Laguna (Philippines). From 5 to 7 October 2018 at the Mornese Spirituality Center in Laguna in the Philippines there was a meeting of the Salesian Family of CIAO on the theme “Dream, Resources, Challenges.” It was animated by Sr. Maria Luisa Miranda, General Councilor for the Salesian Family; Sr. Leslye Sandigo, Delegate for the Salesian Cooperators; and Sr. Gabriela Patiño, Delegate for the Past Pupils.
Fifty-three members of the Salesian Family of the Asia-East Interprovincial Conference (CIAO) participated in the encounter coming from the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, East Timor, China, Myanmar, and Cambodia, and also the Provincials of CIAO, the FMA delegates of the Associations, Salesian Cooperators, FMA Past Pupils, and members of ADMA (Association of Mary Help of Christians). Fr Roberto Roxas, SDB, delegate of the Salesian Family of the SDB Province of the Northern Philippines was invited.
The first day of the meeting was dedicated to the discovery of their dreams about the Salesian Family. The Asian formandees animated the beginning of the work with a creative prayer and the welcome song with choreography. Among the activities were the Holy Mass, prayer, sharing in small groups, input into the assembly, and times of silence/reflection. In the afternoon, some Provinces presented their experience of animation as a Salesian Family. The Goodnight on “Holiness in the Salesian Family” was given by Fr Emil Santos, SDB.
On the second day they spoke about “resources” which are the members of the Salesian Family and how to animate the Associations. In the afternoon, the participants worked in three groups animated by Sr. Maria Luisa for the ADMA, Sr. Leslye for the Salesian Cooperators, and Sr. Gabriela for the Past Pupils. The day ended with a family feast with traditional games and cultural moments.
The third day presented the theme ‘Profile and role of the delegate and animator’. The sessions by provincial groups were followed in which the challenges, the journey, and the dreams for the Salesian Family were discussed.
The meeting ended with a cultural presentation prepared by the students from the Philippines, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, China, Thailand, and Singapore who, through narratives, power points, and typical dances, made visible the diffusion of the Salesian charism from Italy to Asia. The mini-concert of the FMA choir of the Philippines was also expressive.
The meeting of CIAO impressed the members of the Salesian Family. An atmosphere of familiarity and joy was breathed, which will bring boldness and creativity to the animation of the Salesian Family in the provinces of CIAO.
On 8 October, the provincials of CIAO and some delegates gathered together for planning and elections. Sister Mabel Pilar, provincial of the Philippines and Papua New Guinea, was elected as the new president of CIAO for the next two years. Sister Jessica Salvaña, a Philippine missionary and Provincial of Cambodia and Myanmar was elected vice president. Sister Alma Castagna, Italian missionary and provincial of East Timor and Indonesia, is the new secretary of CIAO.
Sister Alma Castagna, the outgoing president of CIAO, presided over the meeting. Present at the Assembly was Sister Assunta Inoue, Visiting Councilor and delegate of Mother General for CIAO. CIAO is composed of the nine FMA provinces in Cambodia and Myanmar; China and Taiwan; East Timor and Indonesia; Japan; Korea and Mongolia; Philippines and Papua New Guinea; Thailand; Vietnam and Laos.
Sr. Maria Luisa, Sr. Leslye, and Sr. Gabriela visited various FMA communities and presences in the Philippines, offering formation to the members of the Salesian Family. The meetings fostered the growth of awareness and the sense of belonging to the Salesian Family. Sister Maria Luisa and her collaborators also had the opportunity to visit the relief work in the FMA school for the victims of the landslide in Naga.
On September 30, Sr. Maria Luisa, Sr. Leslye, Sr. Gabriela met the four Salesian Cooperators and the President of ADMA, and the Sisters of the four FMA communities of Manila. In the FMA Provincial House in Manila, they had an informal meeting with the PECCG (Provincial Educating Community Core Group).
On 3 October, Sister Maria Luisa and her collaborators visited Mary Help of Christians school in Pampanga. They met seven Salesian Cooperators and Aspirants, a thousand students in assembly, and the sisters of the two FMA communities in Pampanga.
On October 8th was their last meeting before leaving the Philippines. They animated the workshops on the Salesian Family for the Asian formandees in the formation houses in Canlubang, Laguna.