St. John Bosco Community, SUO
Proposal in Preparation for the Feast of Gratitude 2013
Seed of Faith sown in your soil YESTERDAY:
Most everyone in the community shared that their primary place where the seed of Faith was sown yesterday was in their own family through the chief example of their parents and the sacrifices they made to provide their children with a truly Catholic education. The family was where piety was cultivated and all was soaked in throughout our most impressionable years of development.
Leaving our parents to enter the Institute was but leaving one reality of Faith to enter another family of Lived-Faith.
Exterior things, such as World War II and the Vietnam War did a lot to cultivate a Faith that pointed to the most important things of life. With often nothing to eat, little by means of shelter and clothing, with a shaky future, one really learned the meaning of Divine Providence and “that God will provide.” Being pressed in from all around with Buddhism and Communism, the Faith of the Martyrs became a source of strength as a beacon to guide and an example to follow.
Challenges you encounter in living the faith in the community and the mission TODAY:
The difficulties that were shared revolved in large part around the challenge of today’s PACE OF LIFE. It is a challenge to find the “God-Space” with which to be united with God and consequently with one another. Union with God is difficult in our hectic world and our communities mirror this frenetic pace. Union with God is a must if we are to have meaningful relationships that lead to Christ. Without this union with God, we run the slippery slope of Relativism and lose the courage to face the truth in our life that will lead to transformation.
Today, our communities are blessed with and enjoy material well-being and risk the danger of becoming as materialistic as the world we chose to leave. Our poverty can be lived more courageously so that we truly witness that “God is enough”.
Another challenge is the living of our Obedience as total availability and as recognizing the mediations of God’s will through others and events.
New ways for a evangelization TOMMOROW:
We do not need new ideas; we need an encounter with God, our life centered on God, a coherent life so we can become strong witnesses. This idea could be expressed in two words, OPENNESS and RESPONSE which results in transformation of us and of others. We need an OPENNESS to see God in everyone and everything . . . God’s time is all the time; openness to learning the content of the Faith, because I can’t proclaim what I do not know. Our RESPONSE will then become a charity which is proactive with the little things of now and everyday instead of waiting for the big problems to be solved by an impersonal, hierarchical entity.
From Our Lady of the Snows in Colorado Springs, Colorado - SUO
The Seeds of Faith sown in your soil yesterday . . .
The seeds of Faith sown within us yesterday were those of:
Family- immediate family and grandparents, other relatives;
Family devotions and prayer like the Rosary;
Participation in parish, its associations, youth prayer groups, parish liturgical and devotional celebrations, Marian groups;
Participation in Catholic Schools, Salesian Oratory;
Growing up in Catholic villages and neighborhoods
Challenges you encounter in living the faith in the community and the mission today . . .
Within the community, it is sometimes difficult with very diverse schedules – but we prioritize our faith sharing and community moments of prayer.
Difficulty of sharing the faith with children and youth because of indifference of parents, their own poor knowledge, their sporadic practice of faith, clearly not a priority in their busy lives.
Faith education and formation left to catechists at parish – but is not to be brought home to be discussed or practice encouraged.
Reception of initial sacraments is seen as a cultural left-over, or expected by older generation.
Our once Christian nation is now rampant with secular humanism.
New ways for an evangelization tomorrow . . .
Need to return to Don Bosco’s idea of incorporating greater use of the Arts, drama, music, songs, art, writing, poetry, etc.
Technology has given a tremendous opportunity to share faith in the many new modalities that could be received by hundreds of persons at a time. We need to plan and use it more strategically and work to maintain and keep our information up-dated.
Remain open of mind and heart and be prayerfully, courageously aware of new opportunities of ministering, possibly in very diverse situations and venues.
Challenge ourselves to greater holiness and sense of mission, while continuing to truly live being the “face” of God to as many as we meet.
Sr. Ann Cassidy, Sr. Mary Link, Sr. Ngan Do and Sr. Rosa Hoang