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Rector Major's first halt, Don Bosco's dream city, Kolkata, India

By C.M. Paul
Rector Major, Fr. Angel Fernandez Artime
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Guwahati, Sep. 23. Kolkata - The Rector Major, Fr. Angel Fernandez Artime makes his maiden visit to India with first halt at Don Bosco's dream city Calcutta where he will visit typical Saleisan works - Howrah Ashalayam for street children, and Self Employment and skilling centre for marginalized youth at Mirpara.
Arriving on 26th September, Rector Major will participate at the South Asia Salesian Family Conference (SFC) to mark the conclusion of Don Bosco's 200th birth day. Some 1,900 delegates from 11 Salesian Family groups are participating at SFC 2015.

He will also make history in the city of joy, with first ever interaction of any Rector Major with an interaction with the Ram Krishna Mission monks at their world Head Quarters at Belur, near Liluah the venue of the SFC 2015 on 28th September.

This year also marks the launch of 90th year of the first Salesian province in India, Calcutta, when Salesians took charge of the Cathedral of the Most Holy Rosary and the Catholic Orphan Press on Brabourne Road in 1926.

Rector Major is accompanied by Fr. Ivo Coelho, the Councillor for Formation, Fr. Maria Arokiam Kanaga, our Regional Councillor, Fr. Guisseppe Casti, the World Delegate for Cooperators, Fr. Horacio Lopez, the Secretary of the Rector Major, and all the Provincials of South Asia.

Rector Major will also grace the Grand Finale of the Bicentenary Celebration in Netaji Indoor Stadium on 28 September at 5.00 pm before he leaves for New Delhi to attend the National Youth Rally on 29th September.

Don Bosco dreams about Calcutta

This year 2015 marks the launch of 90th year of the establishment of the first Indian province of the Salesian in 1926 at the then Catholic Orphan Press, situated in the Cathedral premises till 1972. Since then the Don Bosco headquarters of the mother province Kolkata is situated at 52A Radhanath Chowdhury Road, close to the famous Kolkata landmark ''Loreto Convent Entally.''

There is a fascinating story of Don Bosco seeing the multitude of activities taking shape in the then capital of the British Empire, Calcutta.

On the night of 9th April 1886, two years before his death, Don Bosco had a dream in which he saw the future expansion of his work for youth. He saw himself surrounded by an immense crowd of youngsters. A shepherdess, the same he had seen in a dream at the age of nine, appeared and asked him to look to his left and read what he saw. He saw a mountain and a sea and then hills and then again further mountains and seas and read the words VALPARAISO and SANTIAGO (Chile).

The shepherdess then asked him to look to his right, and he saw mountains and seas and read the word PEKING. He then saw a brilliant streak of light starting from Peking and ending in Santiago, passing through the heart of Africa. And then there appeared from Santiago to Central Africa ten Don Bosco Institutions. A little later there appeared from Central Africa to Peking ten other institutions. Over these he read the names of three great cities - Hong Kong, CALCUTTA, and Madagascar.

Rector Major's Profile

10th Successor of Don Bosco Rev. Fr. Angel Fernandez Artime, Rector Major of the Salesians of Don Bosco Angel Fernandez Artime was born August 21, 1960 in Luanco-Gozon, Asturias, Spain; he made his first profession on September 3, 1978, the perpetual vows on June 17, 1984, in Santiago de Compostela, and was ordained a priest on July 4, 1987, in Leon.

A native of the Province of Leon, he earned a degree in Pastoral Theology and a Licentiate in Philosophy and Pedagogy.

He was a Provincial Delegate for Youth Ministry, Director of the School of Ourense, a member of the Provincial Council and the Provincial Vicar, and from 2000-2006, he was the Provincial Superior.

After being part of the Preparatory committee which has prepared the 26th General Chapter in 2009, he was appointed the Provincial Superior of South Argentina, based in Buenos Aires. In this capacity he also got to know and work personally with the then Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, today Pope Francis.

On December 23, 2013 , he was appointed Superior of the new Province of Mediterranean Spain, dedicated to ''Mary Help of Christians.'' But before he can take on this new role, last March 25, 2014, he was elected by the General Chapter 27 as the new Rector Major of the Salesian Congregation and the 10th Successor of Don Bosco.

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