by Father Christopher Valentino
MUMBAI, NOV 10, 2016: Father Maria Arokiam Kanaga, the Regional Councillor for South Asia concluded the Extraordinary Visitation to the Salesian province of Mumbai with a concluding conference and the Holy Eucharist at the Don Bosco, Matunga on November 9.
Several leaders of communities and 67 Salesians were present and Father Kanaga began the conference thanking the confreres of the Mumbai Salesian province for their hospitality and sharing. Terming the conference as an 'overall assessment and recommendations', he presented his general impressions.
"The province and the confreres live in an atmosphere of Salesianity, fidelity, fraternity, openness and creativity through a mix of established communities, exploring new mission areas through hardwork, responsibility, mature inner freedom and sincerity," Father Kanaga said.
He commended the rigorous commitment, fidelity to religious discipline, the increased levels of budgeting transparency and the simple lives of the confreres in conformity to the rural and urban work areas. He appreciated the meta-institutions like Prafulta, Amrut Dhara, Youth Services and Tej Prasarini for their innovative consistency evidently visible in the results.
Father Kanaga offered a few recommendations in the light of the '10 areas of concern for the congregation' inviting the Mumbai Salesians to "return to time tested practices of the Salesian culture challenging the world's corporate and managerial value-system, venturing out to promote higher education by revitalising the youth-at-risk works through a 'rights based approach' and encourage confreres to opt generously for the missio ad gentes."
Presiding over the Holy Eucharist soon after, Father Kanaga reflected on the day's readings noting that "a religious community is a holy, yet a sinful reality that exists as a prophecy of fraternity, even while being creative misfits challenging and questioning established paradigms while proposing alternatives based on foundational values and existing as a provocative symbol of efficient and effective service."
The Extraordinary Visitation that takes place once in six years thus concluded officially with Father Kanaga having visited 40 presences across the four states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan and meeting with 280 confreres and numerous laity associated with Salesian work. His trip spanned 65 days.
The Salesians of the Mumbai province thank God for these days of grace and renewal even as they seriously implement the recommendations made by the extraordinary visitor; strengthening their consecration and mission, nourishing community lives and journeying impact fully with and for the young.