South Africa - Salesian Cooperators Congress – South Africa

14 December 2021

(ANS – Johannesburg) – On 4 December 2021, at  All Saints Parish of Ennerdale, Johannesburg, in connection with the SSCC Centers of Lesotho, Cape Town, and Malamulele, the online Congress of the Association of Salesian Cooperators (ASSCC) of the Centers of Southern Africa was held.

The Congress, facilitated by Mr. Chester Brown, SSCC Provincial Councilor for Southern Africa, was attended by various members of the Salesian Family Groups: Salesian Cooperators, SSCC Aspirants, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Salesians of Don Bosco, and a young representative of the  Salesian Youth Movement of Gauteng.

Sr. Giovanna Pesenti, Daughter of Mary Help of Christians of the Province of Our Lady of Peace (AFM), Delegate for the Salesian Family for the Interprovincial Conference of Africa and Madagascar (CIAM),  opened the day by invoking the Holy Spirit to guide the work of the Congress.

Next, she proposed a reflection on Mary at the Wedding at Cana entitled “Prophecy of a courageous presence” saying, “Mary is present at the wedding feast. This helps us to read the Salesian charism as a charism of presence, of sharing, of closeness in the celebration of everyday life, in response to  her request to Jesus, ‘Do whatever he tells you’ (Jn 2:5).”

After the presentation of each Center, Sr. Marie Claire Jean, Provincial of the AFM Province, spoke about the Final Document of the XXIV General Chapter, “With Mary, prophecy of a creative and courageous presence“, underlining the attitude of listening, the journey in synodality and obedience, to be presences that generate life. The Provincial also presented the priority choices on formation, missionary synodality, and integral ecology and invited the Salesian Cooperators to listen to the cry of the poor and of the earth.

The local SSCC Center presented the various activities carried out during the year 2021. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic situation, all the Centers continued their meetings in different ways, bringing the Salesian spirit to parishes, workplaces, homes, responding to local needs with service to the poor and the distribution of food parcels to the most needy.

Sr. Giovanna Pesenti encouraged the Groups to meet, possibly in presence, once a month to support each other. She also thanked and supported the SSCC Aspirants of Malamulele. In conclusion, she reminded the Salesian Cooperators to keep alive the “Project of Apostolic Life”, to be a prophetic presence and remain steadfast in their vocation.

The meeting continued with the reports of Ms. Khensani Machaba, Provincial Formator, Ms. Jessica Poley, Provincial Treasurer, and Mr. Chester Brown, Provincial Councilor. Fr. Clarence Watts, SDB, presented the theme of  Strenna 2022 of the Rector Major, Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, “Do all through love, nothing through constraint” (St. Francis de Sales), which was followed by a sharing led by Sr. Giovanna.

The day ended with the Eucharistic celebration presided over by Fr. Joy Sebastian, Superior of Blessed Michael Rua Preprovince (AFM) and concelebrated by Fr. Marian Kulig SDB, parish priest of All Saints and by Fr. Emmanuel Kagimbangabo, SDB.

The ASSCC 2021 Congress, the first held online, gave the various Salesian Cooperators Centers in the Region of Southern Africa the opportunity to meet in the  Salesian family spirit, to get to know each other more in depth and  share the initiatives carried out and the formation contents, to bring abundant and lasting fruit to the local realities.



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.

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