Our Salesian Mission in Fiji
Taking inspiration from the Strenna
By Br Silao Moeloa
Our mission this year among the youth, especially the poor, here in Fiji is based on our ‘strenna’ for 2018, “The art of listening and been a good companion and role model for the young especially those who are entrusted to our care.” Our pastoral mission consists of three different areas.
On Thursday afternoon we get the chance to spend quality time with the orphanage children and with children who have disabilities. Our mission among these children is to bring hope by spending time with them, having ‘talanoa’ sessions, helping with their homework, sharing our talents through music, songs, games, and most importantly by sharing joy and happiness with them. The brothers always look forward to go and have fun with these kids.
Friday afternoon is our second pastoral session of the week where we have the chance to mingle and play with the kids during their game time at St Joseph, and St John Bosco Primary Schools. As Don Bosco always insisted, ‘we should make our playground a place where we can make and meet new friends’. It is indeed a golden opportunity for the Brothers to interact and share our Salesian charism with these children through fun games. According to our Rule of Life, ‘We, Salesians, must be signs and bearers of the love of God for the young people’. Sometimes, when it is raining, we go inside their classrooms and assist the teacher with their activities and at the same time help the children with their faith and prayer life.
Sunday is our main opportunity to carry out apostolic work among the young. It is a time when we become a prophetic voice for young by teaching them catechism, sharing stories and playing games with them. We always welcome everyone who is willing to join our Sunday school, and we see new faces every Sunday. Some just come to enjoy the brothers’ company. In our Salesian ministry we endeavour to be shepherds for the young by leading them into rich pasture through evangelization and education. We aim to transform the lives of the young by listening to their stories, sharing our talents and in leading them to Jesus through our Salesian charism.
During the course of this year, we as a community have opened our doors to everyone needing help. During the Lenten season our community committed itself to help out at the Home of the Age and the Old Sister’s House. We cleaned their compounds and their gardens, and we also helped with the cassava plantation.
It is indeed a challenging year for us as we now have our own parish. We are now looking into ways and ideas of becoming involved in youth ministry since we are attending to full time studies. But we take one step at the time, as Fr Mika, the parish priest, always reminds us: ‘Our parish is just a baby, so we crawl, then walk and then we run when we are ready and fully developed.’ We continually pray for our mission and ask our Mother Mary to be our guide.