by Fr. Ariel Macatangay SDB,
IUS-EAO Regional Coordinator
Fr. John Vernil Lopez, Vice President for Pastoral Animation, welcomed the participants to Cebu on behalf of the Provincial of the South Philippine Province. Fr. Marcelo Farfan, IUS General Coordinator from Rome, opened the Conference, thanking the participants for their educational service in the region and encouraging them to continue the process of developing Salesian Higher Education in the region.
The topics of the Conference were prepared by Fr. Ariel Macatangay, the IUS-EAO Coordinator, while most of the logistical preparations in Cebu were shouldered by Mr. Romnick Villanueva, Chairperson of the DBTC Mechanical Engineering Department.
Among the important topics discussed were:
1) the new document, “Orientations for Campus Ministry in IUS,”
2) proposal for the formation of IUS senior management staff in English in 2020,
3) proposals for the improvement of the IUS website,
4) preparations for the 8th General Assembly in 2021,
5) sharing of best practices among institutions.
During the Conference, Fr. Farfan presented the IUS Publication, Salesian Charism and Higher Education, and gave copies to each of the participating institutions. Towards the end of the Conference, the participants agreed on a Common Program 2019-2021 for the IUS in EAO with the following resolutions:
1) assure ownership and involvement of IUS at Provincial level,
2) institutionalize processes in the IUS especially through the implementation of the “Orientations for Campus Ministry in IUS,”
3) continue exchange programs among IUS in EAO, especially regarding common initiatives on renewable energy.
Besides the Conference sessions, the participants were able to participate in the opening Mass for the National Youth Day at the Cathedral of Sto. Niño in Cebu, and to enjoy a day of island hopping near Mactan Island.
Although the participants for this second IUS-EAO Conference were fewer in number, they achieved their objectives of strengthening ties among IUS and of continuing the process of developing Salesian Higher Education in the region, as they nurtured professional and fraternal bonds among each other.