Online with Ulanbaatar, 30 August 2020 — On the evening of 29 August (Saturday), the Asia-Oceania GEX regional councillor Mr. Niel Evangelista with his Assistant Mr Andre Launio and world delegate for Past Pupils and Salesian Cooperators, Br. Dominic Nam, met online with the Ulanbaatar – Mongolia joint group of Past Pupils and Salesian Cooperators. Fr Paul Leung was present for the virtual encounter as Delegate-Superior of Mongolia, and ASC delegate of the Ulanbaatar centre, as well as Br. Andrew Phuong, Past Pupils delegate (Ulanbaatar centre) and Fr Vaclav. The combined group of 4 Salesian Cooperators and two Past Pupils was lively and inter-active despite the language barrier.
Following on from the first seven province ‘Federations’ of Asia-Oceania’s Past Pupils (TLS, FIN, FIS, GIA, THA, PGS and INN) yesterday the meeting was about the young Mongolia Delegation, living with closed borders since February due to the Covid19 pandemic. The Catholic population is also almost six months without parish Masses and the new bishop of Ulanbaatar, Giorgio Marengo, Consolata missionary, was consecrated in Turin, Italy and is not yet able to return to his beloved Mongolia. Even in this situation the Past Pupils are proactive and donated 10,000 home-made face masks through the health authorities to other needy institutions.
During the dynamic meeting assisted with translations in/from Mongolian, the ‘visitors’ were able to understand the unique situation of the very young Past Pupils (19-40 years old) with an animating core group of 12 members (since 19 January 2018). The group meets quite often and has been able to rally one large Past Pupils meeting involving 320 or more in 2019 and to get some 80% of the contacts with their past pupils already. This is a remarkable achievement! Another special trait is that the local group of five Salesian Cooperators is assisting the growth of the Past Pupils Association, since some of them are also staff of the Don Bosco Technical School.
While facing a variety of external challenges (communications, mobility, finance, pandemic, language) the energetic Past Pupils of Mongolia have a strong desire to learn from other EAO countries where the Association is already more developed. During the meeting all came to know an inspiring example of the FIS – SALVO daily good night talk online (YouTube channel) that has already helped 50+ Past Pupils to share their stories.
After 90 minutes of intense sharing and prayer, the Mongolian SDBs shared their dream of welcoming some new missionaries in 2021 sent by the Rector Major. The Past Pupils shared their dream of finding more committed individuals in animation and their determination to strengthen the communication with other Past Pupils around the EAO region. The October-November ‘GEXPRESSO” talk show (Asia-Oceania GEX initiative) will be a good opportunity to share the Mongolian Salesian Family spirit with other countries.
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