MATUNGA-MUMBAI, OCTOBER 16, 2013: The Don Bosco Communications South Asia (DBCSA) General Assembly is being hosted by the Mumbai Province at Don Bosco Provincial House Matunga from 15-18 October, 2013. 50 SDB delegates representing 11 Salesian provinces and 4 FMA delegates have gathered to discuss the theme 'SOCIAL MEDIA AND SALESIAN YOUTH MINISTRY'. The special dignitaries include Fr. Filiberto Gonzalez sdb, General Councilor for Social Communications, Br. Ephrem Santos sdb, Secretary -General Councilor for Social Communications, Fr. Thomas Ellicherail sdb SPCSA, Provincial in-charge of Social Communications and Fr. Godfrey D'Souza sdb, Provincial of the Mumbai Province.
The Holy Eucharist was presided over by His Lordship Dominic Savio Fernandes, Auxiliary Bishop of Mumbai. In his homily, Bishop Fernandes highlighted how Jesus attractively used his corporeality as a means of communication while on earth, but already went viral in his times and became omnipresent to his disciples after his resurrection. Today, while experiencing the technological leaps of media in its virtual format, we the disciples of Jesus are called to make him present everywhere in the world of Social Media.
At the Inaugural Ceremony, Fr. Anthony Earathra, SPCSA Communications Delegate welcomed the delegates. He situated the event as one happening at a historical moment as we prepare for the bi-centenary of Don Bosco's birth and the General Chapter (GC27).
Fr. Michael Fernandes sdb, former provincial of Mumbai, welcome the delegates to the city of Mumbai. Fr. Gonzalez, communicated the warm greetings and prayers from the Rector Major, and thanked Fr. Godfrey D'souza the Provincial, Fr. Joaquim Fernandes and Fr. Anthony Earathara the conveners of this assembly, and welcomed the distinguished speakers to share their insights that would help us in the service of Youth.
The Keynote address was delivered by Mr. Conrad Saldanha, Principal Advisor to Don Bosco Centre for Learning, Kurla, Mumbai, he spoke on the theme: 'Social Media and Salesian Youth Ministry'. Mr. Saldanha highlighted the cultural shifts undergone by the media of Social Communications, and the key trends in Social Media with its positive and negative impacts on the young. He challenged all to use Social Media to Promote the Gospel and as Pope Francis says, "give the Church a digital presence". Mr. Saldanha proposed insightful reflections to consider in our way forward
Mr. Yogesh Sahu – General Manager, NE Mobile elaborated on 'Social Media: Challenges and Opportunities in Digital Publishing'. Mr. Nishad Ramachandran, Vice President, Hansa Cequity spoke passionately on the theme 'Viral Marketing and Advertising: Strategies for Social Networks for Youth'. Sr. Phyllis Fernandes, FMA, Ex President of Signis Western Region gave a presentation on 'Media and Education'. Fr. George Plathottam, sdb, Secretary CBCI, and Director NISCORT, presented 'New Initiatives in Social Communication by the Church in India'. Fr. Plathottam spoke of an ecumenical body called Indian Christian Media Association (ICMA) with the aim of policy intervention with Government.
The assembly witnessed the release of two books: 'Press and Social Responsibility in the North East' by Fr. George Plathotam, sdb, and 'Petals and Pebbles in Human Parables' by Fr. Elias Dias, sdb. Both books were released by Fr. Filiberto Gonzales and the first copies were given to Fr. Thomas Ellicherail and Br. Ephrem Santos respectively.
Ralin DeSouza sdb, Director BOSKON Communications- Goa, presented a relevant talk on 'Social Media Secrets in Catholic Youth Ministry – 21st Century Catholicism' The Assembly concluded at 8.15 p.m. on the first day with a reflective prayer service animated by Fr. Glenford Lowe, sdb.