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International Symposium reminiscences 100 Years of Salesian contribution to Northeast India

International Symposium: Reminiscing 100 Years of Don Bosco in Northeast India
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Shillong, Sep. 26.

The International Symposium on the Salesian Charism and Don Bosco in Northeast India was held at Sacred Heart Theological College, Mawlai, Shillong, on September 20-23, as part of the centenary celebrations of the first arrival of the Salesians of Don Bosco to Northeast India in 1922. The three-day Symposium had resource persons from different parts of the mission from the three Salesian provinces of Guwahati, Dimapur and Shillong. 

Introducing the theme of the Symposium Father Jose Chunkapura, President of Sacred Heart Theological College, Shillong, said, "It is the way to get back to the footsteps of the founder." Father Philip Barjo, Rector, Sacred Heart Theological College, welcomed everyone and added that such an event would help to get back to the spirit of the father and founder, Don Bosco. Father A L Jose, the organizer of the Symposium, read out the message of the Rector Major wishing all the Salesians working in Northeast India to have a fruitful centenary celebration. 

Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil, a known peacemaker to most of the ethnic conflicts of the tribes in Northeast India, spoke on the Salesian contribution towards the emergence of the Northeast as a peaceful and spiritually inspiring region. “The peaceful coexistence among the tribes in Northeast India is mostly the contributions of the Salesians missionaries”, he said.

During the Symposium, the major tribes of Northeast India were presented by persons who had been working as a missionary or belonged to that particular tribe: Bishop George Palliparampil spoke on the Salesian Missionary works in the East Arunachal Pradesh, and Father Roland Kharkhrang presented the Khasis and the Jaintias, Father Jose Chemparathy on the West Arunachal Pradesh, Father John Zosizma on the Mizos, Father Jogesh B. Sangma on the Garos, Father Ishorary Sebastian on the Boros, Father Joseph Pulinthanat on the Tripura region, Father Jonas Kerketta on the Adivasis of Assam, Father Paul Panachickal on the Rabhas, Father Joseph Teron on the Karbis and Tiwahs, and Father Lukose Cheruvalel on the Assamese.

The Symposium also focused on various themes like the Preventive System by Father Roy Anthony Parackal, the Salesian Charism: A journey of the past and trajectories for the future by Father Thomas Manjaly, Tribal Languages by Father Thattil Umbavu Joseph, the contribution of the Salesians to Education by Father Parankimalil John, Youth Ministry by Father Parackal Johnson, Integral Human Development by Father Arickat Davis, the 100 years evangelizing mission by Father George Maliekal and Catechesis by Father Barnes Mawrie. After the presentations, interventions were made on the topic. It was interlaced with choir, prayer dance, reading of the scripture and prayers performed by the novices of the different congregations of the Salesian family and the choir groups closely associated with the Salesians.

Father Richard Majaw, the Vicar General of the Shillong Archdiocese, said, “The arrival of the Salesians to Northeast India in 1922 has brought tremendous changes to the living condition of the different tribes of Northeast India, particularly in the formation of the diocesan clergy of the different dioceses in Northeast India.” In his message, Father Majaw reminded us of the Salesian contributions to St. Paul Seminary, Christ King College and the Orien Theological College for forming diocesan clergy. Sr. Maria Goretti, the Provincial of the MSMHC Shillong Province, thanked the Salesians for their contributions. Father Paul Ophindro Lyngkot, the Provincial of the Salesian Province of Shillong, thanked all the participants of the Symposium and invited them to remain faithful to the charism of Don Bosco. 

The attendees of the Symposium were mostly from the different congregations of the Salesian family. The Symposium was aired live on the YouTube Channel of Don Bosco Media Network and the Local Cable Network Channel.  



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