Patrick David Cenon, through this piece, makes us mindful about challenges of moving to another country entail, but meeting a community of Salesians, sons of St. John Bosco, prove to be of help in the necessary adjustment.
I am writing from Brussels, Belgium. I recently moved here last November to pursue a career at Toyota. Living in a foreign land has many challenges. One of which is the need to find something familiar.
I have lived close to 30 years in Barangay Don Bosco, attended 10 years of school in Don Bosco Makati, stayed in the seminary, Don Bosco Canlubang for 1 year. My dad and brother are both Bosconians. So too are a significant number of my close friends, some of whom are Salesian priests. Once you take that into consideration, it is not hard to imagine how comforting it must be to find a Salesian community overseas.
That is why upon arrival in Brussels, I made an effort to look for a Salesian community here in Brussels. I found a Don Bosco school that teaches elementary, high school and college. It is Don Bosco Wolouve Saint Lambert approximately 15 minutes away by car from my apartment. It celebrates mass every Sunday in a small chapel which seats around 80 people.
While language is a barrier, the Salesian charisma and values facilitates good understanding between me and members of my community. The community has been very warm and welcoming. They even asked me to light the candles in the advent wreath during the December Masses. I guess from this experience, I can truly say that the Salesian charisma transcends language and culture as I have been able to find a sense of family and belongingness in this community. I thank God that Don Bosco has been a significant part of my life.
Happy 200 years Don Bosco!
Patrick David Cenon has been working in Toyota for 9 years and specializes in Organization and People Development.