Every day may not be good but there is something good in every day. This is exactly our daily encounter in the walks of life.
The meeting began with a trip of the involved members from their different communities. As arrival time was scheduled for Monday, December 27th, the entrance time was parallel. The key animating persons were Fr. Ubaldino alongside with Fr. Thomas Cyprian Oloya; the programme was made in the way that each member was actively involved in the sense that there was a sharing of about 10 to 15 minutes of one’s experience after the inspiring talk given by Fr.Thomas Cyprian Oloya. In a nutshell, Fr.Thomas explained that practical training is part and parcel of Salesian experience for both those who are aspiring to be Salesian priests as well as Salesian brothers. It’s a journey of vocational growth after the post novitiate, the most characteristic phase of initial formation. The focus is to deeply live our community experience and it is from here that we can have the values of Salesian identity manifested in : active presence among the young people, living the attitude of staying with other people, discerning the voice of the Holy Spirit, having the apostolic spirit to develop the activities that are proper to our mission. The major objectives of the practical trainees are : growth in the Salesian vocation, assessment of vocational suitability for perpetual profession, understanding and putting into practice the preventive system. He further elaborated on some challenges that might come across both as a practical trainee and as senior Salesian already assigned to the community for the mission and how one can take them as a stepping stone for growth to Salesian maturity. The last and equally important point is the question of accompaniment which is an indispensable tool in the Salesian formation. This accompaniment should ensure that the experience one has in the community is formative. This is very important for a mature growth of a confrere. In his conclusion, Fr. Thomas presented the ideal experience of the oratory in the mind of Don Bosco articulating that Don Bosco wanted his Salesians to live an educative pastoral experience in the oratory and that which gives meaning to our lives is the fullness of love; love of the young people, love of the community where we find ourselves and love of the vocation that we have chosen. Furthermore, he insisted that we are consecrated and therefore Jesus should always be at the center of our lives. Our devotion, on the other hand, should be to mother Mary who has been supportive to our congregation from time immemorial. On his part, Fr. Uba explained the fact that all practical trainees are mostly sent to the apostolic communities as opposed to the formation house. In the formation house the center of attention are those formed but in the apostolic communities the mission takes the first place therefore the practical trainee should focus more on the mission entrusted to the community. We are the custodians of the gift that God has given us that is our vocation. Discernment here becomes a prerequisite for our journey. The practical trainee can reach the young people more easily than the aged Salesian because of the small gap in age and mentality and this gives a privilege to do more good for the young people. Difficulties will always be there but there are also lots of beautiful things. The session ended on Wednesday 29th December with an inspiring goodnight talk given by Fr. Uba and the final blessings from Fr. Thomas.
MORISH OHURU SDB