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Shillong Salesian Family Honours Don Bosco

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Guwahati, Feb. 2. The annual Salesian Family get together to celebrate the feast of St. John Bosco was hosted by Don Bosco Youth Centre, Shillong on 31st January 2011. About eighty (80) participants, representatives from the Salesians, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Salesian Co-operators, Missionary Sisters of Mary Help of Christians, Visitation Sisters of Don Bosco, and Past pupils gathered at 2 pm at Don Bosco Youth Centre, Shillong. The feast day lamp was lit by Rev. Fr. Joseph Cilia, SDB, Director of Don Bosco Youth Centre. The Strenna was explained by Rev. Fr. Joseph Anikuzhikattil SDB, Rector, Salesian Training Centre, Shillong, followed by well prepared items from the Salesian Novices, The FMA sisters and the Salesian Student Brothers from Salesian Training Centre.
Keeping up the tradition of the Salesian Family coming together to understand the Strenna every year, 2011 Strenna, COME AND SEE, was explained in detail. ''After the Strenna for 2010, ''Lord We want to See Jesus'', about the urgent need to evangelize the most logical and natural thing was to make a heartfelt appeal to the whole Salesian Family to feel with us SDB, the need for vocation Ministry''. Evangelization and vocation are two inseparable elements. Indeed the criterion for the authenticity of a good evangelization is its capacity to give rise to vocations, to bring to maturity evangelical life plans, to involve the whole person of those who are being evangelized to the point of making them disciples and apostles. We are called therefore to renew in ourselves this vocational dynamic: to communicate and to share the enthusiasm and the passion with which we are living our vocation in such a way that our life itself becomes the proposal of a vocation for others. Just as Don Bosco did, who rather than using vocation campaigns knew how to create a Valdocco a microclimate in which vocations grew and matured, creating an authentic vocational culture in which life is understood and lived as gift, as a vocation and as a mission, within a diversity of options.
We are asked by the Rector Major, Pascual Chavez, V., to start afresh from Don Bosco in order to understand ever better and to put into practice with greater fidelity the passion which burned in his heart and urged him to seek the glory of God and the Salvation of Souls, let us imitate him  in his untiring labours to foster vocations in the service of the Church, the most precious fruit of his work of education and evangelization, the human and Christian formation of the young. In the first place Don Bosco gave special attention to discovering the possible signs of vocation in the boys with whom he came into contact when he went to preach in the Churches in the various nearby villages and inthe boys gathered in the Valdocco Oratory.
He created an atmosphere, a culture in which the suggestion of  avocation could be welcomed positively and brought to maturity.
The culture he created had an atmosphere of familiarity, with a strong spiritual experience, and the apostolic dimension as well as a faithful spiritual accompaniment inspired by prudent discernment, illuminated by the gift of counsel and an intense love for the Church.
This vocational culture naturally promotes a view of human life seen as a call and a response. Tt leads the young person away from a subjective view of life which makes the individual the centre and the only criterion for self assessment, which sees personal fulfilment in defending and seeking his own interests rather than in openness and self-giving. Thus the task of the vocational culture is to encourage people to want to listen to questions related to the meaning of life and the individual's place in history as well as to enable them to reflect deeply on them. It is also to help people to grow and to make the right choices regarding the Bonum, the verum and the pulchrum since it is in responding to and appreciating these that a persons' full development consists.
The Rector Major invites us to give priority to the search for meaning, openness to transcendence, to an ethical mentality, a planning mentality and commitment to solidarity. He encourages every member of the Salesian Family who are involved in Youth Ministry to promote this vocational culture giving the educative pastoral community a family atmosphere including significant vocational witness and ensuring guidance and accompaniment for people.
He invites us all to make good use of vocational guidance and direction education to love and education to prayer. He invites everyone to regular personal accompaniment of the young person, educating to self knowledge, bringing to maturity the recognition of Jesus as the Risen Lord and as the Ultimate meaning of his life, educating to interpret the experience of one's own life and historical events as a a gift of God as being called to place oneself at the disposal of the mission for the Kingdom of God, and deepening the personal assimilation of the evangelical values.
He invites every member of the Salesian family to be proud of their vocation, to know Don Bosco better and better, above all live and communicate with enthusiasm his spirit and the Salesian mission.
He concludes by praying that all of us may have this exhilarating experience of allowing ourselves to be led by the Spirit. Our life will be full of joy and of enthusiasm, and then we shall be able to become, like John the Baptist, teachers who know how to help their disciples to become disciples and apostles of the Lord Jesus.

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