Fr. Klement Vaclav, Regional Councilor for Asia, visited Cambodia
Fr. Klement Vaclav is the Salesian Regional Councilor for the East Asia and Oceania Provinces, a vast region where the Don Bosco works of Cambodia belong. For administrative and spiritual guidance, the Salesian World is divided in 8 regions that keep physical and cultural links. Cambodia, as a part of the Saint Paul Province that includes Thailand and Laos, is one of the newest Delegations.
The purpose to establishing the delegation of Cambodia is to foster the overwhelm growth of the Salesian presences in Cambodia and to better coordinate the works of the communities and centers (DCS No. 2, 2012).
The Regional Superior, who has been in Cambodia several times, visited the two Salesian communities to encourage the Mission and option for the poorest, in communion with the Salesian Spirit and the guidance of the Rector Major’s indications: “Like Don Bosco, With the Young, For the Young” (Strenna 2015).
On October 29 Fr. Vaclav assisted to the last meeting of the Salesian Cambodian Committee (SCC) in Sihanoukville that was the board leading the works of Don Bosco in Cambodia since 1991. As it is already a Delegation, the Cambodian Salesian Delegation Council (CSDC) is the new name in accordance with the DCS (2012) and approved by the THA Provincial Council.
The SCC in its last meeting, discussed about the extraordinary visit of Fr. Angel Fernandez, Rector Major of the Salesians during the month of February 2016 to Cambodia. It will be a special time to renew the Missionary and Charismatic compromise of the Don Bosco works in the Kingdom. It will be the second time that a Salesian Rector Major visits Cambodia. The first one was Fr. Juan Edmundo Vecchi in 1997.
On October 30 Fr. Vaclav presided the Retreat of the Salesians in Cambodia at the Saint Francis of Sales Chapel in Sihanoukville, underlining the Pastoral aspect of Don Bosco as a Good Sheppard for the young people. In the afternoon, at the Don Bosco Hotel School Auditorium, he attended the Assembly of Confreres where the Delegation of Cambodia Statues (DCS) was revised. The DCS was approved in 2012 by Fr. Paul Prasert Somngam, THA Provincial. It includes 20 articles and 8 sections like the Delegate and his Council, roles and functions reserved to the Provincial, functions of the Delegate, the Administrator, the Planning and Development Office (PDO) and evaluations and modifications.
On Saturday morning – October 31 – the Regional Superior visited some projects associated with the Don Bosco Hotel School, specially the Don Bosco Guesthouse in a slam area with Br. Roberto Panetto, where young women learn housekeeping and there is the plan to open facilities for children in order to be among the poorest of Sihanoukville. After that visit, Fr. Samnang brought Fr. Vaclav to Kep, 100 kilometers at the east of Sihanoukville, along the Gulf of Thailand, where he stays one night at the Don Bosco Hatrans.
He could arrive in time to the English Mass at the Mary Help of Christians Vice Parish of Don Bosco Technical School in Phnom Penh, where he was led by Fr. Roel Soto, the Delegate and Rector. He visited Battambang, at the west of Cambodia on Monday and left the country in Tuesday letting his recommendations and a great motivation to continue the Mission in a pastoral and vocational atmosphere.
In Battambang, the Regional Superior could greet Mgr. Enrique Figaredo, Jesuit and Apostolic Prefect of Battambang. He was led by Fr. Leonardo Ochoa, who is the Director of the Don Bosco Children Fund and Br. Pilaku Joshua Sesugh, the new Salesian Missionary from Nigeria.
The Cambodian Delegation has two Salesian Communities: Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville. The Projects of Poipet, Battambang and the Children Fund, which headquarters are at the Tuol Kork District in the Capital, are ruled by the Phnom Penh’s community. The Projects of Kep and the Hotel School belong to the Sihanoukville’s community, where there is also another new young missionary: Br. Michael Gaikwad from India.