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Rector Major: Follow God's Call in your Life

By Father Jonas Kerketta, SDB
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Mumbai, Sep. 14. Dimapur - 12th Sept., the third day of the Rector Major's visit to the Province of Dimapur, was primarily dedicated to the Salesian Family.  At the same time, it was also the day of the traditional, and very important, meeting between the Rector Major and all the Salesians in the Province.
At 9.00 am the Rector Major was welcomed at the Salesian College of Higher Education, Dimapur, by the college band, the colourful Rongmei and Adivasi dancers.

The Rector Major presided over the Holy Eucharist. 42 Salesian priests concelebrated. During the homily the Rector Major, based on the Gospel on the Wedding feast of Cana, said, ''Our Lady told the stewards 'Do whatever he tells you'. We need to find out and do whatever her son Jesus tells us to do in our life''. Secondly, referring to the group of men and women who would make the promise to be Salesian Cooperators, he said, ''Don Bosco loved the Salesian Cooperators very much. He struggled hard to get their movement recognized and approved by the Holy See''. He encouraged the candidates to live their vocation as Salesian Cooperators well and invite others to join this wonderful movement.

After the Mass, Father Angel Fernandez Artime spoke to and interacted with a large gathering of the members of the Salesian Family, in the Father Paul Bernick Hall of the Salesian College. Next followed the photo session with various groups on the college lawn.

At 4.00 pm, the Rector Major visited the Little Flower study house of the Missionary Sisters of Mary Help of Christians. At 4.30 pm, he had tea in the Mazzarello study house run by the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.

Then followed one of the most important events of the Rector Major's visit to the Province: his conference to a large assembly of the Salesian confreres at 6.00 pm in the Don Bosco Institute of Development and Leadership (DBIDL) Dimapur. This was preceded by a 7.14 minutes long video highlighting the principal apostolates carried out by the Salesians in the Province. The main focus has always been on evangelization and catechesis in the Province where the confreres run 23 parishes. The contribution of the Salesians to education has been outstanding and there have been rich dividends: the current Chief Justice of India, Shri Ranjan Gogoi, and the present Chief Minister of Assam, Shri Sarbananda Sonowal, as well as the current Environment Minister of Nagaland, Mr. Nikiesalie Kire are alumni of Don Bosco School, Dibrugarh in Assam. The present Minister for Higher and Technical Education, Govt. of Nagaland, Mr. Temjen Imna Along, is an alumnus of Don Bosco School, Dimapur. The current Deputy Chief Minister of the Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh, Mr. Chowmein is also Salesian past pupil.

Currently the Salesians of Dimapur Province run one post-graduate college, six degree colleges, nine lower and upper primary schools. They have five formation houses, 37 boardings and hostels. They cater to the underprivileged youth by training them in vocational skills in six Don Bosco non-formal vocational training centres. Sports and games, Scouts and Guides movements, promotion of local cultures like the colourful tribal dances and music are appreciated and promoted by the Salesians.

While appreciating the great work done by the Salesians, the Rector Major proposed his fatherly advice so that they really remain close to the charism of Don Bosco.

During the Conference to the Salesians, the Rector Major also released the revised edition of The Chronicled History of Dimapur Province edited by Dr. A. J. Sebastian SDB and the editorial board and published by Don Bosco Publications, Dimapur.
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