ANS News ROME, JANUARY 23, 2009: The Rector Major, Fr Pascual Chávez, and his Council yesterday approved the request to belong to the Salesian Family made by three new groups: The Disciples, Canção Nova and the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Michael the Archangel. “The Disciples”, or Don Bosco Secular Institute, is a public ecclesiastical association of men and women begun in India in 1973 as an inspiration of the Salesian Fr Joseph D’Souza. In 1983 the Sisters were joined by the Brothers. On April 21, 2000 the diocese of Ambikapur recognized the Secular Institute. The Disciples, drawing inspiration from the gospel passage in which Jesus entrusts a mission to 72 disciples, are dedicated to the proclamation of the Gospel, to teaching catechism, to the care of the sick and the service of the poor. Today they are just over 400 in number, present in 44 dioceses in India and 6 in Italy. The second group, Canção Nova is an international movement of lay people engaged in evangelization, in particular through the media, which began in 1978 with 12 young people under the guidance of a Salesian priest, Fr Jonas Abib. The movement draws its inspiration from number 45 in the Papal Document “Evangeli Nuntiandi” which encourages the use of the media in evangelization. The headquarters of the movement is at Cachoeira Paulista, in Brazil. The Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Michael the Archangel, also called “Michaelite Sisters”, was founded at the end of the XIX century by Blessed Fr Bronislao Markiewicz and the Servant of God Mother Anna Kaworek. In 1956 the infant congregation obtained from the President of the Polish Bishops’ Conference the Decree of praise, confirmed by the Congregation for Religious which recognized it as a religious institute of pontifical right. The Michaelite Sisters combine a contemplative manner with apostolic charitable work in the educational, catechetical, charitable and social fields, in parish work and in the missions.