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Salesian Family ponders on ''Learning from Don Bosco''

By Fr. Bivan Mukhim
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Guwahati, Nov. 8. As part of the bicentenary celebrations of Don Bosco's birth, a seminar on 'Learning from Don Bosco' was organised for the members of the Salesian family, Guwahati and Karbi Anglong regions on 8 November at St. Mary's School, Guwahati. It was an attempt to understand more deeply the charism and works of St. John Bosco, the founder of the Salesians and the Salesian Movement. Over a hundred priests, brothers, sisters, cooperators, past pupils and lay collaborators of the Salesian Family attended the seminar.
The seminar was inaugurated by the Apostolic Administrator of Jowai Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil SDB. In his inaugural address he spoke of Don Bosco as a saint who responded to the present and future needs of young people. ''For Don Bosco everything that he learned was to be of service to others, particularly to help young people.'' the archbishop said. He said that the Sons and Daughters of Don Bosco today can change the society through education. ''Through education we can make alive the words of Don Bosco 'for you I study...'. So, like Don Bosco we involve ourselves in the world of the young people and thus bring about transformation in their lives.''

Fr. Jose Varickaserril, Scripture professor at the Sacred Heart Theological College, Mawlai, shared his knowledge on Don Bosco in the sessions chaired by him and said that every Son and Daughter of Don Bosco needs to engross himself/herself in acquiring knowledge just like Don Bosco. ''Don Bosco created great interest in reading among the young people of his oratory,'' Fr. Varickaserril pointed out. He quoted Don Bosco's words, ''While there are still books to read, I say read.'' He added that Don Bosco himself was a voracious reader and so we have to imitate him in that aspect as well.

Fr. Varickaserril also spoke on the magnitude of the writings on Don Bosco. He said that no other founders have so many volumes written about them as Don Bosco. ''The nineteen volumes of the 'Biographical Memoirs of Don Bosco' is a clear indication of the greatness of our Father and founder,'' he said. He spoke extensively on the dreams and works of Don Bosco and enlivened the spirit and charism of the educator Saint of the young through his lively talk.

''A seminar of this sort will help us the Sons and Daughters of Don Bosco to learn more about our Father. It is also an opportunity to come together as members of a Family appreciating the oneness and uniqueness of our apostolate for the young,'' said Fr. Sebastian Kuricheal SDB, the Principal of Don Bosco School, Guwahati after the seminar.

Sr. Alphonsa Kurisinkal FMA, the Seminar coordinator, expressed her gratitude to the members of the Salesian Family for being present at the seminar and wished that the charism of Don Bosco be spread in all the Salesian centres and communities. The seminar was hosted by Sr. Grace, the superior of St. Mary's Convent Guwahati.

This seminar on 'Learning from Don Bosco'' will be held again at Don Bosco School, Kokrajhar on the 12 November and at Don Bosco School, Tura on 13 November.
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