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Message from the Mission Councillor
Dear confreres and friends of Don Bosco's Missions!
I'm indeed very happyto addressyou this short but cordial greeting in the very first issue of this new Salesian and missionary bulletin in India. This short message will reach you precisely atthe moment when I'm touching this holy Indian land for the very first time. Yes! I have never been in India before, but I have "met India" several times; first in Rome, and then mainly in Africa. I have many beautiful and delightful experiences to share about how far I have reached walking, working and Living together with Salesians of Don Bosco from India.
By launching this newsletter we are simply and responsibly trying to continue doing what our elders did: to freely communicate and to freely share what we have freely received, mainly, our Christian faith! As Mary did, atthe dawn of evangelization: She got ready and hurried to visitand to serve Elizabeth.
Through this new Salesian publication we are also simply and proudly continuing the work of the first evangelizers in India, the work of St. Thomas who, impelled by the Holy Spirit, shared with all peoples the joy of having touched the wounds of the Risen Lord and of proclaiming: "My Lord and my God!" And with St. Thomas and after him, the innumerable army of evangelizers and catechists who, from far and near, have put all their energies to sow deep the seed of the Word of Life in India.
The sons of Don Bosco, arrived also I would say as "the workers of the last hour",joining this ever-living and fruitful river of evangelization, which transforms and gives life to all peoples and cultures. We need then, to continue celebrating it, as we did itwith full of awareness and thankfulness in 2006, for the centenary of the Salesian presence in India.
As Salesians of Don Bosco we have in fact in India a wonderful missionary patrimony and history to keep alive, to deepen and to share; and also, very promising and urgent missionary challenges to face generously. May this bulletin, whose birth we are celebrating today, strengthen Salesian missionary culture in India and inspire many to continue offering their lives and utmost of their energies, to bringJesus to allnear, orfar, as Don Bosco did.
REV. FR. GUILLEIU40 RASMUS SDB _
Message from the Regional Councillor
Eternal Perspectives _
and Proclaiming the Gospel
Missions Today? Are we not pastthe era in which the zealous missionary spent all his time trying
to baptize people in order to prevent them from
landing in hell? Has not the Second Vatican
Council opened up theological vistas by which
we today believe that God, in his infinite mercy will save, through the saving power of Christ, all men of good will, whichever religion or non-religious philosophy to which they belong? Why to preach the Gospeltoday then? Is it not enough that we live the central command ofJesus to love one another? Is not our social commitment, self-less and sacrificing already an efficacious preaching of the Gospel? Well, all these and many more are questions that rise in the hearts of Christians today, including priests and religious.
In the first place, we are not called upon to preach a religion, but to proclaim the joy of having heard and lived a good news, rather, THE Good News. Itis that God has emptied himself and has become like us, precisely to win back our free love, in total respect for our own freedom, a freedom he himself has given us, and without which we would not be human, and would be incapable of love. This is such an earth-shaking truth that we know that we cannot butjoyfully share it with others.
St. Paul, the greatest missionary in Christian history, proclaimed the joy of knowing a God who loves us and gives himself for us, a good news that others areignorant of. Not sharing itwould be foolish and a singular act ofinjusticetowards his fellowmen, feltSt. Paul.
There is another and equally important reason why the Christians, and in particular the religious and priests, are called to proclaim the Gospel. It is to be signs of the Eternal Perspectives which give true meaning to human existence. We need people to remind humankind as to why we are here in this planet. The kingdoms of this world deal with the questions of "what", "where", "how", "when", and "who" in human life. They deal with fulfilling our worldly needs, and rightly so. They need to provide safety, security, nutrition, education, development and welfare, and for these they also work for peace and justice and equal distribution. At least this is what we hope for from the governments. But they cannot answer the most fundamental question of "WHY" of human existence. This is the question of meaning! Why on earth am I here, rather than not? What is the purpose of my life? It cannot be eating and drinking and then dying! We, Christians, have been taught this right from the first question in our Catechism classes: "God created us in order to love him and serve him and be united with him for ever in love." Love, and undying love, eternal Love, is therefore the meaning of life and the purpose of our existence. Missionary work is all about sharing this conviction with a humanity that foolishly is bent being myopic, and refuses to see anything beyond the death, beyond this earthly need. All that mattered was this worldly happiness and welfare. We are like the foolish rich man in the story of Jesus, who forgot that God could call him to his finaldestiny anytime!
Unfortunately, the religious too can be afflicted with this myopic vision. We could Limit ourselves, unwittingly to work for the temporal good of our brothers and sisters, mainly by providing them with good education and social service. We can become simple non¬governmental organizations, philanthropic institutions, which do a lot of good to the poor and needy in an efficient way. This is good in itself. But the good can become an obstacle to the better and to the best, if we are not careful. We could be visible to the world just as good human beings, kind-hearted and self-less, Lovers of humanity out of pity and efficient at providing services to target groups which are neglected by the governments and other agencies. We could become known defenders of human dignity and rights. In the bargain we could begin to follow the logic of this worldly institution building and succumb to positions of power, prestige and money. It is not that all are in this way, but it could become a dominant culture even among the religious, dedicated totally to be witnesses to eternal perspectives. We could be seen as efficient service providers, but much less as spiritual men and women, pointers to heaven and people who stand up to tell the world that the only purpose of this entire show here is our eternal life with the Divine.
Jesus of Nazareth is the central figure in human history. The fact is that he has become the "meaning" ofthis human existence, by going beyond it. This IS the good news that we want to share. It is Jesus of Nazareth that we want to proclaim. It is only as witnesses to eternal perspectives that our life of dedication will have a meaning. Otherwise we would just be doing the work of Governments who should provide welfare to their citizens. We do it, and do itto the most neglected and poor, and we welcome everyone without exclusion, because we want men and women to think of their meaning in Life, the purpose for which they were born, and achieve it in their own freedom. For this we should be seen, not merely as socialworkers, but as men and women of God, who stand forthe primacy of God in human existence.
It is this purpose, that gives sense to our religious life and institutions. All the rest are only means. Forgetting this, or neglecting this, would make us guilty of forgetting the centre and grabbing the periphery of life, forgetting the eternal and holding on only to the temporal, that which is passing. Here, therefore, is the rationale of our so called Proclamation of the Gospel. It simply means that we are hereto shoutfrom the rooftops to men and women, notto be myopic and live a sub-human life, dedicated to solely this worldly fulfillment, forgetful of their eternal purposes. Jesus calls US TO BE his disciples, to tellthe world that, God is the purpose and meaning of Life, and that he has proved this Love to us permanently and irrevocablyin Jesus of Nazareth!
REV. FR. MARIAAROKIAN KANAGA SDB Regional CouncilorforSouth Asia
This first issue of Anima is dedicated to St. Thomas, the apostle of Christ and the first missionary to the region.
The Church exists in order to evangelize; evangelizing gives the Church her deepest identity (Evangelii Nuntiandi, 14). Therefore, we can say that the Evangelizing Mission is the very soul of the Church. Without this soul the Church will cease to exist. This explains the reason why the missionary animation bulletin of South Asia has been christened 'Anima", which means the "soul".
According to St. Thomas Aquinas, the human being is composed of corpus et anima: body and soul. The core of the human being is the soul. In the same way, the mission of Jesus is the soul of the Church and the soul of Christian life. Living Christ and Giving Christ are the two fundamental aspects of the Christian vocation, and much more of the religious vocation. Don Bosco was convinced of this and so he adopted his motto: Da mihi animas (give me souls), which expresses his zealforsouls and missionary passion.
"Anima" could be read as the shorter form of animation, which means, "giving Spirit", "empowering" and "educating". It is also an acronym for Action Network In Missionary Animation.
The objective of this new initiative is to animate, to communicate and to empower, which includes: promoting missionarythin king and reflection, animating the missionary activities in the region, honouring the missionaries of the region who left us a rich legacy, strengthening the missionary formation of the young, promoting mission ad gentes and volunteering and communicating news and views in the Salesian Family. All these will contribute to the building up of a missionary culture of believing, living and giving Jesus Christ to all.
Our region has been uniquely blessed by the Lord Himself through His own apostle Thomas, who according to tradition brought Jesus the Good News to our motherland. We celebrated his solemnity a few days ago. Unfortunately, he has been branded as "Doubting Thomas". But if Thomas doubted, he also believed. John the evangelist highlights his unparalleled courage and loyaltyto Jesus, his Master: Thomas said to the other apostles,"Let us also go to die with him" (John 11:16b).
It was St. Thomas who made what is certainly one the most explicit statements of faith in the New Testament when he cried out: "My Lord and My God!" (Jn 20:28). It was the cry of his soul. His passion for Christ brought him as far as South Asia. It was Thomas who inaugurated the mission ad gentes in our region, setting aflame a missionary culture by believing, living and giving Christ. He won the crown of martyrdom by living and dying for his Master and thus becoming the model for many a missionary in the region, foreign as wellas indigenous.
Mother Mary's soul anticipated the song of praise and thanksgiving for the great things the Almighty would do for her, by singing: "My soul magnifies the Lord" - Magnificatanima mea Dominum!
May the soul cry of Thomas and the song of Mary's soul reverberate in our region, through
each and everyone of us.
FR. T.C. GEORGE SDB
South Asian Delegate for MissionaryAnimation
AVOID DECADENCE! F.
The Superior General of a certain congregation came from Rome to visit the Northeastern
region of India where the congregation was '
really flourishing. He went round the region
visiting parishes, missions, schools, colleges,
hostels, health centers boarding houses, technicalinstitutes and the like. He addressed the religious communities of the congregation, spoke to the staff, students, parents, members ofthe public, formally and informally It was certainly tiring for the visitor but he was delighted, simplytaken up by allthat he saw: the number of professed members, several young enthusiastic candidates, the joy and enthusiasm of the communities, their remarkable service to the people, the high praise from the public! The visitor was thrilled with every bitof what he saw and heard.
Before he took leave, he addressed a large gathering of his confreres "lam coming from Europe," he said,"wherethings are very different." He referred to dwindling numbers of professed members, the shrinking communities, the closing down of centers, the small number of candidates - a veritable sad state of affairs. "What a contrast here in this region", he said. "But then" he warned, "what is happening in Europe could also happen here, ifweare not careful."
He then suggested two ways to prevent this sorry state of affairs from overtaking India. The first, he said, is this: Strive to be quality religious. It means, in the first place, people rich in human formation. Men who are polite, gentle, loving, welcoming, helpful understanding, cooperative, forgiving, sharing.
In the second place, the visitor continued, quality religious means people who are spiritual. They give priority to interior life. Friendship with Christ is central to their religious life and they regularly nourish this friendship with prayer, the sacraments and the Word of God. Quality religious serve God with undivided hearts.
The superior then explained the second way to avoid decadence and decline and ensure growth instead. He said: Strive for quality mission. Quality mission, in the first place, will mean, he went on to explain, top class infra-structure, modern facilities, high-grade efficiency, dedicated service, excellent results. Indubitably, this breed of service- mission do us proud.
The superior did not stop there. He continued: There is another angle to this mission, which should be the heart of it all - Evangelization. The radical message of the Gospel is taken seriously and announced zealously in the best way possible through the available facilities and selfless service. The heart of Evangelization is: living Christ and giving Christ.
The visitor concluded: If these two means are taken care of - quality religious and quality mission —the congregation is bound to flourish, works will multiply, services will expand, generous young people will be powerfully attracted to join the congregation.
FR. ITTIRA MONDOTH SDB
Journalist, Rector, Don Bosco Provincial House Bangalore.
"Compliments and congratulations for your efforts to start a Bulletin entitled Anima to animate the confreres of all the
1P t Salesian Provinces of the Region and the members of the
Salesian Family. May God Bless your efforts to animate the missionary activities in the region, to promote the mission ad gentes and thus to cultivate a missionary culture of believing, living and giving Christ to all. Best Wishes and Prayers."
- Rev. Fr. Joe D'Souza SDB, Founder of The Disciples
"Congratulations on taking up this noble step in order to disseminate and promote mission concerns with the view to
foster missionary thinking and action in the region, to communicate news and views in the Salesian Family, and thus
to create a missionary culture of believing, living and giving
Jesus Christto all. lam sure it will provide a boostto allthose
who are involved in missionary activity. May God bless your initiative and be assured of our support. May the One who began this new venture make it successful and effective."
- Rev. Sr. Philomena Mathew MSMHC,
Superior General of the Missionary Sisters oj Mary Help of Christians.
"Congratulations and best wishes to you on this new venture
to start a missionary animation bulletin for the region of
South Asia. May this initiative of yours turn out to be a great
venture in the field of missionary animation, and may our
greatfather Don Bosco's motto, "Give me souls, take away the rest", be realized byevery memberofthe Salesian Family."
- Rev. Sr. Lisette Thuruthimattam SMI, Superior General of the Catechist Sisters of Mary Immaculate Help of Christians and the members of the SMI family.
"I am happy to know that you are bringing out the first issue of ANIMA (Action NetworkIn MissionaryAnimation), a missionary animation bulletin for South Asia. I see that you have put in a lot of thought to bring in the idea of Soul (Anima) both in the Church's life and in our Salesian
motto. I congratulate you! Let us praythat this publication
will help focus our work of missionary animation as well as popularize it."
- Rev. Fr. Nestor Guria SDB,
the Salesian Provindal of Dimapur and the Delegate Provindal for Missionary Animation.
"The missionary expeditions of Don Bosco as all other activities of Don Bosco were aimed at the salvation of souls. Don Bosco himself would state as much when he said: "The sole reason for their journey is to try to save many souls. 'To save souls; nothing else than that! " (BM XI, 435). I am glad that the South-Asia Missionary Animation Team is bringing
out a bulletin appropriately titled: Anima = Soul! I wish the venture all success and pray that it achieve its scope of inflaming the hearts ofmanyyoungsters in the region with an ardent desire to save souls as missionaries the Don Bosco way!"
-Rev. Fr. Thomas Anchukandam SOB,
the Salesian Provindal of Bangalore.
The South Asian Missionary Animation Team , gratefully acknowledges the great contribution Rev. Fr. Vaclav Klement SDB made to the region during his term as the Councillor for the Missions, between 2008 and 2014. He inspired us with his friendliness, simplicity of Life and missionary zeal. We wish him God's choicest blessings in his new ministry as the Regional Councillor for East Asia Oceania. Thankyou Fr. Vaclav!
The Regional Missionary Animation Team wont to place on redord the service rendered to the region by our 5 outgoing PDMAs (Provincial Delegates for Missionary Animation): Fr. Thekkel Sebastian (Kolkata), Fr. Arikotla Vidya Sagar (Hyderabad), Fr. Amarildes Sigmaringa (Panjim), Fr. John Dharmanathan (Tiruchy) and Fr. Paul Kachapilly (Sri Lanka). We extend a fraternalwelcome to the newLy appointed PDMAs: Fr. Martin Lakra (Kolkata), Fr. Alex Jeyaraj (Hyderabad), Fr. Lino Lopes (Panjim), Fr. AntonyJoseph (Tiruchi) and Fr. Arokia Samy (Sri Lanka). A Bulletin for Missionary Animation, Communication and Empowerment in South Asia
From a Missionarys journai
The June 1996 was a memorable day for me. I began my journey early in the morning from the novitiate house, Don Bosco, Siliguri by jeep towards an unfamiliar destination, Dharan located at the eastern part of Nepal. My mind was full of wonder as I moved from one town to another. Everything was new and strange; the land, the culture, the lifestyle, the food, the language, the people etc. At the Nepal checkpost, our vehicle was stopped by the policemen who looked smart and well-dressed. Well-suited to their stature! Without any difficulty our Nepal registration vehicle entered Nepal. My driver Mr. Kishore Chhetri and I proceeded to Mount Don Bosco, Dharan, our first and only presence in Nepal at that time, which was almost 116 kilometers from the border. We had a very relaxing drive along a broad road which was under construction. I was fascinated by the long stretches of forest spread out on either side of the road, at the sight of the silhouette of misty mountains at a distance, dry rivers and streams laid barren cutting across the road, fat cows and buffaloes feeding themselves on green pasture land. We reached Dharan, just before lunch.
I was welcomed by Rev. Fr. John Berger who was also new to the place. He had completed his term as Novice Master in Nazareth Bhavan, Siliguri and volunteered for the Nepal mission. He explained to me the nature of the work which the province of Kolkata was envisaging and the strategy to be followed. As the days went by, I felt a sense of frustration as language became a barrier for proper communication. I had been visualizing the mission land as a place of illiterate people, surrounded by forests, hills, rivers etc. But contrary to my expectation, I found a clean town at the foothill of the Himalayas, inhabited by ex-army men and retired people who had been employed abroad. The question which I frequently asked myself those days was: "Why on earth have I come here to do the same type of work, which I had been doing otherwise in Kerala?" Once I acquired fluency in the local language, I found the mission was becoming interesting, although the work was the same. The nature of the Salesian work is such that it is relevant everywhere at anytime. What one has to do is to contextualize the nature of Salesian work to the prevailing context. I slowly made a paradigm shift from dependence to independence. I was excessively depending on others for any silly tasks which caused me to feel that I was restricted within certain parameters. Gradually I found myself as a liberated man like a child learning to walk by itself capable of doing things by myself more effectively for the benefit of the mission. The horizons of the mission gradually expanded and the power of God consistently and systematically accompanied me as I took every step. As I developed a love forthe people of the land and began to serve them wholeheartedly, a retinue of people overwhelmed me with love and staunch support. I began learning lessons for life. Learn to love first what the people love and you will win them over to the way you want them to be later on. And also, never miss a graceful and welcoming appearance in our daily encounters even with strangers, and keep calm and serene, even in the midst of threats. All these things could be acquired gradually as one grows, through the hostile and friendly climate of daily life.
I began my Nepal missionary journey from Dharan in 1996 and ended it in Kathmandu 2014. There are sixteen Salesians working in six presences, managing four schools, two parishes, a quasi-parish, four boardings and a technical school now. In two more places, the congregation has bought land and is waiting for more generous confreres to join the spiritual invasion and to commence the appropriate Salesian works. Nepal is always in deficit of confreres, even to carry out the existing works. Nepal mission needs more volunteers.
It is desirable if one has a little of the faith of Abraham, the endurance of Joseph, the humility of Moses, the strength of Samson, the courage of David, the wisdom of Solomon, the fortitude of Elijah, the zeal of Paul and the firmness of Peter for the fruition of the missionary work, and apply them according to the situations and the requirements in due measure. To uphold the identity of the Salesian charism and apostolate one has to nurture and live the virtues of our saintly people. Like Don Bosco, one needs to have the ardent desire to save souls, like Don Rua one must hold firmly the Constitutions as guidelines for daily life, like Don Cagliero be adventurous to venture out in to new horizons of mission life when the demands arise; and like St. Dominic Savio to safeguard the qualities of life which the religious life demands today.
Would you like to join this missionary journey to Nepal or to anywhere where God's people await you.....?
Rector Major's Missionary Appeal for the 145th Missionary Expedition
Province - Country Languages needed Features of the location
and qualities required of missionaries
AET Ethiopia English Apostolic Vicariate: entrusted to the
Vicariate of Gambella Local languages Congregation, First Evangelisation with
opportunities for implanting the Church.
FRB Morocco French, Arabic The only community in the country, school-CFP
(vocational ed. centre), parish, small community.
ISI Tunisia French, Arabic Only community in the country, primary school
and oratory, small community.
CIN English Helping the Province with young confreres
China services Chinese - Cantonese (Macau, H K, Taiwan). Needs solid Salesian
INC English, Nepali A young mission, cf. mission appeal (2000), social
and educational work, Hindu religion, needs
missionaries from Nepal outside of South Asia.
LKC English, Sinhalese, Country has been affected by civil war, needs
Sri Lanka Tamil missionaries from outside South Asia; Brothers.
SLK Apostolic Prefecture of Russian, English, Only 600 local and migrant Catholics, moderate
Azerbaijian Azeri Islam; request to internationalise (non-Slovak
LATIN ANERICAM 11.11
ARS Argentina Spanish Need for missionaries for Patagonia especially.
ANT Cuba Spanish Delegation, many opportunities for evangelisation
in what is now a freer situation, but much poverty, scarcity of personnel.
BCG Brazil Portuguese, Urgent need to strengthen our presence amongst
Campo Grande Indigenous languages the Bororos and Xavantes who are peoples
undergoing a strong growth phase in the Mato Grosso region.
PER Peru Spanish 1.Pucallpa Vicariate entrusted to us in 2009, few
Vicariate - Pucallpa Indigenous languages missionaries, indigenous groups
2. Missions-Valle Sagrado (Kechua)
3. Missions in Yurimaguas (San Lorenzo).
SUE - SUO English, Spanish Ministry to Hispanic migrants (Parish, Youth
United States - Migrants centre - Oratory, Social assistance).
URU Uruguay Spanish Most secularised country in Latin America;
need for young SDBs
BEN Flemish Youth Centres - Oratories, Parishes, Migrant Works, MGS.
North Belgium, English
FRB French Youth Centres - Oratories, Parishes, Migrant Works, MGS.
France, Belgium South
GBR English Schools, retreat centre, migrants, need young SDBs.
IME First Evangelisation, few personnel, special need for
Albania, Kosovo Albanian, Italian Brothers (there are none).
ICC Italian, Spanish, Project Rome - Sacred Heart (migrants), Project Genoa
Italy-Migrants English (Latinos).
MOR - Egypt, Italian, Arabic, Schools for Christians and Muslims, Oratory-youth
Lebanon English centre, need for young SDBs.
MOR - Turkey Italian, Turkish, Only one community in the country, school, migrant work.
AUL English, Australia: secularised, multicultural society. Few young
Salesians, educational works (school, youth centre).
Australia Local languages Samoa, Fiji: need for formators in the Pacific.
Samoa, Fiji (Pacific)
50 Villages ban Missionaries!
Pavan Dahat, July 5, 2014
The Hindu (http:www.thehindu.com) reported on July 5, 2014: An aggressive campaign by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad had led to a ban on the entry of and propaganda by non-Hindu missionaries, especially Christians, in more than 50 villages of Chhattisgarh's Bastar region in the last six months.
According to Suresh Yadav, Bastar district president of the VHP, over 50 gram panchayats in Bastar have passed orders under Section 129 (G) of the Chhattisgarh Panchayat Raj Act banning all "non-Hindu religious propaganda, prayers and speeches in the villages."
In the recent past, some Christians were allegedly attacked in the village and have been denied rations on the orders of the village panchayat.
"It's been over two months now that we have been denied ration in the village and 10 Christians were attacked when they went to collect ration," claimed Sonuru Mandavi, whose family converted to Christianity in 2002.
The Chhattisgarh Christian Forum (CCF), however, has alleged that the ban is "illegal and unconstitutional". "It is similar to what Khap Panchayats do. How can you ask us to block our religious activities on the basis of a Panchayat Act?" asked Arun Pannalal, CCF president. He said the Constitution guaranteed the freedom of religion to all (courtesy, The Hindu).
Thank you Fr. Joe D 'Souza and The Disciples for supporting the printing of this issue.
We invite sponsors to support the forthcoming issues.
Missionary Synergy Building for South Asia
The South Asian Missionary Animation Team organized a three-day Missionary Synergy Building for South Asia on the theme: "Mysticism and Mission". The seminar was held at Don Bosco Provincial house, Dimapur, Nagaland from November 8-11, 2013.
The Salesian Provincial Delegates for Missionary Animation (PDMAs), the representatives of the provinces and those of the Salesian Family (FMA, MSMHC, SMI, VSDB, Disciples), Fr. Vaclav Klement SDB, the General Councillor for the Missions and Fr. Nestor Guria SDB, the Provincial of Dimapur and the Delegate Provincial for Missionary Animation, participated in the programme. There were 42 participants in all.
The participants gathered around the Eucharistic Lord at 6.30 pm on November 08 and invoked the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the missionary of the Father. His Grace Most Rev. Thomas Menamparampil SDB, the Archbishop emeritus of Guwahati, presided over the inaugural Eucharistic celebration on 9th November. At the opening ceremony held at 9.00 am, Rev.Fr. Nestor Guria SDB welcomed the gathering. The Bosco College students sang a welcome song. The keynote address on the theme "Becoming Mystics and Prophets in ourtimes", delivered by Most Rev.
Thomas MenamparampiL SDB put everyone into the spirit of the missionary synergy building. The archbishop emphasized the importance of .,x/4s mysticism for the religious, quoting Amy Hereford: "Rahner said that the Christian of the - future will be a mystic or will not exist at all. We might extend that to say that religious communities of the future will be communities of mystics ortheywillnotexistatall."
Fr. T.C. George SDB, the Regional Delegate for Missionary Animation, explained the dynamics of the synergy building meet. Fr. Vaclav Klement SDB Day presented the paper on "Mystics in Spirit" drawing inspiration from the GC 27 theme. He emphasized the need for an ongoing journey to become Mystics in the Spirit, the importance of initial proclamation in the context of South Asia and discovering the deeper motivations of Salesian missionary saints of South Asia. This was followed by the missionary animation sharing by the representatives from the Salesian Family: FMA, SMI, MSMHC, VSDB, Disciples. Fr. C.C. Jose SDB enthused the participants with his passionate sharing on the Arunachal missions. Ms. Eloni Maria Maheo and Ms Eloni Christine, the Jesus Youth Leaders from Kohima, shared their experiences on the mission of the Jesus Youth movement.
The second day of the seminar was blessed by the gracious presence of Most Rev. P.K George SDB, Bishop of Miao, who celebrated the Eucharist. In his session on "Mystics and Mission", the veteran Arunachal missionary challenged the participants on the need to become mystics deeply rooted in Christ, the urgency of evangelization and the self-sacrificing spirit of the missionary.
Sr. Philomena MSM HC, the Mother General MSMHC, delivered tier taik on "Mysticism and Mission" from a missioLogical perspective. Fr. Pathiaraj SDB, the rector of the missionary aspirantate of Perambur, presented the report of the seminar on "The vast horizon of the mission ad gentes", held at Siloam, Shillong, in November 2012. The presentation of the reports by the regional delegate and the provincial delegates for missionary animation and discussions were among the highlights ofthe day.
November 11, the 138th anniversary of the First Missionary Expedition by Don Bosco in 1875, was celebrated as the Salesian Mission Day. Fr. Vaclav Klement SDB, the General Councillor for the Missions, celebrated the Eucharist and invited everyone to keep up the precious Salesian missionary heritagethatbroughtthe message ofJesus to many nations: "Gesu' a tutti, tutti a Gesu (Jesus to aLL and all to Jesus). The participants plunged themselves into discussions on missionary synergy building for the South Asian region. A Salesian Family level
Action Plan was drawn up for effective missionary networking and collaboration in the region.
The missionary synergy building was followed by a three-day missionary exposure visit to the Arunachal Pradesh Missions under the leadership of Fr. AntoTharakan SDB.
The need to cultivate mysticism at the personal level for fruitful mission and the grace of unity between mission and union with God, networking and collaboration for missionary action within the Salesian family and with other existing groups and movements, missionary animation programmes at the zonal, the provincial and the regional levels, sharing of resource materials, creating missionary consciousness through the formation and strengthening of missionary groups, prayer campaigns for the missions at the regional level, promoting missionary vocations, were among the actions plans drawn up by the assembly.
Thethree-day seminar concluded on November 11th with a thanksgiving Eucharistic adoration.
The participants expressed their appreciation for the enrichment and missionary boost they received through the synergy building experience. "More of such programmes should be organized at various levels", theysaid.
Fr. Vaclav lauded the South Asian region as one of the regions ehwre the missionary animation is systematically and effectively organized. Fr. Nestor Guria
concluded the synergy building meet inviting everyone to become mystics and self-sacrificing missionaries of Christ.
MISSIONARY COURSE in South Asia
The inter-regional ongoing formation course forthe missionaries of the region was a dream come true. The first course took off in August 2013 in Sacred Heart Theological College, Shillong (Meghalaya). The month-long program was aimed at offering an experience of reflection and renewal in the Salesian missionaryvocation.
The programme consisted of four nuclei: an anthropological nucleus, a missiological nucleus, a Salesian nucleus and a spiritual nucleus.
24 participants from the Salesian family working in the Asia and Oceania regions attended the course.
The general objectives of the missionary courseinclude:
To offer updates on current trends in mission in order to respond appropriately to the various missionary challenges in one's own context; to be renewed in the missionary ardour of the Salesian charism; and to deepen one's love for Scriptures as the source of nourishment for spiritual life for effective missionary action.
We congratulate and thank Fr. Barnes Mawrie the coordinator, Fr. Jose Anikuzhikattil the director and Fr. Alfred Maravilla, the facilitator of the programme. The course concluded with a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
Promote missionary reflection!
Email your reflection to the editor in one paragraph (maximum of 100 words).
Selected reflections will be published.
You could also post your questions for reflection.
Question 1: What is the greatest challenge in mission today?
An old missionary was dying. He sent a message for his contractor and his lawyer, both church members, to come to his home. When they arrived, they were ushered up to his bedroom. As they entered the room the preacher held out his hands and motioned them to sit, one on each side of his bed. The missionary grasped their hands, sighed contentedly, smiled and stared atthe ceiling of his house.
For a time, no one said anything. Both the contractor and the lawyer were touched and flattered that the missionary would ask them to be with him during his final moments. They were also puzzled; the missionary had never given them any indication that he particularly liked either of them. They both remembered his many long sermons about greed, covetousness and avaricious behaviour that made them squirm in their seats.
Finally, the contractor said, "Father, why did you ask us to come?" The old missionary mustered up his strength, then said weakly, "Jesus died between two thieves; and that's how I too want to go."
The next course is all set to take off on August 3, 2014 at Sacred Heart College, Shillong.
Participants of the missionary course with His Grace Most Rev. Dominic Jala SDB,
Rev. Fr. Maria Arokiam SDB, Rev. Fr. George Maliekal SDB and Rev. Fr. Thomas Vattathara SOB
Biblical Word Puzzle - BROBLOODTHERS
Read Colossians 1: 1-17 CHRISTCOLOSSE
Paul thanks God for the Colossians; ENDURANCE
and acknowledges the Supremacy of Christ. EPAPH RAS
1, Paul, became a servant of this gospel." FORGIVEN
T C C J L E G M F P G U E I M S R III_ FREEDOM
J G O Q O X J D E O R L L K Y Y U H M A GLORIOUS
R E L J R L A C F T R U O T H O L AEU HEAVEN
R X O A D R N E H R F G S R N J E N F T HOLY
K Z S N K A P G C H E K I R I A S K K I
DL S N R S I ST ARE I V E O V S AR INHERITANCE
E R E U T L R I J S E N D N E T U R I I JOYS
N S D S D E A R E W O P V O G N S S E P LIGHT
S N U O H F T S U P R E M E M D X I BS LORD
E R O T X Q S O S AR HP AP E O K S V PATIENCE
• O C H R I S T R G G R A C E L M Y I PEOPLE
BR H E C N E I T A P M E H E A V E N S POWER
B X H O H D E N E H T G N E R T S P H I PURCHASED
I G O G N O R E C N A T I R E H N I MB SERVANT
GWAHA OLHVMPURCHASEDL SISTERS
M Z R E J G R Y I P E O P L E D F EKE SPIRITUAL
Identify the words given among the scrambled words above. THANKS
Send your answers by September 8, 2014. TRUST