By: Judy Alvarez
Salesians after the heart of Don Bosco come from many walks of life. Among them are Salesian Cooperators, the first lay branch of the Salesians that Don Bosco founded in 1876. According to his design, the Association of Salesian Cooperators (ASC) is co-responsible for the Salesian mission with and for youth. Cooperators commit to serve this mission for life and make this promise to the Rector Major who is our superior within the ASC World Council. The wisdom and guidance of the World Council is felt through a network of regions, provinces, and local centers that animate the life and mission of the Cooperators in all parts of the world. In the ASC Province – USA West, there are ten Local Centers and 111 active Salesian Cooperators whose numbers continue to grow. To date there were 28 new cooperators inducted just this year!
While Cooperators grow in numbers we also seek to grow as credible witnesses to our vocation. The Cooperator World Congress in October 2018 named clearly our challenge to respond to vulnerable youth who are at risk due to family crises and the loss of human dignity. Consequently, in collaboration with the Interamerican Region, specific lines of intervention were proposed as part of our regional six-year plan. These action items include various fields of action necessary to realize our dream of credible witness. Those fields of action include:
- a formation of candidates, members and leaders that fosters each person’s human, Christian and Salesian growth;
- a communion of life, governance and resources;
- our mission to respond boldly to the challenges of today as laity in the world; particularly, for and with youth in light of the Synod on Young People
- an autonomy that requires availability for service in our Association and the renewal of leadership.
How can Cooperators move forward in these fields of action? The ASC Provincial Council is a significant bridge connecting Local Centers with the vital vision, direction and resources of the ASC World Council and the Interamerican Region. The Council is entrusted with the entire life of the association (PVA, Regulations, Article 21), and works collegially to move forward the various fields of action in the province. As such each member of the council assumes the coordination of activities and commitments for a specific area, presenting them to the entire Council for its decision. (PVA, Regulations, 22)
A new Provincial Council was elected in our province on August 11, 2019. Like the Council before them, led by Elizabeth Gamarra, they have accepted the responsibility to encourage, coordinate and support the members of our Local Centers so they can “live out their apostolic action, mission and communion according to the Project of Apostolic Life.” (PVA, Statues, Article 33) The members of the new ASC Provincial Council are:
Mrs. Judy Alvarez, Coordinator
Mrs. Elena Diaz, Secretary
Mrs. Elena La Rosa, Treasurer
Ms. Kristie Martinez, Formation
Mr. Mikey Vera, Formation
Mr. Enrique Diaz, Jr., Youth Ministry
Ms. Rebecca Hernandez, Youth Ministry
Mr. Mike Alvarez, Social Communication
Mrs. Maria Castillon, Social Communication
Mr. Raul Vallejo, Special Events
Sr. M. Guadalupe Medina, FMA Delegate
Br. John Rasor, SDB Delegate
We ask for the blessing and prayers of our Salesian Family as we begin our dedicated efforts to accompany, sustain and strengthen the credible witness of all members and Centers in our Association. Thank you!