by Karen Laurie
MUMBAI, FEB 26, 2016: The major commissions of the Salesians in India like Don Bosco Action India –the national network for social development; Don Bosco Tech – that focuses on skilling India, Forum of Young at Risk, Higher Education Institutes and others met at the Provincial House in Mumbai on February 26, for their fifth annual meeting.
Those present at the event were the Regional Councillor for South Asia, Father Mariam Arokiam Kanaga, four provincials- Father Godfrey D'Souza from Mumbai, Father Thomas Vattathara from Guwahati, Father Jose Matthew Koorappallil from Delhi, Father Albert Johnson from Tiruchy- and delegates of the 13 major networks.
The day began with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist by Father D'Souza. Later, he welcomed all the participants to the province of Mumbai and threw light on the works they undertake.
Based on a common format, each commission then made presentations addressing their strengths, challenges, expectations and possible contributions to other departments towards achieving the common goal of coming together under one umbrella of brand 'Don Bosco India.'
Each delegate also shared their thoughts on the restructuring of the Salesian Province Conference of South Asia (SPCSA) and the benefits of a common data base and website for all the Don Bosco networks.
Father Kanaga then offered his observations that problems based on networking between commissions persists. Problems of personalities, overlapping of areas, lack of proper personnel that make ambitions unrealistic.
He said, " We need to reflect on the attributes we are missing. The aim is to achieve the best we can for the congregation, the nation and the young, with our given resources."
Father Kanaga's words were endorsed by Father Vattathara, who is part of a five member core team looking at restructuring Don Bosco India. "We need to move strategically higher, into bigger fields while we continue to work at the grassroot level," he said. Work akin to the Jesuit Refugee Service and conservation of ecology were cited as some of the meta-areas that the Salesians were lacking in.
The discussion was then thrown open to the participants who agreed upon the need for effective collaboration. They deliberated on the structural problems, in a bid to overcome them, while preserving the Spirit of the congregation, which works for a common good-the welfare of society!