First of all, they are now only two, since the youngest member of the community returned to his native country for good. The second major change is that finally the small Salesian community is able to live together in 'their own house' located in Kuching City, in a so-called 'Ministry house' used before by the Archdiocesan Youth Ministry office lay staff. So, over these days the two Salesians are arranging their newly renovated 'base camp' - community house, which will also serve for some small group prayer meetings in the small chapel on the ground floor.
With this transfer from the large Bau Parish of St Stephen's, with dozens of mission stations, our two Salesians are able to fully concentrate on the Youth Ministry Office in the Kuching Archdiocese entrusted to them by Archbishop Simon Poh a few months ago. Together with other two full time lay mission partners, Frs Mon and Andre are providing leadership for the youth events, formation and other activities in the whole diocese, with very large parishes stretching up to 150 kilometres from the centre. This new mission shows the trust given by the Kuching Catholic community to the recently arrived Salesians.
Although the main project of the St Joseph's Technological College has been delayed for many external reasons, the two missionaries are not wasting time and continue to learn BM (Bahasa Malay). Fr Mon serves the local youth - the great majority of them from the Bidayuk ethnic group -with Fr Andre. Along the way they are learning to make many friends among the clergy, other religious (Franciscans, Mill Hill, Jesuits and Marists) and especially among the youth and committed lay people.
During the 3 days, the visitor was able to take part in the ordinary pastoral activity, like Sunday Mass celebrated in the public school cafeteria (the majority of the boarders in the Kuching countryside are Catholics) or in one of the Extraordinary Missionary Year 2019 events - Meeting with Fr. Gerry (Indian Jesuit) regarding Catholic involvement in society and politics. Beside these events, most of the time was spent in mutual open dialogue - discernment reagrding the vision and action for putting down our charism's roots in Malaysia.
At the end of the day, the main need is to have another one or two missionaries, to have our young Salesian community 'complete'! Together with the Kuching missionaries we appeal for your prayers and provide a possible profile of the 'wanted missionary', possibly from our Region - healthy Salesian Brother or Priest under 50 years of age, able to learn Bahasa Malaysia, with missionary dreams to journey in faith with the young people of Malaysia, being interested in technical education and able to build up an international - multicultural community day by day.