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Two Salesians elected to lead Indian Catechetical Association

By Fr. Antony Earathara
Fr. Cletus D`Souza (Left), newly elected ICA Secretary, and Fr. Gilbert Choondal (Right), re-elected ICA President.
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Kolkata, Feb. 8. .    Kochi: The Indian Catechetical Association (ICA) in its 18th General Body Meeting elected two Salesians, Fr. Gilbert Choondal of Bangalore Province (INK), and Fr. Cletus D'Souza, of Mumbai Province (INB), to serve the association during the next triennium as two of its top office holders.
ICA held its 18th General Body Meeting at the Pastoral Orientation Centre, Kochi, from 5th to 7th February with ''Liturgy and Catechesis'' as its central theme. There were 70 participants, consisting of priests, religious and lay persons, from across the country taking part in the meeting, breaking its prior record number of participants. Among the participants there were also two Salesian missionaries from outside the country, one from Fujairah, U.A.E., and the other from Nairobi, Kenya.

During the three day meeting 24 registered ICPA members came together and unanimously re-elected Fr. Gilbert Choondal, SDB as the President of the ICA for a second term ending in 2017. Similarly Fr. Cletus Fernandes, SDB was elected unanimously to be Secretary of the association for the same period. Fr. Choondal is currently Assistant Director and Programme Coordinator at NBCLC, Bangalore, and Fr. D'Souza is temporary Parish Priest in Virar, Mumbai.

The AGM of the ICA was a record breaking one also with regard to the the number of Salesian Family participants in its 18 years of history: 12 SDB's, 3 SMI's and 1 FMA. There were also four Salesians who presented scholarly papers related to the theme ''Liturgy and Catechesis'', including Salesian Archbishop Dominic Jala of Shillong  who gave the Keynote Address on the first day. Fr. Gilbert Choondal (INK) spoke on ''Catechesis in the Context of the New Roman Missal'', Fr. Jerome Vallabaraj (INM) presented a paper on ''Youth Liturgy and Catechesis'', and Fr. Varghese Kapplikunnel (INK) presented results and reflections from an empirical study done on the ''Significance of Liturgy in Charismatic Retreats for the the Faith Formation of Adults''.

The two evenings of the AGM were also kindled with a Salesian touch. On 5th February two short movies, ''Feliz Navidad'' and '' Beyond'', directed and produced by Fr. Jiji Kalavanal SDB, were screened for the participants. These two short movies were recently given several State level awards by Goodness TV in Kerala. On 6th February about 50 teenagers from Don Bosco Cultural Centre presented a one hour cultural performance consisting of dance, choral songs, instrumental music and ''Chenda'' (drum) repertoires.


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