Friday, August 22, 2008


Savio D’Mello sdb
The Salesian Brothers of the Mumbai Province met on August 21, at Provincial House in preparation for the forthcoming Sixth Salesian Brothers’ Congress of South Asia. The day began with Holy Mass at 9.00 am, the principal celebrant being Fr. Michael Fernandes, Provincial, with Fr. Godfrey D’Souza, Vice Provincial, concelebrating. In his homily Fr. Provincial delved on the gospel of the day and drew a parallel between the invitation to the wedding and the invitation to the Brothers’ Congress. The time between the invitation and the feast is one of anxious waiting, excitement and preparation. It is an invitation of grace and the Lord calls whomever he wants, but we have to get ready with our wedding garments!

The first session of the morning was conducted by Fr. Provincial. He began by thanking the Brothers for their hard work and commitment in the apostolate. He said we should not get discouraged due to the small numbers, but rather should draw inspiration from Jesus, who with just 12 disciples changed the world. One of the suggestions he offered was to take up ministries that will help the Brother Vocation get publicity and visibility in the parishes and schools. He also said that the Brothers need to update themselves by attending refresher courses which will help them to live their vocation joyfully.

In the next session, Fr. Godfrey D’Souza gave us a set of questions to reflect upon to help us to prepare ourselves for the forthcoming Congress. He pointed out that this is a time to deepen our understanding of our own identity. In the post lunch session, after a detailed discussion, the following four themes were chosen for further reflection and study as a preparation for the Congress: the consecrated life, the lay missionary element, the new world and new frontiers, the charism of our founder. It was decided to hold the next meeting at Baroda on November 2, to formulate our suggestions on these four themes so as to present them at the Brothers’ Congress.

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