The four-day meeting of presidency was held in Madrid Spain, from 27 to 30 April 2017 and it was led by the President of World Confederation of Past Pupils, Michal Hort. The World Delegate, Fr. Raphael Jayapalan, SDB was present. The meeting took place in Casa Don Bosco. It was attended by majority of the World Presidency members – one of the two Vice-Presidents, treasurer, most of the Councilors (Adults and GEX from Europe, America and Asia) as well as the secretary of the Secretariat to assist with the organization of the meeting. Unfortunately, due to other priorities and visa reasons, some members of the Presidency were not able to participate.
Fr. Jayapalan, SDB, the world delegate, opened the meeting offering his reflections on the image of Saint John Bosco – A Fascinating Saint – a figure that past pupils need to know and embrace in order to live Don Bosco’s charism and to carry forward his mission of saving souls. The reflection of Fr. Luis Fernando Alvarez Sdb, the Spanish national Delegate followed. Mr. Michal Hort presented the programme and exhorted the team to keep the focus. The regional reports from each regional councilor followed, highlighting the activities and events occurring in their region in the previous one year. The GEX councilors Fresia Méndez from Costa Rica (GEX Councillor for America) and Alberto Alves Piedade from Timor Leste (GEX Councilor for Asia) coming in for the first time, added value to the group, presenting their reports.
During this meeting, we also discussed on how to improve and effectively transmit the monthly reports from the World Presidency across, through all the Regional councilors and the national Presidents of Federation of Past Pupils Don Bosco and their delegates. It was noted that the World Presidency has received the report of the Strategic Plan from only five out of seventy seven (77) National Federations. The world presidency had come up with the seven big priorities and had requested every national federation to come up with their implementation plan under one world strategic plan, basing their annual activities basing on these goals. In other words, the world strategic plan should guide each province to take the 7 priorities seriously and come out with implementation mechanism.
There followed presentations of reports from councilors on Formation & Family, External Relations, Business Platform and Treasury; External guest speakers on IPDO (Inspectoral Planning & Development Office), Salesian Social Platform (aid to youth in need) and OMAEC (World Confederation Past Pupils of Catholic Education) were inspiring moments. One of the important discussions was on membership fee and ways to remind and encourage every national federation to make their annual contribution regularly.
On the last day, the presidency team discussed and made several decisions to enhance the organization: Establishment of Past Pupils Database, Newsflash and enhancement of past pupils Website and the promotion of past pupils activities on our Facebook page. The four day-meeting came to an end, highlighting all the important points and the action plan to follow up in each region and the role of the members of Presidency. It was decided to have the next Presidency meetings in different continents: 2018 in America (on 8-11 November), 2019 in Asia and 2020 in Africa.
It was a well-prepared meeting and everyone participated with enthusiasm and commitment. Everyone was highly cooperative. There was an atmosphere of familiarity and fraternity with a great sense of belonging. Everyone felt the organization is growing strongly with more clarity and commitment. A hearty welcome to the new members of the Presidency, particularly the World Delegate Fr. Jayapalan sdb.