Salesians 'must respond' to new needs

Salesians 'must respond' to new needs
Venue for the Salesian meet
Philip Mathew, New Delhi, India

March 7, 2011

The head of the Salesians of Don Bosco is urging his congregation in South Asia to respond to the fresh challenges and modern needs of people in the region. Salesians must respond “by re-structuring our existing institutions and taking new initiatives,” said Rector Major Father Pascual Chavez at a conference in Bangalore. Some 99 Salesians, including general councilors and provincials from India and Sri Lanka, attended the five-day gathering that ended on March 5. The Salesian mission in South Asia requires “people full of passion, fire and mysticism,” said the rector major, who presided over the meeting. The congregation gauges “the legitimacy of its work by the way it addresses the needs of the poorest of the poor,” Father Chavez also added. He urged Salesians to initiate effective inter-provincial collaboration to adequately respond to the problem of migrant youths in the region. The Salesian chief also wants family ministry to become part of the Salesian mission to help families meet modern challenges. Father Chavez also stressed the congregation’s role in responding to the challenges facing India as it emerges as a developed nation. At the same time, he urged them to demonstrate the primacy of God in their life by living by Gospel values. The meeting also addressed issues such as the Salesian mission in a global context, new frontiers, religious discipline, networking and growth in the region. The South Asian regional meeting called “Team Visit” is held every six years. Father Louis Kumpilivelil, secretary of the Salesian Provincial Conference of South Asia, said the meeting also discussed plans for the bicentennial birth anniversary of their founder Saint John Bosco in 2015. The congregation has 341 centers and 2,500 Salesians working in South Asia. IA13546.1644