Asia-Oceania PPDB Region, 27 June 2021 — Just another Regional Congress of Don Bosco Past Pupils? Not really! The now completed 12th Asia-Oceania Regional Congress of Don Bosco Past Pupils without doubt is a turning point in the Association’s history. According to some of the 120 (zoom platform) online registered participants it was really an inspiration and strong encouragement for their life and Association journey.
Deep family encounter in and out of the digital space
First of all this Congress brought together some 120 registered participants (zoom platform): 40 SDB delegates (and 3 SDB provincials: AUL, INA and THA with the EAO regional councillor Fr. Joseph Phuoc) and during the first day more than 1500 views of the LIVE Congress streaming on the YouTube.
Amazing was the Thai creativity (taking advantage of their SF Days 2021) to gather their GEX (Young Past Pupils) in two venues – Bangkok and Haat Yai to follow in this event physically. Congratulations for showing us the way!
For some ‘newcomers’ to the Past Pupil Association – young members from Bangladesh, Nepal, Mongolia, Solomon Islands or Sri Lanka – it was the first time to experience personally the worldwide fellowship and communion in Don Bosco spirit. Alltogether there were participants from 23 of the 28 countries of Asia-Oceania where the Salesians of Don Bosco are working.
Strong charismatic inspiration and encouragement for the Past Pupils Association
Who are qualified to be Don Bosco Past Pupils? or how long does the ‘education received’ need to be to become a member? – Many basic ‘Bosconian life’ questions were exchanged during the LIVE Q&A with the World President Mr Michal Hort and World Councillors – Mr Rajesh Gupta (Asia-Oceania, Adults), Mr Sergio Lopez-Roy (Europe-Spain) and Br Dominic Nam, SDB (World Confederation Delegate) offered fresh Salesian spirit inspiration to all participants.
The ‘breakout group sharing’ on the zoom platform with 17 mixed groups (June 25 and June 26) became a venue to deepen the common challenges faced by the Association and find some way forward – especially regarding more effective communication and networking with the needed fostering of GEX groups around the 28 countries.
What are the immediate fruits of the 12th Asia-Oceania Congress?
Probably never before has the rich sharing of a Past Pupil Congress been so clearly available to all members: about 40 videos (reports, situation, activity, culture) coming from 15 different countries. First there is an institutional result in the form of 7 RESOLUTIONS, the synthesis of the Congress shared by Fr. Phuoc, four very inspiring messages (Rector Major Fr Angel F Artime, SF World Delegate Fr Joan Lluis Playa, World Confederation President Mr Michal Hort, World Delegate Br Dominic Nam and Asia-Oceania Councillor for Adults Mr Rajesh Gupta), two inspiring talks (personal life story sharing from Japan and life-mission story of the first Don Bosco Past Pupil and Founder of the Association, Carlo Gastini). All these materials are easy available on Boscolink in text and on the GEX-EAO FB page in video format.
Heartfelt gratitude message Indeed without the strong help of many volunteers scattered between Rome, Tokyo, Bangkok, Haat Yai, Kolkatta, Mumbai, Melbourne, Seoul, Dili, K’Long and Manila – this first online Congress would be impossible. In his thank-you message, Mr Niel Evangelista (Asia-Oceania Councilor GEX) mentioned a long list of these volunteers that made this charismatic family event possible: translators in 8 countries, hardworking IT groups in Japan – Thailand – Philippines, delegates and past pupils who prepared the wonderful inputs (almost 100% in video form) and speakers (two key-note talks, 4 messages, recap and synthesis, goodnight, prayers.
Journey continues to the future
Already on the last day of the Congress there were more than 1400 views of the LIVE streaming on the YouTube (total of 7 languages), not counting the 100-120 zoom platform ‘official delegates’ of the 12th A-O Congress. The rich charismatic wealth is open on the web for all Friends of Don Bosco and our Past Pupils around the world. A good quality formation inspiration to share and build on. Don Bosco education gratefully received and shared are the roots of large movement of Don Bosco Past Pupils and Friends of Don Bosco.
As one Past Pupil from Mongolia comments: “It was really a very interesting and good Congress, an inspiring experience. We are encouraged on our journey as Don Bosco Past Pupils amidst all challenges.” And one of the few Oceania SDB delegates present shared his message in their WhatsApp group: “Hope some of you watched the meeting on YouTube. Hope we will try to be in the innermost circle of the Association. Helping another young at risk. Let the work of DB continue through you. ????????????”
- Full text of the Messages-Talks-Resolutions-Synthesis of the Congress
- Online videos of the Congress (GEX-Asia Oceania FB page)
Complete LIVE streaming videos of all 3 Congress sessions – Total of 9 hours (3×3) in 6 languages on YouTube channels:
- GEX-EAO English
- GEX-EAO Japanese
- GEX-EAO Korean
- GEX-EAO Indonesian
- GEX-EAO East Timor
- GEX-EAO Thai
- GEX-EAO Vietnamese