by BIS Correspondent
MUMBAI, OCT 19, 2016: Father Maria Arokiam Kanaga, the Salesian Regional Councillor of South Asia, while meeting the Provincial Council of the Salesian Cooperators, Past Pupils and ADMA on October 15 at the Don Bosco Provincial House in Matunga, stressed on the need for Salesians to expand their scope of service from being institution-centric to work for the good of society.
Father Vivian D'Souza, the Delegate for the Salesian Family, greeted Father Kanaga and presented a report on the three branches of the Salesian Family. Jacinta D'Souza, Provincial Coordinator for Cooperators, then spoke about the various units and activities of the Cooperators. Amar Prabhu represented the Past Pupils and Marian D'Souza touched upon ADMA. Sister Catherine, FMA Delegate of the Salesian Family was also present.
After listening to the reports being presented, Father Kanaga stressed on the need for the Salesian movement to be more inclusive in its approach and that the numbers of Cooperators, Alumni and ADMA should increase steadily. He said the Salesian Alumni should be tapped in more effectively to achieve this goal.
He added, there was a need to move from just being groups within the Salesian community to a movement in the Province with each unit contributing in terms of numbers and quality, in all sectors of the Salesian Family.
Father Kanaga maintained that he was aware of the constant change of delegates, but pointed to the importance of the Salesian Family being independent and vibrant and not being totally dependent on the delegate or the Institution.
After the appointment of Father Pascal Chavez as the Salesian Rector Major, attempts were made to promote lay groups of the Salesian Family, but the initiative was not successful. The Councillor for the Salesian Family was handled by the Vicar of the Rector Major; but he had several other portfolios and so he could not devote much time to this important sector.
In the last General chapter, the Salesian Family was given its due importance when it was put directly under the charge of the Rector Major as the Father of the Family. He instituted a separate Secretariat with Heads appointed for the various branches of the Salesian Family, like the Salesian Cooperators, Alumni, VDBs and CDBs, ADMA, among others. These heads were to visit the different regions of the Salesian World to animate the different sectors of the Salesian Family.
The meeting of the Provincial Delegates held in Hyderabad at the end of September had the Delegate of the Rector Major, Don Eusebio Muñoz together with Heads of World delegates for the Cooperators, Alumni, VDBs & CDBs and ADMA making their presentation and formation plans available to all the delegates of the different sectors. This had to be disseminated at the Province level to the Councils and the different units.
The meeting of Provincials and Heads of the different branches of the Salesian Family, held at Bangalore in August this year, was aimed at strengthening the bonds of the Salesian Family. It was stressed that more work needed to be done for the upliftment of Migrant youth in India, Ecology and for Women and Girl child protection and prevention of child trafficking.
Father Kanaga said that the Salesian groups at present are like ponds, a 'Small stable, but within the Institute. We should gear towards making our groups a movement, like rivers'. He also encouraged every Province to set up a migrant desk, where youngsters, who are new to the state can approach the desk for help.