by Father Chittiserry Joseph
NEW DELHI, SEP 22, 2016: A three-day long animation on the Salesian Family (SF) for the provincial delegates of Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati, Shillong and Dimapur – that aimed to promote and grow the Salesian family - was held from September 16 to 18 at Don Bosco House, SPCI, Dwarka, New Delhi.
The resource persons were Father Eusebio Munoz, the Delegate of the Rector Major for the Salesian Family, Father Giuseppe Casti, the World Delegate for Salesian Co-operators and Father Juan Luis Playa who is the World Delegate for VDB and CDB.
In the course of programme, the delegates stressed that the SF must network as one family, one force and must become recognised in the country as experts on youth affairs. They added that the SF should promote training of youth for public leadership and service and those in public service must take advantage of their position to promote Salesian values.
Training for family ministry was another issue discussed to help families to live well, handle relationships and problems. It was also stressed that the SF charter must be known, shared, deepened, practised and that the charter should be included in the formation programme of Salesians and others in the group. The importance of promoting all the groups of the Salesian family, in the province, was underlined, highlighting that the groups should be enlightened on the social teachings of the church (PAL 8).
Several structural changes were also suggested. They included, appointing a full-timer as delegate of the SF in the provinces, who could also be a Provincial Councillor. The formation of a provincial team for animation of the SF was discussed. The SF team is to meet with the provincial council for planning, implementation and evaluation of its programme of animation and formation.
The members present for the seminar were Father Noel Maddhichetty, Salesian Family Delegate for South Asia; from INN: Father Joseph Kezhakkekara, Provincial Delegate for ADMA and VDB, Father Reji Tom, Provincial Delegate for the Salesian Family; from INC: Father John Berger, National Co-ordinator for VDB, Father Bikash Mondol, Provincial Delegate for the Alumni; from INS: Father Philip Barjo, Provincial Delegate for the Salesian Family and from IND: Father Joseph Chittissery, Provincial Delegate for the Salesian Family.
The meeting began after the Inauguration of the new boardroom of the SPCI. During his words of introduction, Father Munoz said that earlier the SF was under the Vicar of the Rector Major, after GC 27 that highlighted its importance for the congregation and in the church, it is entrusted to the Rector Major, and he has appointed Father Munoz as his Delegate. At the beginning of the meeting he presented the objective and expected result of the meeting.
Father Maddhichetty then gave a report of the SF in India through two video presentations about how the mission of Don Bosco has been initiated and how it has been of carried out in India. He presented a survey conducted in the provinces about the Salesian family and its present status. He also presented the SF Mission statement of South Asia and the priorities identified in the Conference of major superiors of the Salesian Family.
On the Second day, Father Casti enlightened the group on the Salesian Cooperators and on the role of the delegate. Father Playa updated the members on VDBs and CDBs. Father Noel presented the six-year plan of the World Federation of the Don Bosco Alumni which were prepared under the leadership Micheal Hort, the new international head of the Alumni. Father Eusebio presented Association of Devotees of the Mary Help of Christians to the delegate.
On the third day, the Province Delegates presented a report about the Salesian Family in their respective provinces. The rest of the day was spent to identify issues to take forward in the coming years for the promotion and growth of the Salesian family.
The meeting concluded with a vote of thanks by Father John Berger. The delegates from Rome were thanked for their animation. Father Maddhichetty, the Regional Delegate, was thanked for the organisation of the meeting.