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Salesian Family Day Calls for Sustaining Charismatic Identity and Fidelity to Don Bosco

By Fr. Joaquim Fernandes SDB
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Mumbai, Dec. 14. The Salesian Province of St. Francis Xavier, Mumbai, celebrated the Salesian Family Day on December 12, 2021, at Don Bosco House, Borivali in Mumbai, India. One Hundred and Fifty Salesian family members participated from across the Mumbai Province.
Father Diego Nunes, SDB, Delegate for the Salesian Family, Mumbai Province, and convenor of the programme, read the message of Father Savio Silveira SDB, Salesian Provincial of Mumbai Province, to the Salesian Family members sent from Rome: ''As the Salesian Family, solidarity should be our hallmark, we support one another as a family; and as a family, we care for young people, especially those who are poor, neglected, or in need. May the Salesian Family Day truly strengthen our sense of solidarity.''

The Eucharist was presided over by Father Solomon Rapol SDB, Rector of Don Bosco House, Borivali, and several Salesians joined in the concelebration. He stressed the importance of sustaining the charismatic identity and being authentic followers of Don Bosco faithful to the Gospel Values.

Sister Catherine Fernandes, FMA Provincial Delegate, conducted an enriching session on the spirituality of St Francis De Sales. She touched on the life of St Francis, noted for his deep faith and his gentle approach to 'Everyday Holiness' that characterizes the Salesian Spirituality.

Father Ashley Miranda SDB, the Vice Provincial of the Salesian Province of Mumbai, reflected on the Strenna 2021 of the Rector Major, ''Do all through love, nothing through Constraint,'' and spelt out its implications for the present times. Addressing the participants, he said, ''As members of the Salesian family, you are invited to open yourselves to the love of God, drink from the fountain of His love, and then recharged by His love, share His love with the poor. You have a unique mission to share God's love for the young according to the spirit of Don Bosco.''

Father Crispino D'Souza, SDB, Provincial Delegate of the Salesian Province of Mumbai for the Past Pupils, spoke on 'Rejuvenating the Salesian Family' and conducted two interactive activities: 1. Heart of the Matter and 2. Compass Points. The sessions allowed the participants to choose the most relevant statement from the book, 'The Salesian Family of Don Bosco.' The participants focused on the acronym (N, S, E & W) and discussed  Need assessment, Suggestions, Excitement and Worries about the Salesian Family, which they placed on the compass points. This session helped the participants to apply their thoughts and mind to form and rejuvenate the Salesian Family and create a new vision in the present day scenario. The members presented a wish-list to Father Diego Nunes SDB - Salesian Family Delegate.    

''I felt elated to see so many ideas exchanged by the participants. There was so much of positive energy around,'' said Sudha Pillia, Secretary for Cooperators, Provincial Council, Member, Mumbai Province. Thanking the organizers, Rasik Parmar, from Don Bosco, Baroda, Gujarat said, ''I got a chance to be part of the Salesian Family day. This was indeed one of the best moments of my life. I am proud to be part of the Salesian family group.''
Father Crispino D'Souza, SDB, said, ''I was encouraged to see many Salesian Family Members from across the Mumbai Province. A lot needs to be done for the growth of the Salesian Family members to work in the vineyard of the Lord.''  

Kethan Gala, Adult Regional Councillor - Asia Oceania and the Executive Committee Member of the World Confederation of the Past Pupils of Don Bosco, stated, ''I am grateful to the Salesian of Don Bosco for placing their trust in me. I will do my best to unify and build the charismatic identity of Don Bosco in the Salesian Family within our region.''  

All the association members attached to the Salesian Family presented their experiences, reports and outcomes during the pandemic period and enriched the participants in the Salesian Family.  
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