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Don Bosco Communications South Asia (DBCSA) Concludes General Body Meeting 2013

By Frs. Isaac Arackaparambil sdb & EJ Antony
Fr. Filiberto Gonzalez blesses the new db Theatre at DBCL, Kurla, flanked by Fr. Thomas Ellicherail (L.), and Fr. Joe Braganza (R.). On the background: Fr. Adolf Furtado, Director (L.), and Fr. Godfrey D`Souza (R.)
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Mumbai, Oct. 18. Don Bosco Communications South Asia (DBCSA) concluded its General Body meeting of 2013 at the Salesian Provincial House of  Mumbai on 18th October. There were about 50 participants in this four day meet which had commenced on 15 October with a seminar on the theme ''Social Media and Salesian Youth Ministry'', with inputs from experts in the field of communication as well as youth ministry.

The participants, all involved in communication ministry in their own 11 Provinces, had come from the length and breadth of the country. A small contingent of Salesian Sisters too were present as delegates of FMA India. Of significant importance was the presence of Fr. Filiberto Gonzalez, the General Councillor of the Congregation for Social Communications, and the secretary, Br. Ephrem Santos during the entire General body meeting.

On the second day, 16 October, Rev. Fr. Godfrey D'Souza, SDB, Provincial of Mumbai Province began the programme with a Eucharistic Celebration. In his homily, Fr. Godfrey invited the assembly to be active players in the virtual playground where the youngsters of today are exceedingly present. He maintained that Jesus would do the same in our times, having been an exceptional ''tweeter'' himself in his time. He challenged the assembly to create a Salesian web portal where youngsters could find an interactive platform to savor the gospel and grow in faith.

At the morning session, after the invocation of the presence and guidance of the Holy Spirit, Fr. Antony Earathara SDB, Regional Delegate, officially declared the General Assembly open in the presence of Fr. Filiberto Gonzales, Br. Ephrem Santos, Fr. Thomas Ellicherail, Fr. Noel Maddhichetty and Fr. Joaquim Fernandes and other delegates for Social Communications.

After the Minutes of the General Body meeting of 2011 was presented by Fr. Joaquim Fernandes, the Secretary of DBCSA,
Fr. Cleophas Braganza SDB, new webmaster of, presented a short report of the status of the webmaster's domain. He thanked his predecessor Fr. P.T. Joseph, SDB, who pioneered in the creation and development of the web portal and brought it to what it is today. Fr. Braganza then highlighted the present status and future challenges for web portal.

In the initial sessions the General Body meeting was steered into an enriching sharing of Social Communication Initiatives across the eleven provinces within the framework of Animation, Information, Formation, Production, and Marketing. The delegates representing and sharing were Fr. Joaquim Fernandes (Mumbai), Fr. IC Jacob (Kolkata), Fr. Paul Maipan (Dimapur), Fr. Kalyan Yandava (Hyderabad), Fr. Johnson Parackal (Guwahati), Fr. Gilbert Choondal (Bangalore), Fr. Harris Pakkim (Chennai), Fr. Joy Jacob (New Delhi), Fr. Ralin DeSouza (Panjim), Br. Dianetious Fernandez (Silchar), and Fr. Agilan Sarprasadam (Tiruchy).

Fr. John Kennedy, the editor of Salesian Bulletin, English edition having a national circulation, reported about work done for the Bulletin from Chennai. The Salesian Institutions panning South Asia, and christian families at large are the main subscribers of the magazine. It is delightful to note, he added, that there are seven regional editions of the Salesian Bulletin in South Asia region, carrying forward the initiative that Don Bosco commenced in Italy with the ''Bolettino Salesiano''.

Sr. Hilda Braganza, FMA, National Coordinator Social Communications, FMA India, shared the initiatives of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA) in the Social Communications field. She presented a consolidated report of six FMA provinces. Among the many appreciable elements it was reported that the FMAs have created a Media Education Syllabus for both Formal and Non-formal sectors. Sr. Hilda was handed a memento by Fr. Filiberto Gonzales in appreciation for the initiatives in the FMA India unit.

In the afternoon, the DBCSA delegates visited Don Bosco Centre of Learning (DBLC)-Kurla. Fr. Adolf Futardo sdb, Rector warmly welcomed the delegates to the auditorium where they had a truly enriching and enthralling multi-media experience. An Interactive discussion with the youthful students of DBCL on the theme 'Social Media and Youth', anchored by Mr. Conrad Saldanha, put the DBCSA delegates in direct touch with the world of the young and their perspective on Media in their lives.

The Inauguration of a professionally equipped digital preview theater of DBLC took place thereafter. The new db Theatre was blessed by Fr. Filiberto Gonzales, General Councillor, and inaugurated by Fr. Godfrey D'souza, Provincial of Mumbai.

On 17 October the Eucharist was presided over by Fr. Filiberto Gonzalez. In his homily he spoke of the importance of authenticity on the part of the communicators, as well as the importance of being in touch with God through ''Silence'' in order to be effective communicators. In the morning sessions Fr. Gonzalez and Br. Santos helped the participants to reflect and discuss about the Salesian system of Communication.

A major part of the afternoon session was devoted to the revision of the DBCSA Statutes for proposing to the Provincial Conference of South Asia for approval of amendments. Thereafter the General Body discussed about certain projects to be undertaken for the celebration of he bicentenary of Don Bosco's birth in 2015, and other programmes to be undertaken in the proximate future, outstanding among them being working towards the production of a movie on the success of Don Bosco's pedagogical system, and the creation of a regional Don Bosco Publishing House.

On the final day, 18 October, Feast of St. Luke, Fr. Thomas Ellicherail, the SPCSA provincial in-charge of Social communication, presided at the Eucahristic celebration. In his homily he insisted on the importance of the evangelical and catechetical dimension of all our Salesian communication, proposing Luke the evangelist as a model. The rest of the day was set aside for an optional sightseeing trip to the city of Mumbai.
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