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Rector Major exhort Salesians ''Be Faithful to the Charism of Don Bosco.''

By Father Dominic Matthews SDB
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Mumbai, Sep. 10. Father Jose Kochamkunnel SDB, the Provincial of Chennai Province welcomed The Rector Major and the Salesians too.    He introduced the gathering comprising of 20 Salesian communities of the two regions along with 17 students of Philosophy of Chennai Province from The Retreat community, Yercaud (INT).
The Rector Major stressed on the personal conviction and one's individual journey with God.  The Rector Major asked this question to all the Salesians gathered for the conference.  'How is our Salesian Congregation and till when will it last'? Having this question in mind, the Rector Major shared that only if we are faithful to the charism of Don Bosco we will last and if we are faithful, then the Spirit will never fail us. He said that faithfulness to the charism leads the Congregation with serenity. He stated this could be reason why our Congregation continues to be appreciated in the Church and loved by the Pope Francis.

The Rector Major then went on to share some of the challenges being faced by the Salesian Congregation today. He commenced with the Irregular Situations in the Congregation and the urgent need of remedying the problem as early as possible. He then explained the difference of being a priest and being a Salesian. He also made a note that our Congregation was made up of 87% priests and 13% Salesian Brothers and cautioned that if confreres slowly start to lead a cosy and comfortable life, this could be very catastrophic for all of us.

The Rector Major felt that it was not right for a Salesian to keep on working without also witnessing to his consecration. He also asked us to be mature people which does not come just with age or by donning the cassock! He warned us about the invasion of individualism which has entered our Congregation. He quoted some recent incidents as examples for which the Congregation had suffered.

Clericalism and the thirst for power in the Congregation which was spoken about by Pope Francis is a real threat to consecrated persons. He stated that being a priest is a beautiful way of living our life but the feeling of being superior to others and demanding unlawful things is what Pope Francis meant by clericalism.  It is also connected with seeking for power. If authority is used for service then it is beautiful but not otherwise. To command is good if it is done only with the heart of Don Bosco. All authority should be at the service of others. He insisted that we should not allow money and the temptation of power always affect the mission.

He also encouraged us to walk always with young people and to never forget the marginalized youth. He exhorted us once again about the missionary nature of the Congregation and he encouraged young confreres to be generous in opting for the Missions.

He then thanked the confreres for their availability and ended the conference interacting with the confreres and answering their queries with elaborate detail. This was followed by the Holy Eucharist which he offered for the intentions of the INM Province and said that we will certainly face challenges in doing good, but by imitating Don Bosco and by being inspired by Pope Francis, we can continue to march ahead faithfully and successfully.
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