by Father Chris Valentino
MUMBAI, JUNE 27, 2017: The two- day meeting for the leaders of communities and members of the various commissions of the Salesian Province of Mumbai was organised at the Don Bosco Provincial House, Matunga on June 21-22. Over 85 Salesian priests and brothers, with a few lay collaborators participated in this planning meet.
Day one, witnessed 40 leaders of communities from across the province begin the day with a concelebrated Eucharist in the Don Bosco Matunga Crypt, with a reflective homily by the Salesian Provincial of Mumbai, Father Godfrey D`Souza. Inviting the leaders to be committed and exemplary while working toward the upliftment of the community and the young cared for, Father D`Souza emphasised the fact that Salesians all across the province should endeavour to ponder and ask, ``Are we caring for the young with what we have or do we do it because of what we are?``
The morning orientation session was introduced by Father D`Souza with an excerpted reading from Father Chrys Saldanha`s book, 'Challenges in Salesian Life Today'. This was followed by a much-needed and well-appreciated explanatory session regarding the Goods and Sales Tax (GST) by Deven Shah and Bipin Shah, chartered accountants. Post-lunch, the various issues requiring immediate attention in the province were discussed. The evening group reflective process on `The Rector`s Manual` was an exercise in understanding the mandated task, recognising the challenges and proposing possibilities.
Father Ajoy Fernandes' book 'Preventing Substance Abuse Among School Children: A Manual for Teachers' published by Tej-Prasarini, Don Bosco Communications was launched later in the evening by Father D`Souza. Lauding the Don Bosco Research Centre (DBRC) team for the tremendous effort and thanking Tej-Prasarini Don Bosco Communications for the publication, Father D`Souza complimented Father Fernandes for his labour of love. The special guest of honour, Gene D`Silva, founder-director of Jeevan Dhara narrated his personal life-experience with substance abuse avowing the audience.
On day two, over 75 Salesians gathered for the commissions workshop which commenced with a concelebrated Holy Eucharist by the newly appointed Rectors, wherein Father Brian Moras reflected on the need to be friends and companions of the young.
The morning session was animated by Father Glenford Lowe with specific focus on the Salesian Youth Ministry (SYM) in the province. With innovative exercises and group processes, Father Lowe focused on the roses-thorns-buds (successes-difficulties-
The Salesians and the lay collaborators went away determined to effect change where necessary, not with what they can do, but beginning with what they are.