Reserved Area
Previous  |  Next
Printable View Print Article   Mail to Friend Mail to Friend   Comment on Article Comment on Article
Paul CHERUTHOTTUPURAM, Sri Lanka says,
Missions: Busting the Myth
By C. M. Paul
360° VIEW
Sri Lanka, Dec. 31. About 30 years ago, with Project Africa launched by then Rector Major Fr Egidio Vigano`, there was a spurt in Indian Salesians going for overseas missions. April 2009 saw the formation of Salesian Missionary Association, first ever South Asian outfit of missionaries ad gentes under the leadership of former South Asia Mission Delegate Fr Joseph Puthenpura.

In a 2009 year-end List of Salesians in the foreign missions from South Asia region and particularly the Indian provinces, prepared by Fr KJ Anthony (Secy to the Regional at the Pisana) puts the total number to 113 ( 21 clerics, 12 Lay Brothers and 80 priests). This is a list of Salesians from South Asia gone overseas for mission ad gentes in the last 30 years. Being a first time compilation, the list may have some discrepancies in data collection.
The overseas missionary contribution, over these years, by each of 11 South Asian provinces is as follows: Bangalore (39 in Africa, Asia, Middle East & Europe); Chennai (18 in Africa, Asia, Middle East & Europe); Kolkata (14 in Africa, Asia & South America); Bombay (13 in Africa, Middle East & Europe); Guwahati (11 in Africa, Asia & South America); Dimapur (6 in Africa); Hyderabad (5 in Africa, Asia & Europe); Delhi (3 in Asia & Europe); Trichy (3 in Europe); Panjim (1 in Africa) and Colombo (nil).
Yet, it is a very lean tally, if one recalls Rector Major Fr Pascual Chavez call to South Asia Salesians on the occasion of the centenary of the arrival of the first Salesians to the region. ``I want every year at least three confreres from each (Indian) province to be made available for missions ad gentes,`` said Fr Chavez at the Don Bosco in India centenary celebrations (1906 to 2006) putting his enthusiastic listeners into a pensive and silent mood. That means, in simple mathematical terms, the Rector Major expects an average of 33 Salesians from the region every year! That is a whopping number of 99 Salesians at RM`s disposal over the last three years! Did that seem a tall order or mere wishful thinking? Let us check the facts. Here is a list of 67 South Asia missionaries in the last three years, after RM`s missionary call: In 2007 (23) South Asia Salesians went to overseas missions. While in 2008 the number rose to 27 missionaries and in 2009, it fell to 17.
However, it is good to recall, the overseas missionaries who came to India over the last 100 years. They were 460 of them, and a handful of them are still around. They came from 25 different countries, Italy leading the pack with 286 missionaries (62%), says Fr K.J. Louis (Don Bosco in India Centenary 1906 to 2006, p.292).
Between 1930 -1939 some 225 missionaries came to India. The largest missionary contingent of 33 Salesians arrived in 1935. During the 16 year initial period (1906 -1922) India received just 13 missionaries, while the next 16 years (1922 -1937) saw 288 missionaries arriving in India.
India is indeed one of the greatest challenges for ad gentes mission. We can meet it by facilitating willing, dynamic and younger confreres for ad gentes mission in other parts of South Asia or elsewhere in the world. It is bound to create a climate for mission also in India. God will bless our land with more workers in His vineyard, India.
The strenna 2010 ``bring the Gospel to the young`` provides us a golden opportunity to explode with enthusiasm for ad gentes mission. The ball is in the court of the Indian provinces and confreres.
Let history be the judge: South Asia Salesian missionary commitment is true or false, myth or reality!
Previous  |  Next


Post a Comment

More Speak Up in VOCATION

Division on the eve of amalgamation
Missionary Spirit
Missions: Busting the Myth
Rate this
Current Rating
Article written by
This Member's Latest Article
Media illiterate principals
Celebrating Faith
Formation in mission, from woes to wows!
Don Bosco International Film Festival
India vs India
Contact via Email
Write Your email text message below.
Your email id:
Subject: Comments on 'Missions: Busting the Myth' - Source: BIS South Asia
Security Code:
Enter Security Code:  

BIS is the information service of the Salesians of Don Bosco in South Asia.
The information available on the site is posted by the online registered Salesians in the South Asia Region and are approved by their respective Province BIS Coordinators.

This site is best viewed with Mozilla Firefox and/or Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 + at a minimum screen resolution of 1024 x 768


RSS Feeds RSS Feeds