2018 Congress?
Let all the Salesians, especially Salesian Brothers, know the main purpose and the agenda of the Salesian Brothers Congress in advance in Vietnam this coming year, 2018. First of all, solve all the language problems in order to let all participants express themselves freely.
If possible, let all the Salesian Brothers in the region participate in this meeting. Make some practical and doable conclusions. Follow up on all the conclusions, which should be uploaded on the Salesian Brothers’ website. Provide some useful information and a memorial souvenir T-shirt to all the participants.