New Zealand – How is the Salesian Charism being shared in this country with multi-cultural and multi-religious population?

08 May 2019

(ANS - Auckland) – On the Feast day of Saint Dominic Savio (6 May) all four Salesians of the Auckland community (still living in two locations - Massey and Avondale) came together for prayer, meal and sharing. Ten years ago the first presence in Auckland was started and now is a good time to ask “How is the Salesian Charism being shared in this country with multi-cultural and multi-religious population?”

Actually in New Zealand there are four SDBs from four different backgrounds – one Indian Salesian with many years in Africa, one Vietnamese with Korean experience, another Indian with 40 years of Pacific experience and one Samoan with experience of Australia, Fiji, Samoa and now in New Zealand.

Sharing about the Salesian future in New Zealand, they acknowledge that they are still few and not yet very much known in the local Church. The first part was about how to attract or bring possible new Salesians to Auckland; even temporary missionaries would be of great help! They recognize that is not so easy to stir up the interest of parish youth regarding the Salesian vocation.

Then they pondered on the Pacific Delegation support for the youngest presence in the Pacific. How to bring the multiple resolutions of the First Pacific Assembly (January 2019) into practice? There are challenges of communication, strengthening the effective animation and governance among the 3 countries: Samoa - Fiji - New Zealand. Even collecting the wisdom of the elders during past 40 years would be a great help for the future generation - so they encouraged Fr James to write down his experience.

Last but not the least they shared the theme of stronger community life in the present situation: the spiritual Sons of Don Bosco are meeting only once a week between Avondale and Massey and are still without a decent community house. Economic solidarity, budgeting and transparency were part of community building issue. Each one of them is working with all possible strength for the parish population and for the youth, but they have to sustain their community life too.

Auckland is the youngest presence in the Pacific (2009). While Samoa celebrates its 40th Salesian anniversary and Fiji its 20th anniversary, here in New Zealand the Salesians are still trying to find their way, how to root the charism in the people of God made up of so many different nationalities, cultures and religions.

Source: AustraLasia


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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