Addis Abeba: On 12 January was held the first meeting of the Parish Priests for the new Scholastic Year 2017-2018. Even though the number to participate in the meeting would have been 6, due to some inconveniences three of them could not make it for the meeting and as a result there were only three parish priests, along with Abba Lijo who is the Youth Ministry Delegate.
The meeting began with a prayer by Abba Lijo. Immediately after the prayer and a brief introduction by him, the Provincial Fr. Estifanos gave the words of welcoming. He asked the participants to be in tune with the entire Church, the upcoming Synod on Young People. The Church is losing a lot of young people and we as Salesians need to be concerned about it he reminded the participants. He also insisted on the need to have vocational groups in our parishes if we were really interested in getting vocations from our own parishes. He also asked the parish priests to take seriously the considerations of AMECEA at our parish level. He stressed at length on the importance of unity between the tribes, appreciating the differences and the ability to grow together especially at this time of clashes between tribes and ethnicities. He also spoke about the need to create a small booklet where we can mark the various events and common appointments and initiatives of the various salesian parishes. He spoke of the model of Nigeria which could be taken for us as a sample.
After the intervention of the Provincial Abba Aristide gave the group a beautiful input on the Characteristics of a Salesian Parish taken from the conference of Fr. Dominique in the Youth Ministry Frame of Reference. He spoke at length on the charism of Salesian parishes and what makes it really different a Salesian Parish setting from other settings. After his intervention there was a brief moment for clarifying and discussing on the points presented. Since only three parishes were present we couldn’t share anything in deep. Towards the end, Abba Aristide distributed the last part of the Strenna which deals about the vocational Animation on the hope that the parish priests could make use of it in the various parish apostolates. The meeting was adjourned before lunch