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Whom shall I send ? Lord send me! 02-2015

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Whom shall I send? –
send me!Whom shall I send ? Lord send me!

Whom shall I send ? Lord send me!

“Go out from your country, your relatives and your father’s household to the land that I will show you. Then I will make you into a great nation…” commanded Yahweh to Abraham (Gen 12:1-2). Heeding this call made Abraham the father in faith for a multitude of nations. Jesus felt the need to leave his native place and settled down in Capernaum (Mt 4:13) and later to leave from there to other places to preach the good news (Mk 1: 38). The Church is the people of God that constantly goes out of itself towards others. “Go out” is also the clarion call of Pope Francis to a stagnant Church intent on its own security and comfort. It is this going out that has made the Church alive.

Don Bosco had hardly a few Salesians in his hands when he chose to send out the best among them to the missions in Patagonia. Blessed Philip Rinaldi, another Don Bosco, understood that the missionary dimension was an indispensable aspect of Salesian Charism, nay of our baptismal call itself. So he came up with the genial idea of a “missionary aspirantate” in Ivrea, just about 50 kilometres from Turin in 1922.

In about 40 years this power house of the sent out about 1000 missionaries all over the world, a large number of them landed also in India. We know what they have done to Salesian India. The congregation is commissioning its 145th missionary expedition in 2014. Our Congregation has become a force to reckon with in the Church only because of its missionary dynamism.

The Indian Church has a long tradition of being missionary. From the Western Coast, Southern parts of the peninsula and Chotanagpur area thousands of missionaries have gone out to the rest of India and the world to preach the Gospel. May be these areas have a vibrant Christian faith precisely because they were missionary. A Church that sends out Gospel workers is always blessed a hundredfold. According to a recent survey Indian Catholic missionaries are found working today in more than 166 countries! Salesians from India are working today in all the continents, working marvels of faith and development.

MWhom shall I send ? Lord send me!

Whom shall I send ? Lord send me!

Wanting to work for one’s own people only could be an indication of ageing and stagnation of the faith.

All the provinces, aspirantates and formation houses are places of missionary formation. But we have started two missionary aspirantates in India, one in Sirajuli, Assam and another in Perambur, Tamil Nadu with the intention of giving a fresh impetus for the missions, particularly to take care of those young men whom the Lord may be calling right from the beginning to go out of their native area, whether within India or abroad. These houses, besides having special programmes are also a reminder to the rest of our basic missionary call. If there are some signs of stagnation and fatigue in our religious life and a slump in vocations, a missionary thrust is one of the best ways of renewal and fresh dynamism. The Lord is never outdone in generosity. We will always have works in our own native areas. But that should not blind us to the ever increasing needs in other parts of the world.

This leaflet of information, we hope will serve to create greater understanding, not only of the missionary aspirantates, but of our universal missionary vocation itself. Let us keep going out. The Lord will keep coming in!

Lovingly in Don Bosco
Fr. Václav Klement, General Councillor for the Missions
Fr. Maria Arokiam Kanaga, General Councillor for South Asia Region
31 January 2014, Feast of Don Bosco
Fr. Václav Klement
Fr. Maria Arokiam Kanaga
1. The Missionary Aspirantate
2. The Urgent Need of Missionary Promotion
3. Salesian World Map
4. Missionary Institute of Cardinal Cagliero, Ivrea
5. Catholic Church is by nature Missionary
6. Indian Missionaries Abroad
7. The Missionaries Ad Gentes from South Asian Region
8. Testimonies of Missionaries
9. Missionary Aspirantates of India: Sirajuli (Assam), Perambur (Tamil Nadu)
10. Missionary Formation Curriculum
11. Suitability to Join the Missionary Aspirantate
12. Missionaries need your help
13. Contact us
CWhom shall I send ? Lord send me!

Whom shall I send ? Lord send me!

A fter the First World War the universal Church experienced a period of missionary revival, marked by large-scale meetings and missionary exhibitions, a flowering of missionary youth groups and publications at all levels. Missionary promotion has contributed to sending thousands of European missionaries to all the other continents. The young Salesian Congregation also received various responsibilities in mission territories (mission Prefectures, Vicariates or Prelatures) in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

The third successor of Don Bosco, Blessed Philip Rinaldi, in communion with the Church, founded the magazine Gioventù missionaria to animate groups of the ‘Friends of Gioventù missionaria’. Finally, in 1922, the first institution which was meant for the formation of future missionaries ad gentes was founded in Ivrea near Turin. After high school young people were leaving for the missions, where they began their novitiate.

From the first missionary Aspirantate - Cardinal John Cagliero Institute, Ivrea - other missionary aspirantates were established in Penango, Gaeta, Bagnolo, Mirabello, Novi Ligure, Cumiana, Turin - Rebaudengo, Colle Don Bosco (Italy), Astudillo (Spain), Shrigley (UK), Coat- an-Doc’h (France) - not to mention other specifically missionary houses of formation (Turin Valdocco, the various ‘missionary seminaries’). A good part of the 11,000 Salesian missionaries is the result of the typical Salesian tradition, having confidence in young people - even in the field of mission ad gentes, ad extra, for life. Like many other traditions in the immediate post- Vatican II period, all the missionary aspirantates in Europe were closed in the 60s. On the other side of the globe, in the region of South Asia during the centenary celebrations of Don Bosco in India (2006), the idea to continue the original tradition of Salesian missionaries aspirantates came up. Thus, with the permission of the Rector Major, the first two missionary aspirantates outside Europe were opened: The fi rst in Sirajuli (Hubert D’Rosario Institute, Guwahati, 2011) and the second in Perambur (Don Bosco Missionary Aspirantate, Chennai, 2012). Now there are about 70 young aspirants in India, 18 pre-novices, 6 novices being formed specifically to be missionaries. The project is open to all 12 provinces of the region. It is envisioned that after the postnovitiate the young missionaries will be sent either to other parts of the region or to missions ad gentes in other continents. The main motivation of the project is that “after receiving 400 Salesian missionaries, we now have a strong faith and vocations. As a sign of gratitude, the time has come for India to send missionaries around the world and in Europe.”
The opening of missionary aspirantates was warmly endorsed by other Provinces rich in apostolic vocations. The specific missionary formation is expressed mainly in the environment permeated by missionary enthusiasm: contents of conferences, good nights, missionary literature, and contact with missionaries ad gentes, missionary experience in the local oratory or the experience of initial proclamation of Jesus in the rural area.Whom shall I send ? Lord send me!

Whom shall I send ? Lord send me!

I t is not uncommon to hear statements like “we are in the missions already, so what is the need for missionary promotion?”, or “we also need personnel in our Province so why encourage our Salesians to be missionaries abroad?”. These statements seem to indicate that missionary promotion is often misunderstood as fishing for missionaries. No wonder confreres sometimes wonder at the sense missionary promotion has when there is lack of personnel in the Province!

Looking back to Don Bosco What is missionary promotion? It might be helpful to return to Don Bosco in order to shed light on what we mean by Salesian missionary promotion. From 1841 to 1850 Don Bosco established his first works for the young. From 1850 to 1860, at a time of great danger for the faith of the people, he undertook a bold initiative of founding the Salesian Society in 1859 and of establishing a printing press as well as the publication of the Catholic Readings.

In the next fifteen years he founded the other branches of his family: the Association of Mary Help of Christians in 1869, the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians in 1872 and the Salesian Cooperators in 1876. Finally, he opened an entirely new page in the life of his young Congregation by sending out his first missionaries in 1875, immediately after the approval of the Salesian Constitutions (1874).

A closer look at the missionary thrust of Don Bosco reveals that it is but the ultimate fruit and liveliest manifestation of his missionary zeal to make Jesus known. This apostolic passion is the dynamism which underpins all his initiatives. In fact, if we examine closely his ministry to young people, it is easy to realise that this was deeply permeated by his passion for preaching the Gospel: During the outbreak of cholera in 1854 Don Bosco challenged his best boys to look beyond the safe confines of the Oratory and go and help those stricken with cholera. Dominic Savio’s dreamvision of the Pope bringing the light of faith to England reflects the missionary spirit that reigned in the Oratory. “Don Bosco’s oratory” stressed Fr. Vigano, “is conceived with a missionary perspective for young people without a parish.” 1
This missionary zeal – synthesised in Da mihi animas – was the animating dynamism which cuts across all his initiatives. Fr. Michael Rua wrote that “Don Bosco, in the ardent zeal by which he was devoured, shouted out: Da mihi animas! It was this need to save souls which made the old world seem narrow and drove him to send his sons to the distant missions of America” 2 .

In 1925, the fiftieth anniversary of the first missionary expedition, Fr Philip Rinaldi used these words to describe Don Bosco’s missionary zeal: “The apostolic ardour of a Francis Xavier had been burning in his large heart for many a year, fed by a divine flame which lit up the future through his dreams... He was a true missionary, an apostle devoured by a passion for 1 E. Viganò, “The Pope’s Appeal for the Mis-
sions,” p. 34.

2 Bolletino Salesiano (January 1897), 4.

souls” 3 . Indeed, Don Bosco passed on to his first Salesians and to his boys this ardent desire to share his faith with poor and abandoned boys in Valdocco, with the people of Turin and with those who lived beyond Italy’s shores. Truly his example indicates that the missionary commitment to mission ad gentes “would be the Congregation’s on-going concern, in such a way that it forms part of its nature and purpose.” 4 The Twofold Purpose of Salesian Missionary Promotion In the light of Don Bosco’s experience we can now draw up our purpose for missionary promotion.

Salesian missionary promotion has a twofold purpose which is interrelated and mutually complementary. Above all it aims at keeping alive in every Salesian the passion for making Jesus known and for preaching the Gospel. Such missionary zeal leads to a rediscovery of “the joy of being Christians, of being sustained by the inner happiness of knowing Christ and belonging to his Church” 5 . Hence, an effective missionary promotion renews “the passion for the salvation of others, by the joy of sharing the experience of the fullness of life of Jesus” 6 of individual Salesians and, consequently, makes every member of the local and Province community 3 P. Rinaldi, ACS 30 (1925) p. 367.

4 Acts of the General Chapter XIX, 178; Acts of the General Chapter XX, 471.

5 Benedict XVI, “Homily, Parco Expo Bicente-
nario, León, Mexico” (March 25, 2012).

6 P. Chávez, “Address at the Closing of the General Chapter 26”, Acts of the General Chapter XXVI, 137.Whom shall I send ? Lord send me!

Whom shall I send ? Lord send me!

“happy from deep within.” 7 From this inner joy energy springs “to serve Christ in hard-pressed situations of human suffering, the strength to put oneself at his disposal” 8 and live our Salesian life radically. This, in turn, overcomes “faith fatigue” or the “sense of having had enough of Christianity” 9 which causes inner weariness, small mindedness, and loss of apostolic zeal which, ultimately, “ends up in a state of paralysis and acedia” 10 expressed in the joylessness and inner sadness in living the Christian and consecrated life.

Enthusiastic Salesians attract young people to Salesian life. An effective missionary promotion, therefore, is intimately linked to vocation promotion.

This missionary zeal that should be present in every Salesian does not preclude but actually implies that there are Salesians who have a specific vocation to be engaged in the missionary apostolate outside their own homeland, cultural milieu and language group (ad exteros); among those who have not yet heard the Gospel, or where the Church is not yet fully established (ad gentes); and in contexts where there is an abandonment of the faith or where it is lived as merely something cultural (new evangelisation) 11 through a life-
7 Benedict XVI, “Christmas address to the Roman Curia” (December 22, 2011).

8 Ibid.

9 Ibid.

10 Francis, Evangelii Gaudium 81, 83.

11 FABC Office of Evangelisation, “Consulta -
tion on Asian Local Church and Mission ad Gentes,” Franz Josef Eilers, ed., For All the Peoples of Asia, III, n.5, (Claretian Pub-
long commitment (ad vitam) 12 . Thus, the second purpose of missionary promotion which flows from its primary aim is to help Salesians discern whether they have the missionary vocation ad exteros, ad gentes, ad vitam. Those who feel called to be missionaries are helped to start the initial process of discernment by seeking the help of a spiritual guide to discover God’s call, purify and deepen their motives, discern their qualities and attitudes in view of determining their basic suitability for Salesian missionary life.

Our Salesian vocation places us at the heart of the Church 13 which “is missionary by her very nature” because she “is sent forth to the nations.” 14 In the same way that within the one Salesian vocation some are called to be priests while others to be brothers, similarly the Salesian missionary vocation is a call within our common Salesian vocation. 15 In this light, it is not a matter of “we need confreres here” nor of “escaping” from the needs of the Province. No, no! It is a matter of helping a confrere respond to his vocation to be a Salesian missionary!

Missionary Promotion in Salesian Communities
Salesian missionary promotion in the whole Province is under the care lications: Quezon City, 2002) 222; RM 33; Benedict XVI, Motu Proprio Ubicumque et Semper (2010).

12 Ad Gentes 6, 27; RM 32, 79; Acts of the General Chapter XX, 465.

13 Const. 6.

14 Ad Gentes 2; RM 1, 62.

15 E. Viganò, “The Pope’s Appeal for the Mis-
sions,” p.11.

of the Province Delegate for Mission Animation (PDMA) who works in close collaboration with the Province Delegates for youth ministry, social communication and formation. In our local communities missionary promotion could take different forms.

Here are 4 simple proposals:
The annual celebration of the Salesian Mission Day on a common date chosen by the whole Province is meant to foster awareness to different missionary situations and overcome every temptation to shut oneself off in one’s own context. Every year the Missions Department prepares a poster, printed materials, a DVD with short films on the theme which are also available on Youtube. These draw attention to the universality of the Salesian charism and its vitality as shown in the expressions of the missionary zeal of Salesians in different contexts.

The Monthly Missionary Intention as well as prayer for missionaries every 11th of the month underline the importance of spiritual dimension of mission and the possibility of all confreres to support the Congregation’s missionary activity through their prayer and sacrifices.

The monthly issue of Cagliero 11, distributed to the communities through the PDMA, offers resources not only for spiritual reading of the community but also for the ‘Good morning’ talks to students.

The formation of a missionary group in every local setting fosters the revival of the missionary consciousness of young people and the whole educative pastoral community (EPC), revitalises the enthusiasm for the faith and the fascination for the Salesian charism.

A missionary group could also foster volunteer service among the young and all the members of the EPC.

These, in turn, stir up the ardour that gives birth to new vocations.

The Sense of doing Missionary Promotion
So, do we really need missionary promotion today? In fact, we really do! Salesian missionary promotion helps us to rediscover the “joy of believing” and of “ communicating Jesus Christ” 16 which “enlivens the community of disciples.” 17 Indeed, an effective missionary promotion will be that spark that could trigger an “openness to a constant self-renewal” 18 in every Salesian and, consequently, “the renewal of structures demanded by pastoral conversion” 19 in every community and Province, less we give in to ‘faith fatigue’, and slide back comfortably to the joyless and ardourless “maintenance mode” of Salesian presence. Salesians overfl owing with the “delightful and comforting joy of evangelising” 20 will certainly attract young people to the Salesian life!

16 Francis, Evangelii Gaudium 86, 30.

17 Idem, 21.

18 Idem, 26.

19 Idem, 27.

20 Idem, 10, 13, 83.

This missionary zeal – synthesised in Da mihi animas – was the animating dynamism which cuts across all his initiatives.Whom shall I send ? Lord send me!

Whom shall I send ? Lord send me!

T he Cagliero Institute, Ivrea, is a milestone for the Salesian missions. A gift to the Congregation from the mother of Cardinal Richelmy, it began in 1892 as a house of formation and novitiate. In 1922, at the wishes of the Rector Major, Fr Philip Rinaldi, the Institute was changed into a Missionary Aspirantate named “Cardinal Cagliero”, the leader of the first Salesian missionary expedition.

From this Institute alone (1922-65) more than 1000 missionaries left for the whole world, taking the Gospel of Jesus and the heart and the mission of Don Bosco to countless young people. Majority of 460 foreign Salesian missionaries who worked in India came from there. Among the students of “Cagliero” there have been several bishops. Venerable Fr.

Giuseppe Quadrio and Fr Francesco Convertini, a missionary in India and Bangladesh were also from this Institute.CATHOLIC CHURCH is by nature MISSIONARY
groups by permanent cultural ties, by ancient religious traditions, and by firm bonds of social necessity. Some of these men are followers of one of the great religions, but others remain strangers to the very knowledge of God, while still others expressly deny His existence, and sometimes even attack it. The Church, in order to be able to offer all of them the mystery of salvation and the life brought by God, must implant herself into these groups for the same motive which led Christ to bind Himself, in virtue of His Incarnation, to certain social and cultural conditions of those human beings among whom He dwelt. (Ad Gentes, No. 10) Although every disciple of Christ, as far in him lies, has the duty of spreading the Faith, Christ the Lord always calls whomever He will from among the number of His disciples, to be with Him and to be sent by Him to preach to the nations (cf. Mark 3:13). Therefore, by the Holy Spirit, who distributes the charismata as He wills for the common good (1 Cor. 12:11), He inspires the missionary vocation in the hearts of individuals, and at the same time He raises up in the Church certain institutes which take as their own special task the the duty of preaching the Gospel, a duty belonging to the whole Church. (Ad Gentes, No.23)
They are assigned with a special vocation who, being endowed with a suitable natural temperament, and being fit as regards talent and other qualities, have been trained to undertake mission work; or be they autochthonous or be they foreigners: priests, Religious, or laymen. Sent by legitimate authority, they go out in faith and obedience to those who are far from Christ. They are set apart for the work for which they have been taken up (cf. Acts 13:2), as ministers of the Gospel, “that the offering up of the Gentiles may become acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 15:16). (Ad Gentes, No. 23)
T he pilgrim Church is missionary by her very nature, since it is from the mission of the Son and the mission of the Holy Spirit that she draws her origin, in accordance with the decree of God the Father.

(Ad Gentes, No.1) “Missions” is the term usually given to those particular undertakings by which the heralds of the Gospel, sent out by the Church and going forth into the whole world, carry out the task of preaching the Gospel and planting the Church among peoples or groups who do not yet believe in Christ. ... The proper purpose of this missionary activity is evangelization, and the planting of the Church among those peoples and groups where it has not yet taken root. ... The chief means of the planting referred to is the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. ... (Ad Gentes, No. 6) The Church, sent by Christ to reveal and to communicate the love of God to all men and nations, is aware that there still remains a gigantic missionary task for her to accomplish. For the Gospel message has not yet, or hardly yet, been heard by two million human beings (and their number is increasing daily), who are formed into large and distinct Whom shall I send ? Lord send me!

Whom shall I send ? Lord send me!

W hile most of the priests are involved in Pastoral Ministry and Proclamation Ministries, most of the Brothers are involved in Education, Teaching (Technical training) and social work. Most of the Sisters are involved in Health Ministry, Social Ministry and Pastoral Ministry.

The mission differs from continent to continent.

Priests: There are 799 priests working in Europe, 486 in American Continent, 352 in Asia and Oceania and 303 in Africa. While many in Europe are involved in Pastoral Ministry and in Studies specially in Italy and Germany, they are involved in Africa in Pastoral Ministry and Proclamation.

Brothers: There are 32 Brothers in Europe, 33 in American Continent, 48 in Asia and Oceania and 47 in Africa. In Asia, Oceania and Africa, most of them are doing Education Ministry, Social Work and Teaching (technical training) ministry.

Sisters: There are 3671 Sisters working in Europe, 1002 in American Continent, 544 in Asia and Oceania and 1326 in Africa. While many in Europe are involved in Social Work and health ministry especially in Italy and Germany, they are involved in Africa in Education and Social Development.

As per statistics, the 8642 missionaries from 246 (out of 330) congregations (67.72 percent) and from 40 (out of 164) dioceses (24.39 percent) work in 166 countries. But there are more than 4058 missionaries from 84 (32.28 percent) congregations and 124 (75.61 percent) dioceses who are missionaries abroad to give us a total number of more than 13500 missionaries abroad. It is needless to say that more than 10 percent of Indian priests and religious are missionaries abroad.

(From a Study conducted 2012 by Fr. Balthazar Castelino MEP and Fr. Sudil IMS under the patronage of CBCI-CRI)
Religious Priests
Religious Brothers
Religious Sisters
Diocesan Priests
Himachal Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh
West Bengal
Jammu &Kashmir
Arunachal Pradesh
Tamil Nadu
T here are 112 Indian salesian missionaries in other countries. Many of these missionaries are in Africa. In the past 10 years 37 confreres have been offered for the Project Europe of whom 23 still continue. The Salesians from South India (Kerala, Tamil Nadu) and Central India (Chotanagpur area) still opt to work in the North or North East India.

Total Sent 16 14 07 16 07 42 24 04 01 01 08 02 142
Returned to the province 05 04 00 01 01 04 05 00 00 00 02 00 22
Left + Died 02 01 00 01 00 04 00 00 00 00 00 00 8
Remaining 09 09 07 14 06 34 19 04 01 01 06 02 112Whom shall I send ? Lord send me!

Whom shall I send ? Lord send me!

(1) Fr. David Tulimelli SDB
Before you became a Christian you were a Hindu. Was it difficult hearing the call to become a Catholic and then a priest? Not very much in fact, because my parents had already become Catholics before I did. Now the whole family including my brothers is Catholic. It was a little more difficult beginning the journey towards the priesthood.

I had met the Salesians for the first time when I was in elementary school at Nuzvid, in Andhra Pradesh, because they were running the regional diocesan seminary across the road.

I told them I wanted to become a priest and they said they would begin to guide me for some time. That happened for two years and then I decided to try my vocation in their aspirantate.

You have already spent six years as missionary in Sudan. From your experience what are the most necessary qualities? When I had just arrived in Sudan the fi rst thing Fr Ernesto de Gasperi, a Salesian missionary there told me was: “Accept everyone, and judge no one.” Even before I had left, while I was waiting for the visa for Sudan, I met again the fi rst Salesian I had known, Fr Johann Lens, my spiritual father in the stages of my vocational discernment.

I asked his advice about how I might be a good missionary and he told me three things: “Think well of all, speak well of all and do good to all.” That became my motto. Then another very important thing is being present. Being among the people will make them happy; I learned this from experience. When I was there in Sudan there were so many problems, people came asking you for things, they had no food … but just the presence among them of a Salesian missionary, used to calm them down and bring them joy. Why did you offer to go on the mission “ad gentes” rather than carry out your ministry among young Indians? It is the question I asked myself in 2000. It was a decision I did not take lightly. But looking at Fr. Lens, who had come from Belgium and was a missionary for 60 years, I wanted to be like him. I once asked him why he had decided to become a missionary and he told me: “I was sent”. And that touched me to the heart. (Courtesy: ANS, 17 September 2012)
(2) Fr. George ( J o r g e ) P u t h e n p u r a SDB (First indian Salesian M i s s i o n a r y Abroad)
Fr George ( J o r g e ) Puthenpura born in Kerala made his fi rst profession at Sunnyside Shillong in 1960. After his philosophical studies at Salesian College Sonada (Darjeeling) and practical training, Fr Puthenpura did theological studies in Barcelona, Spain.

He was ordained priest in March 1970, and became the fi rst missionary ad gentes from India to Guatemala. Seven years after his arrival in Guatemala, in 1977, he founded the “Congregation of the Sisters of the Resurrection,” which in 2004 became the 22nd group of the Salesian Family. Today the Congregation he founded has more than 50 professed sisters and some 30 novices, in 10 communities and 3 dioceses, and working in over 400 villages. The characteristic of this Congregation is the missionary spirit.

All the Sisters are indigenous.

(3) Fr. Jose D’Souza SDB: A Personal Testimony
In 1967 when I was a Deacn in Kristu Jyoti College, Bangalore, we were taken to Goa for a Retreat in p r e p a r a t i o n for our Priestly Ordination. We were also taken to see Bom Jesu Basilica and the body of St.

Francis Xavier.

There, in front of the coffi n, inspired by the Holy Spirit, I uttered this simple prayer: “St. Francis Xavier, your body is here in the South, give us your Spirit in the North.” In 1968 after my Ordination, I requested my Provincial not to send me to the Missions, as I was afraid of darkness, snakes, scorpions, loneliness, etc.

He sent me to Salesian College, Sonada as Bursar of the House and as a Teacher of Logic, Cosmology and English. Everything went off well for six month. One Friday, the Parish Priest, Fr. Iellici came to me saying that he was supposed to go for a tour of 3 days (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) and celebrate Mass in 5 villages on the hills and valleys of the Sonada Parish, but because of fever he was unable to go. He asked me if I could go. In the beginning I refused, but after some dialogue and coaxing I agreed to go reluctantly (because of fear and other prejudices) and ‘for the fi rst time and the last time’. But that fi rst experience of the people ‘like sheep without a shepherd’ waiting for the priest and for the sacraments was the beginning of my conversion.

On my return I asked Fr. Iellici to send me every Saturday and Sunday to the villages for my priestly ministry, and he did so willingly!

TESTIMONIES OF MISSIONARIESWhom shall I send ? Lord send me!

In 1969 I was transferred to Bongaon as Parish Priest and I started visiting the villages and opened 6 new mission centers. I remained in Bongaon till 1979. In 1973 while Parish Priest in Bongaon, I founded the Institute called ‘The Disciples’ or also known as Don Bosco Secular Institute for spreading of the Gospel in the rural areas.

In 2009 the Institute was accepted by the Rector Major and his Council as a member of the Salesian Family. In his letter he declares: “The mission of the Association is the Proclamation of the Love of God, with the announcing of the Gospel following the example of the Apostles, the fi rst Disciples of Jesus, in the service of the poorest and the needy according to the Salesian Spirituality, imitating Don Bosco, in the style of the Good Shepherd.” (Fr.

Pascual Chavez, Rector Major).

I think St. Francis answered my prayer of 1967 because today we are in about 50 dioceses in the North, East, and West India, and in 4 dioceses in South India, and in 2 countries abroad, Italy and Peru. We had 2 Sisters working in the Republic of Central Africa (RCA) for the past 2 and half years, but they had to return in March 2013 because of civil war in the country. At present we have about 325 Sisters and 80 Brothers scattered over 190 centres in India and abroad.

Whom shall I send ? Lord send me!

(1) Bishop Hubert D’Rosario institute, Sirajuli, Assam
On November 22, 2011 the first missionary aspirantate in India was inaugurated in Sirajuli, Assam. It is situated in the Guwahati province.

It is situated on the main road to Tezpur in lush green paddy fields.

The newly constructed edifice is a welcome sight. The Sirajuli missionary aspirantate will serve the Indian Provinces of Guwahati, Sichar, Dimapur, Calcutta, Mumbai, Konkan and New Delhi. It had that year 13 prenovices and 40 aspirants!

This year there are 18 prenovices and 61 aspirants. Six have entered the novitiate.Whom shall I send ? Lord send me!

Whom shall I send ? Lord send me!

(2) Don Bosco Missionary Aspirantate, Perambur, Chennai
The second missionary aspirantate of India was started on 29th June 2012. It is the missionary aspirantate for the Southern India, for provinces of Chennai, Trichy, Bangalore and Hyderabad. It had 12 aspirants in the first year. Now this year the number has risen to 28 and five have been sent to the Missionary prenovitiate at Sirajuli, Assam.

Don Bosco, Perambur is situated in the heart of Northern Chennai in a 5.36 acre property with spacious grounds. In addition to being the Missionary Aspirantate it is a home to Don Bosco Higher Secondary School with 2200 pupils and Don Bosco Nursery and Primary School with 515 pupils. The students frequenting the school are from middle class and lower middle class families. Hence, it is a healthy interaction for our aspirants.

The ministry of education that the community is engaged in becomes a first-hand experience of Salesian apostolate and preventive system for our aspirants.

It is a stage of first contact with the Salesians. It aims at familiarizing the candidates with Salesian religious life and apostolate. The candidates are brought into direct contact with the Salesian community. The candidates live in a salesian community and are beneficiaries of the Salesian school.

The salesian community creates in them an interest for the Salesian Missions ad gentes.

Contents to be emphasized
Knowledge of Don Bosco
Knowledge of the Salesian Mission ad gentes
Knowledge about the Salesian Missionaries
Attitudes to be fostered Interest in knowing the catholic faith to be able to share it with others
Compassion for the poor and those who do not know Christ
Love of simplicity and responsible service
Experiences to be encouraged
To know the missionaries from the province through videos, visits by missionaries
To share one’s catholic faith with fellow candidates
1. Missionary ambient created by constant references to the missions in the talks, sermons, goodnights, other instructions, Whom shall I send ? Lord send me!

Whom shall I send ? Lord send me!

classes, notice boards, etc.

2. Monthly commemoration of the first missionary expedition with prayer service & Mass
3. Missionary month (like the Marian month) with talks, competitions, etc. from October 11 to November 11
4. Participation in the Salesian Mission Day of the province
5. A month-long missionary exposure in the missions
6. Conferences by visiting missionaries (missionaries on home holidays)
7. Classes on world (mission lands) history, geography & culture 8. Screening of missionary videos from ANS
9. Daily prayers for the missionaries and for missionary vocations
10. Missionary sodalities
11. Teaching of languages: Hindi, Italian (in addition to English)
12. Building up of a library providing literature on the missions & missionaries
13. Preparation of prayer services for commemoration of the monthly missionary day in Tamil & English to be circulated in the communities of the province
14. Contributing Articles for the Salesian Bulletin on missionary themesEntry after
Aspirantate Preparatory
Aspirantate Studies
Post novitiate
Class X
Class XII
1 year
1 Year
1 Year
2 Years
One year
One year
One year
2 yrs, sci.

studens; 3 arts stud
Depending on receiving provinces
English, Salesiana
Plus 2 Curriculum (choice)
As per Ratio
Philosophy, Culture, languages
Subject acc.

To need
Different places
Send off
After nov.

for Indian
After phil.

For Foreign Missions
After College or return for college
Guiding document for formation and studies: Ratio, Salesian Missionary formation guidelines
Whom shall I send ? Lord send me!

Whom shall I send ? Lord send me!

26Whom shall I send ? Lord send me!

Whom shall I send ? Lord send me!

The following are some of the qualities expected of a missionary: (1) Free decision (2) Right intention (to communicate faith, not merely to help in material progress) (3) Normal health to put up with difficulties in the mission
(4) Capacity for community-living and working together
(5) Sense of responsibility
(6) Adaptability to the new culture, language, etc.

Hence the candidates wishing to enter the missionary aspirantate should have the following qualities: (1) A strong desire to be a missionary for life outside the province territories
(2) Free decision (3) Enjoy normal health
(4) More than average intellectual capacity. The candidates desirous of joining the Missionary aspirantate should have finished Class X or Class XII or Higher studies. He should be duly selected by the provinces (through family visits, camps, etc.) and recommended to the missionary aspirantate.Whom shall I send ? Lord send me!

M issionaries need prayers.

Pray for the missionaries.

The following prayer may be used:
God, our Father, You desire that all men and women come to the knowledge of your truth and be saved. You sent Jesus, Your Son, as Your messenger to bear witness to the truth. He preached the kingdom of God by his words, actions, life and death. To continue that mission Jesus called the disciples, prepared them and sent them out so that the Gospel could be preached everywhere. Behold, the harvest is yet plentiful and the labourers are few. We beseech these to send labourers into Your harvest. Inspire many young men and women to become missionaries to take Your Word to the ends of the earth. Strengthen the missionaries in their toil and stress. Bless their work and bring it to fruitful completion.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

You may wish to sponsor a missionary candidate or offer scholarships.

Please contact the Rectors of the Missionary Aspirantates.

01 INB Fr. Thomas D’Costa 9623066229
St. Anne’s Parish, Near Collector’s Office, Ahmednagar-414 001
02 INC Br. Lawrence Mondal
Salesian of Don Bosco
52A, Radhanath Chowdhury Road
Tengra P.O., Kolkata-700 015
03 IND Fr. Elow Samuel 9436266456
Don Bosoc Provincial House
PB 40, Dimapur-797 112, Nagaland
04 ING Fr. Thadeus Kujur
Bosco Reach Out, B.K. Kakati Road
Bholanath, Mandir Bye Lane
Ulubari-781 007, Guwahati, Assam
05 INH Fr. Yeruva Joji Reddy 8179998014
Don Bosco, Carmel Nagar, Gunadala Vijayawada-520 004, Andhra Pradesh
06 INK Fr. Konnanikad Michael Don Bosco, Don Bosco Road Kanteerayanapalaya, Tumkur - 572106 Karnataka
Contact us
Whom shall I send ? Lord send me!

31Whom shall I send ? Lord send me!

07 INM Fr. Parthibanraj Soosai 09940276203
Don Bosco Boy’s Home
M. H. Road, Perambur, Chennai – 600 011 Tamil Nadu
INN Delhi Region
Fr. Anand P Surin
8989535188 9968474733
Don Bosco Yuva Sadan, Mandla Road, Bilheri, Jabalpur-482 020 M.P.

Br. Joseph Kandulna
Catholic Ashram, Jokbahla P.O. Jashpur Dt., Chattishgarh-496 225
09 INP Fr. Maxim D’Souza
Don Bosco Youth Centre Benjith Nagar, Shirva P.O.

Udupi Dist.Karnataka-574 116
10 INS Fr. Paul Olphindro Lyngkot insviceprovincial@donboscosilchar.

Don Bosco Provincial House Mathias Institute, Mawlai
Shillong-793 008, Meghalaya
11 INT Fr. casimir Raj 0431-2680473
Don Bosco, 3/121, Karunya Nagar Road, Manikandam Union (PO) Tiruchy-620 012
12 Sirajuli Fr. Joe Almeida 09435117838
Hubert D’Rosario Institute, Don Bosco Centre, Shikaribasti, Sirajuli P.O., Sonitpur Dt. – 784 117 ASSAM
13 Perambur Fr. Pathiaraj m 09865713978
Don Bosco Missionary Aspirantate, 130 M. H. Road, Perambur, Chennai – 600 011 TAMILNADU
14 RMDA Fr. T. C. George 09448815694
Viswadeep, Kristu Jyoti College, Krishnarajapuram, Bangalore – 560 036 KARNATAKA