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13 Media Practitioners honoured to inspire the young


By C.M. Paul
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Shillong, Nov. 16. SHILLONG, (C.M. Paul) - Member of the Salesian General Council from Don Bosco Headquarters in Rome yesterday honored 13 veteran practitioners of various media at Shillong, capital of Meghalaya state and the hub of Catholicism in northeastern India.

A large number of missioners working in the region attended the first ''Media at the Service of the Gospel'' (MaSoG) held at Sacred Heart College Shillong, where Salesian communications chief Fr. Filberto Gonzalez, on behalf of Rector Major, and handed over citation and the medal of Don Bosco to 13 awardees.
''These are not awards given for some achievements. As religious personnel we do not work for awards and recognition. Instead, this is an effort at recognizing the role and relevance of communications in our larger mission,'' explained Provincial Delegate for Social Communication Fr Joseph Pulinthanath, a noted film director from Tripura.

''By pointing out a few individuals who have walked the path we want to urge ourselves and others, especially younger Salesians to take on communications seriously,'' he added.

The fields which the MaSoG recognition covered included popular authors, publishers, printers, film makers, language developers, musicians and composers, journalists and editors, and art and culture promoters.

''This is indeed a unique and important event,'' said Salesian provincial George Maliekal welcoming Fr. Gonzalez. He referred to Shillong as the cradle Salesianity in North East India which Salesians of Don Bosco made their home 90 years ago.

Besides a square and road named after Don Bosco, Shillong city has also 12 major Salesian institutions including parishes, schools, technical schools, colleges, theologate and novitiate.

Greeting the gathering on behalf of the Rector Major, Fr. Gonsalez said the honor is a ''small gesture to recognize and thank people for their outstanding contribution in using various media at the service the Gospel.''

Among the recipients, four were overseas missionaries, who spent some 60 years in Shillong. Two of them were Italian Brothers John Colombi and Nello Valeri. Others were Fathers John Larrea from Spain and Joseph Cilia from Malta.

The Indians comprised Fathers Sylvanus Sngi and Barnes Mawrie from Meghalaya, Fr. Zepherinus Baxla from Jharkhand and six others were missionaries from Kerala, southern India - Frs Sebastian Karotemprel, Joseph Puthenpurackal, Jose Thattil Umbavu, Paul Vadakumpadan, Jose Varickasseril and Joseph Pulinthanath.

The two Brothers and two priests could not attend the function for various reasons.

The program included screening of two films: ''Mist & Magic - India's Northeast'' and 'The Hand' - Don Bosco in Northeast India, both made by Sampari Pictures, Agartala.
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