Salesian Family Leaders dedicate to uplift the lives of Migrant Youth By Vincent Castilino and Jose Koyickal
Hyderabad, Aug. 30. The third conference of major superiors of the Salesian Family (CMS-SF) of South Asia was held at Don Bosco Provincial House, Bangalore on August 29 and 30, 2016. Altogether 29 members including one founder, one Mother General and Provincials, were present for the conference which was chaired by Father Maria Arokiam, the Regional Councillor of South Asia. Besides moments of sharing and community life, the group reflected and agreed upon concrete lines of action with regard to migrant youth, family ministry, and a healthy ecological outlook. The group also openly shared issues and concerns which hamper collaboration and the common mission.
Father Maria Arokiam based his inaugural talk on the prophetic challenge to the leaders as to how many of us will leave behind a legacy a hundred years from now. He then proceeded to present some of the significant strengths, concerns and collaboration of the Salesian family in the south Asian region. Each of the congregations then presented a brief statistical report, replete with suggestions for greater efficiency for the common mission.
However, the primary task the gathering took upon itself was to take forward the Mission statement collectively drawn up by the members of the Salesian family during the Congress held in September 2015 at Kolkata. As part of it the group prioritized five focus areas of the whole statement for immediate implementation: Bonding as a family, apostolate for migrants, family ministry, impacting public spheres and finally gain a healthy ecological perspective.
To start a 'migration desk' at houses around which migrants are living, making available spaces for spiritual and recreational facilities for migrants, initiate a career guidance and job placement desk to assist young people settle down well in life, join value-based social campaigns, identify and encourage promising students from disadvantaged settings to pursue studies for civil services and the strong recommendation to 'Go Green' not just in our institutions but most importantly in our outlook, are the significant lines of action agreed upon.
There was a serious reflection on our general attachment to buildings and structures, which is proving detrimental to our work with the young people. During the open session, there was an ardent plea from the members of the Salesian family to respect and treat one another as equal partners and relationship to take precedence over and above administrative hiccups.
Towards the end of the conference, the Salesian Family Congress souvenir and video were released by Father Maria Arokiam. The gathering also decided to meet once in two years. To encourage shared responsibility it was also agreed that the next CMS-SF would be hosted and organised for a day and half by the FMA-Guwahati Province on March 3-4, 2018.
Thanks to Father Mathew Thonikuzhiyil, the Salesian Provincial of the Province of Bangalore for the warm hospitality at the Don Bosco Provincial House, Bangalore. A sincere gratitude to Father Jose Koyickal for all the arrangements and planning the whole meeting and all the members of the Don Bosco Provincial House, Bangalore.