Vietnam – Conclusion of the Extraordinary Visitation of the General Councillor for the Missions

23 May 2024

(ANS - Ho Chi Minh City) – On the morning of 20 May 2024, the Salesians living around the city of Ho Chi Minh City gathered in the Provincial House for the conclusion of the Extraordinary Visitation to the St John Bosco Province of Vietnam (VIE), conducted, on behalf of the Rector Major, by Fr Alfred Maravilla, General Councillor for the Missions. The visitation, which lasted almost 9 months over five different occasions, had opened on 3 August 2023 with the Visitor meeting with the Provincial and his Council. This was followed by visits to presences grouped by areas.

Today the VIE Province includes the Provincial Delegation of North Vietnam (DVN) and the Provincial Delegation of Mongolia (DMG). It has 40 works (of which 9 are in the Northern Delegation and 3 in the Mongolian Delegation). There are 20 presences (of which 7 are in the North Delegation and 1 in the Mongolia Delegation). The distance between the farthest presence from the southernmost part of Vietnam and the northernmost one is 2,270 km, almost the same distance as there is between Venice, Italy, and St Petersburg, Russia.

During this Extraordinary Visitation, Fr Maravilla used the approach of community discernment with its 3 phases as used in General Chapters 27 and 28: listening carefully to understand the situation of the entire Province; interpreting the situation going beyond the surface and appearances to understand the deep causes; and finally, tracing the way forward, consolidating the positive aspects, overcoming weaknesses, strengthening the processes to help the Salesians throughout the Province grow in fidelity to their vocation and mission.

The greatest resource of the Province is the  362 confreres (of whom 218 are priests). There are 91 in initial formation (40 postnovices, 23 practical traineess, 25 students of theology, 3 with other studies). There are 12 brothers in temporary vows and 43 in perpetual vows. Then there are 4 Salesians in a special situation, 14 novices and 15 prenovices. The average age of the Salesians is 36.84 years.

In many different ways, the Visitor experienced the sincere love and deep attachment of the Salesians to Don Bosco and the Congregation. In general, most of them live their consecrated life faithfully, leading a simple and frugal lifestyle. However, the Visitor also stressed the need to deepen the charismatic identity especially of the many parishes entrusted to the Salesians, to grow in a planning mentality, to review the different stages of initial formation and to develop an provincial plan for the formation and empowermentof the laity. It is expected that this summer the Mongolia Delegation will be transferred to the Province of South Korea (KOR), to ensure better accompaniment.

"The Province of Vietnam not only has a glorious Salesian history to remember and tell, but also a great history yet to be realised. The realistic recognition of strengths and weaknesses will help the Province to look to the future, with hope, enthusiasm and missionary zeal" the Visitor stressed during the meeting with his confreres at the end of the visit. "I am convinced that a bright future awaits our Congregation in Vietnam, if we work seriously for our inner and structural transformation" he added.


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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