East Timor – Creative ways to foster the EAO missionary cultures

10 December 2019

(ANS – Dili) – When you contemplate the whole “missionary culture landscape” in the East Asia-Oceania (EAO) provinces, you may give thanks for the wonderful creativity of different ways of fostering the missionary interest of Salesians, Youth and Lay Mission Partners. Here some clues:

  • Missionary Month is already established in some provinces: AUL, CIN province
  • Missionary exhibit is again on the move: FIN province shows the way
  • Missionary volunteer group or movement is making impact on the whole province: AUL, FIS, VIE provinces
  • Extensive use of the web and social media for spreading the missionary witnesses: All 12 EAO provinces
  • Missionary becomes the image of the whole province: Fr. John Lee Memorial Center in Busan, Korea
  • Growing synergy of Mission Animation with the PDO or Mission offices (fundraising): VIE, AUL, KOR, GIA provinces
  • Missionary formation and accompaniment of the missionary ad gentes: VIE (3 months intense course before departure)
  • Consistent translations and spread of Cagliero11 as the effective tool of missionary culture (CIN, GIA, INA, KOR, THA, TLS, VIE)
  • Salesian Mission Day or Month 2019 has produced many new materials, experiences and tools for animation: All 12 EAO provinces.

Last November Dili, East Timor, has hosted the annual Meeting of the Delegates of Missionary Animation in the EAO Region; and aside from the usual annual report on the progress of Missionary Animation in each province, the Delegates discussed the 'Handbook of Salesian Missionary Animation' (ed 2017), Salesian Missionary Volunteering (ed. 2019) as well the fruits of the recent Extraordinary Mission Month (October 2019) promoted by Pope Francis in the whole Catholic world. These institutional documents are an effective help for the building of the missionary culture with clear goals, methods.

In their reports the Delegates also shared a wide range of challenges that are connected to external influence (e.g. diminishing number of long term missionary volunteers) or to the internal Salesian culture (e.g. lack of synergy with other sectors - mainly Formation, SC or Youth Ministry; multitasking of the Delegate; the lack of an established consistent provincial team for Mission Animation (including SDB, Youth and Lay); exploring the most effective ways of reaching each local community (visit from the Delegate, missionary theme for one monthly recollection every year); some resistance to promoting missionary vocation ad gentes etc.

On the last day of the meeting, the Delegates with their Coordinator will discern the most relevant resolutions for next 12 month of their ministry.

Missionary Animation reports 2019


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