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Guwahati Diamond Jubilee Symposium Compendium ''Evangelization and Catechesis'' released

By Father John Parankimalil
Father Januarius S Sangma-Salesian Provincial of Guwahati [ING] releasing the symposium-compendium `Evangelization and Catechesis` flanked by Sr. Lydia Komuhra [FMA] and Sr. Escosiana Vas [MSMHC].
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Guwahati, Sep. 15. Evangelization and Catechesis, a symposium compendium on the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee of the Salesian Province of Guwahati [1959-2019] and the initiation of the triennial preparation for the Centennial of Salesian Presence in North-East India [1922-2022] was released on 14 September 2020 by Guwahati Salesian Provincial Father Januarius S. Sangma. The compendium is edited by South Asia Regional Councillor Father Biju Michael and FMA [Daughters of Mary Help of Christians] Guwahati Vice-Provincial Sr. Lydia Komuhra.
Sr. Komuhra gave a brief overview of the book that is divided into 02 sections. Section 01 is preceded by the welcome speech of Father Sangma, and the inaugural address 'Evangelization and Catechesis: Perennial Mission of the Church', of Father Francesco Cereda former Vicar-General of the Salesian Society.

This is followed by 02 historical articles: 'Looking Back at 60 Years of the Province of Guwahati: A Historical Perspective of the Salesian Evangelizing Mission in North-East India' by Prof. David R. Syiemlieh, a renowned historian and educationist from the North East, and 'Personalities that Shaped the Salesian Evangelizing Mission in the Province of Guwahati' by Father Philip Barjo. The next 02 articles are offer a biblical perspective on catechesis, authored by Father [Dr] Jose Varickasseril on 'The Gospel of Mathew as a Paradigm for Ongoing Catechesis' and 'The Possibility of a Resurgent Catechesis in North-East India' by Father [Dr] Francis Hembrom. The last two articles in the Section 01 are:'The Role of Money in Mission' by Father Thomas Chenginiyadan and 'Strategies for Mission' by Father Paul Kuttikadan.

Section 02 includes 03 Panel Discussions. Panel Discussion I focuses on �Educating through Evangelizing, Evangelizing through Educating', moderated by Father Kuriala Chittattukalam, with various articles that throw light on the paramount importance of the role of Catholic Schools; the role of Technical and Non-Formal Education and Skills Training; the role of Higher Education in Educating, the role of hostels [for school, college, working young people] in educating through evangelization and evangelizing through educating. 'Guidance and Counselling in Schools and Colleges' by Father Joseph Thelekkatt closes Panel Discussion I.

Panel Discussion II converges on the role played by Women Religious in the Salesian Evangelizing Mission in North-East India, moderated by Missionary Sisters of Mary Help of Christians [MSMHC] Superior General Mother Philomena Mathew. Mother Mathew's paper 'The Role of Women Religious in Evangelization and Development' ushers in 04 articles presenting the role played by the FMA, MSMHC, VSDB and SMI nuns.

Panel Discussion III opens with a brief introduction of the moderator Father Charles Sangma to the various presentation of the 'Role played by Lay collaborators', the other members of the Salesian Family [Past-Pupils, the Salesian Cooperators, Catechists and the Lay Teachers] to the Salesian Educative and Evangelizing Mission in the variegated settings of parishes, families, schools and work places.

Sr. Komuhra expressed her gratitude to Father Michael, who was responsible for the 02-day symposium and bulk of the compendium. A tree is known by its fruit; and today one cannot but attribute the development of North East and its well being - to a large extent - to the sons of Don Bosco who launched out into the deep with his same apostolic zeal of the Da mihi animas, cetera tolle. Through a variety of ministries particularly, the Christian education of the young people according to the Preventive System, thousands of youngsters are able realize the plan of God for them. The mission of evangelization and catechesis aimed at the holistic growth and development of the human person will continue to enrich the Church and the society in North East. The legacy of Don Bosco's Charism open to the signs of the times will go a long way to rendering quality services to the most vulnerable, the neediest and the most marginalized of the geographical and existential peripheries.

Collaboration and cooperation among the Salesians and the FMA was the hallmark since the beginnings of the missions in India. It is amply verified in the many letters of request made to Mother Catherine Daghero, the 1st successor of Mother Mazzarello by Msgr. Louis Mathias, Apostolic Prefect and leader of the Salesian Mission in Assam for the FMA to work in Assam. The missions, though very challenging and difficult, progressed by leaps and bounds, thanks to the single-minded vision and mission of collaboration for the Kingdom of God. Ever since the mission expanded and extended to myriads of cultures, creeds and languages, the involvement and cooperation of other members of the Salesian Family brought about a tangible transformation and development in every sense. By and large, one can easily gauge the power and strength of synergy of all the members of the Salesian Family for a common mission of Christ according to the Charism of Don Bosco.

The first copies of the book were presented to Sr. Komuhra, and Sr. Escosiana Vas[MSMHC ViceProvincial]. Father Sangma, in his concluding remarks thanked all those responsible for the symposium and the compendium. He also expressed his gratitude to ViceProvincial Father Joseph L Teron and Economer Father Benny Alex.



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