Wednesday, December 8, 2010
BIS #2171 RETURNING TO DON BOSCO
DIVYADAAN, DECEMBER 8, 2010: A two day seminar on the Constitutions of our Congregation was held in Divyadaan on the theme – “Returning To Don Bosco” – by Fr Chris Saldahna from the formation department on December 6 and December 7. The seminar was attended by hundred priests and brothers, who comprised of the students of the philosophate, practical trainees and priests from around the province.
The seminar began with a prayer to the Holy Spirit and words of welcome by the Rector of Divyadaan, Rev. Fr Savio. Fr Chris then invited all the participants to question the reason for the seminar on the Constitutions. He stated that the prime reason for this seminar was that the Constitutions mirror the life of Don Bosco and has in it his thoughts and mentality in forming our Society. The second motive being that by living our constitutions we follow Jesus in the way Don Bosco showed us. The seminar had seven sessions reflecting on important themes in the constitutions. In each session Fr Chris presented the text of the articles, followed by reflection and clarification of thought.
Fr Chris led the gathered assembly to reflect on the Salesian Spirit that has the pastoral love of Jesus at its focus. He emphasized that the preventive system is the synthesis of our charism with Don Bosco as our model. The kind of service we render in the church is of a two fold dimension of education and evangelization. This means to work with young people to bring about God’s saving plan. Fr Chris also stressed on our work as being primarily of consecrated nature and of being of witness value to the world and especially the young. He also enumerated for us the meaning of fraternal and praying community life, common mission orientedness and drawing up of community and pastoral plans.
On the second day Fr. Chris helped us reflect on our vows of obedience, poverty and chastity. He mentioned that the vows are not only for us, but for the whole church; a sign of witness of the love of our Lord Jesus Christ. He also dealt with the delicate area of Spiritual Direction. Spiritual Direction, he said, is first and foremost a faith in the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. It simply being a matter of humbly accepting the way God has chosen to deal with us human beings.
The day ended with an important paper presented by Fr. Chris on ‘Formation,’ which ought to lead us to an experience that deepens us and leads us to transformation. The goal of formation is being a consecrated, Salesian priest or brother. He also spoke on personal responsibility and that formation never ends but is an ongoing formation.
Fr. Chris achieved a Herculean task of leading us to reflect on the Constitutions; challenging us to return to Don Bosco.