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Our future is black!
It does not happen every day. Just yesterday I was listening for one hour an exciting story of one young African Salesian. An unfolding answer to God's calling - to become a Christian, to become a Salesian and finally to become a missionary ad gentes.
A story is starting in a larger non Christian (traditional religion, woodoo) family of seven children, where Peter is the youngest. When he was 15, for the first time heard about Jesus in nearby village by some protestants, then he was introduced to some Catholics 3 more kilometers away in another village.
His catechumenal journey was concluded with a baptism at 18 years of age. Since in the native village as a believer in Jesus was not much welcomed, he moved to the capital. STudy and work,
rather a good leader and excellent student. His fragile health was his only weakness.
A kind of ‘catechesis’ given by a senior European Salesian missionary was Scripture based
and vocation leading. They studied some vocation stories in the Bible. It was a time
of a deep spiritual direction, discovery of his Salesian consecrated vocation.
During the vocation journey Peter was always told:
‘Never look for what you want, always keep an open heart!’
And the inner voice, indicated to listen to Jesus
was always his pointer.
Answering always a new call - to become Christian, to become Salesian priest
and finally to become a missionary,
always was listening to his inner voice, to the voice of Jesus.
During the pre-novitiate Peter was involved in the training of some 80 catechists
who were preparing some 1200 catechumens for the baptism.
During his practical training was teaching 23 hrs a week in our school
and assisting the prenovices, involved in the youth center too.
Then he applied for the missio ad gentes and started his theology studies.
Now he is starting his last year of preparation for priesthood and departure
for his missionary destination.
But I was really surprised: It was only for the second time in his life,
when Peter shared with calm his vocational journey in details with some Salesian.
Journey full of faith, full of whole hearted commitment to sthe call
of God, always new, always demanding some new way, some new sacrifice.
And we know, there are many of other young Salesian in Africa
who are deeply rooted in Jesus like Peter and willing to follow radically
the Salesian missionary vocation!
Thanks to God,
each year some 100+ novices of Africa are entering the Congregation,
each year some 120+ novices of South Asia (India+) are joining the Congregation
each year some 70+ novices of East Asia - Oceania are entering our novitiates.
each year there are worldwide some 420-500 salesian novices.
Hence, majority of Don Bosco contemporary faces are black.
Our Salesian future is really looking rather dark or black.
Thanks to God for Peter and many others who are following Jesus in the footsteps
of Don Bosco with whole heart!