On Saturday 16th March 2013 a meeting took place at the Salesian House in Maynooth University which reflected on the progress of Project Europe. Present were Fr Vaclav Klement, councillor for Salesian Missions throughout the world, Fr Michael Casey, Provincial of the Irish Salesian province, Salesian confreres who have come to Ireland as part of Project Europe and a number of Salesians from different Irish communities.
Project Europe is an initiative by the Salesian Congregation to renew the Salesian charism in a number of Salesian Provinces in Europe. Salesian confreres have come to Europe as missionaries from Asia, South America and Africa. Confreres are also volunteering from European countries and going to other European countries. We have a confrere in Ireland participating in this project who is a native of Poland.
The gathering began with mass celebrated by Fr Vaclav who shared with us some thoughts on Saturday’s scripture passages and some of his experiences from Salesian missionary projects throughout the world. The mass was followed by lunch and conversations begun at the mass continued in a relaxed setting.
In the afternoon we had a more formal meeting. Fr Casey chaired the meeting and expressed his appreciation to Fr Vaclav for coming to Maynooth. Fr Vaclav gave an input. Project Europe had been started in 2008 and its purpose is to renew the Salesian presence in European countries. So far seven Salesian provinces have asked the Rector Major for assistance. The Irish province has five missionaries, two from Vietnam, two from India and one from Poland who have come through Project Europe.
Fr Vaclav spoke about the experience of receiving missionaries being different for each Salesian province. The important thing for him is to move on and believe we are moving in the right direction. After Fr Vaclav’s input there was further reflection and sharing.
The meeting concluded at 4 pm and Fr Vaclav gave personnel time to each of the missionary confreres. We thank him for his visit and for the joy and enthusiasm for missionary work which his presence gives witness. We also thank the Salesian community at Maynooth for hosting the occasion and their wonderful hospitality.
Find out more about Project Europe: http://www.sdb.org/en/