Family Day of Mornese Kindergarten

"Build the family, Build the society"...

Family Day of Mornese Kindergarten took place on the 17th of February in Anisakan, Myanmar, organized by the EC(Education Community) parents’ members. There were about 160 families and so about 250 adults and children participated. It was Day of sharing love, joy and hope.

Brief Visit of Sr. Phyllis Neves Visiting Mother

from Jan. 29, 2018 to Feb. 7, 2018 in CMY

Visit to the 5 communities in Myanmar

Visit to S. Maria D.Mazzarello community in Battambang

Blessing of Don Bosco School of Chreh in Phnom Penh

Encounter with all the sisters in Cambodia

Visit to Don Bosco School of Chreh in Phnom Penh

Visit to Maria Auxiliatirce Community in Phnom Penh

Visit to S. Giovanni Bosco Community in Phnom Penh

Salesian family day – Combodia

Annual Salesian Family Gathering at Teuk Thla
The 2nd annual gathering of the Salesian Family in Cambodia took place last 20th January 2018 at the Salesian Sisters’ school at Teuk Thla. It started with the Holy Mass presided by the Provincial Delegate, Fr. Roel Soto, and concelebrated by three other Salesians: Fr. Gerard Ravasco, Fr. Mark Yang and Fr. Charles Michael Arun.
As in the previous year, the main objective of the gathering was to have a common study and deepening on the Rector Major’s Strenna, which this year has the theme “Let us Cultivate the Art of Listening and of Accompaniment”. The Scriptural basis of the strenna was the Samaritan woman’s words to Jesus: "Sir, give me this water." (Jn. 4:15).
After the Eucharistic celebration, the 61 participants gathered in the Don Bosco High School Audio Visual room. After the Provincial, Sr. Jessica Salvaña’s words of welcome, Sr. Maria Elena Estacio, coordinator of the event and in charge of the FMA Salesian Family sector, welcomed a special participant from Thailand, Fr. Carlo Verlado an Italian missionary who had been working there for more than 40 years.  Each participant then introduced him/herself in a familiar and informal way. This moment alone showed the Salesian Family’s sense of humor and creativity.
Then came the main event of the day: Fr. “Gigi” Ravasco’s explanation and practical application of the strenna. With the help of video clips, Fr. Gigi simplified the Rector Major’s commentary and somehow enculturated it, giving emphasis to the three elements of discernment (recognizing, interpreting and making a choice) especially when helping young people in their vocational discernment and life itinerary.

After a short break for snacks and reflection, the group met again for sharing and some announcement of family news. The sharing and discussion was lively and revealed the diversity and also cohesion of insights among SDBs, FMAs, Salesian Cooperators, past pupils and lay collaborators. Even Fr. Verlado, who has worked as director of their skills development center for the blind in Bangkok, shared on his apostolic experiences with visually-impaired youth.
This year, it was heart-warming to see the first Cambodian Volunteer of Don Bosco (VDB) among the participants. A member of the Sister-Servants of the Immaculate Heart, Sr. Kanlaya Chatbanyong, missionary from Thailand, also represented their congregation. A representative of the Don Bosco Past Pupils’ Association, Mr. Pang Poty, announced a forthcoming gathering of SDB alumni to which they invited the Sisters’ past pupils to join.
The meeting ended with the presentation of a video on the 25th Anniversary of the FMAs in Cambodia and this was followed by a hearty lunch where sharings and friendly discussions continued. Indeed, the spirit of Don Bosco was very much alive that morning!

-       Sr. Malen Estacio, FMA

FMA[*] Cambodia Marks 25th Anniversary

The Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (also known as Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco) celebrated the Silver (25th) Anniversary of their mission in Cambodia last 9th November 2017. The long-awaited, auspicious day was held at Don Bosco School, Teuk Thla, Phnom Penh.
The celebration began with the solemn Eucharistic celebration at 8.30 a.m. at the High School hall. Most Rev. Olivier Schmitthaeusler, the Apostolic Vicar of Phnom Penh, presided over the celebration along with Rev. Msgr. Enrique Figaredo, Apostolic Prefect of Battambang and Rev. Msgr. Antonysamy Susairaj, Apostolic Prefect of Kompong Cham. Rev. Fr. Filiberto Gonzalez, SDB General Councillor for Social Communications, Rev. Fr. Roel Soto SDB, the Provincial Delegate to Cambodia, along with other Salesians, and diocesan/religious priests who came from all over Cambodia, concelebrated the Holy Eucharist.

During the offertory procession, 25 representatives of the Educating Community, namely, the students, staff, parents, and past pupils offered 25 kinds of fruits, signifying the fruitfulness of the Sisters’ mission.
Also present were several Sisters from different religious orders. The Superior General of the FMA congregation, Mother Yvonne Reungoat, was represented by Sr. Runita Borja, Councillor in charge of FMA Youth Ministry, who came all the way from Rome. Sr. Sarah Garcia, an ex-Provincial of CMY Province, was also present. She is currently posted at the FMA Human Rights office in Geneva.
Salesian Sisters from the inter-provincial conference of CIAO also graced the occasion. There was the Provincial of East Timor-Indonesia, Sr. Alma Castagna; the Provincial of Thailand, Sr. Nipha Agnese Rangabpit; the Provincial of Vietnam, Sr. Vu thi Kim Lien Rosa and the ex-Provincial of Japan, Sr. Kenjo Sumie Teresina. Other Sisters from Thailand, Vietnam, Hongkong, Laos, East Timor and Myanmar, especially the ones who had been part of our mission in its earlier stages, also came. Visitors and benefactors from Japan, Australia, Singapore and Thailand were also present. The students, past pupils and staff warmly welcomed their former teachers and volunteers.

At 9.30 a.m. the guests were around the colorful exhibition entrance for its opening. The three Bishops, assisted by benefactors, cut the ribbon and the guests entered the room to view the exhibit. It was indeed a very artistic presentation of the Province: its roots and beginnings and its growth and development. The “Very Important Persons” were asked to sign the day’s guest book.
At 10.30. a.m. the cultural program began with the welcoming and ushering in of the guests into the spacious high school hall while the children’s band of Don Bosco School played music. Then the guests of honour were presented and honoured.  After the assembly had sung the Cambodian National Anthem, a blessing dance was performed by a group of Teuk Thla students and staff.
“Together”, a choreographed song, was presented by the Teuk Thla high school students. This was followed by the message of Sr. Runita Borja. She underscored the significance of the jubilee celebration as a call to remember the reason for which our Institute came to this blessed land: to provide an integral education for young people, especially girls, and so that they might do their part in building a society that promotes the culture of life. It was also a call to celebrate the life that continues to pulsate in the different communities and in the works where our Educating Communities are present.  And lastly, she pointed out that the jubilee was a call to look forward to the future, that is, the FMA presence in Cambodia to continue and multiply.
After the message, the students from the four schools of the Salesian Sisters in Cambodia (Tuol Kork, Teuk Thla, Battambang and Phum Chreh), presented their “Thanksgiving” in a creative way through dance, song, action and choreography.  The well-prepared and much applauded presentation expressed in a unique way the Sisters’ and their beneficiaries’ gratitude for all the blessings received all thorough these 25 years.
Then Sr. Jessica Salvaña, Provincial of CMY Province, further expressed words of gratitude to each one who contributed to the growth and development of the Province, to all who were the Sisters’ strength and support in all these years. She presented a souvenir and a certificate to each one as a token of appreciation.
The celebration concluded with an agape. It was still another beautiful moment to get together to share, thank and appreciate each other.
Silver years of living with, healing and helping rebuild a nation into a truly great people….and now celebrating how the educative charism and family spirit of Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello have given new life and hope to young people in Cambodia.
The celebration was doubly significant because it coincides with the 140th Anniversary of the First Send-off of FMA Missionaries to America on 14th November 1877. This expansion “beyond the seas” took place just five years after the foundation of the Institute in Italy (1872).  Six Italian Sisters departed for Uruguay in South America.
Back in Cambodia, the year 2017 also marks the opening of a new FMA house in Phum Chreh, a depressed village in a marginalized area of the city. The new “presence” at Don Bosco School-Chreh is directly under the CMY Provincial and consists of three Sisters: Sr. Teresita Garcia (in-charge), Sr. Thippawan Teresa Parksuwan and Sr. Teresa Maria Tran Kim Phoung.
“All glory to God who builds the house and guards over it.”
-       Sr. Anna Rani,FMA and Sr. Malen Estacio,FMA

[*] FMA: “Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice” (Italian for “Daughters of Mary, Our Help”)

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