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First doctoral degree conferred on a Naga Salesian in Rome

By Jerish Abraham, sdb
L-R:Don Jaroslaw Rochowiak-Segretario Generale, Don Carlo Nanni-Rector Magnificus, Fr Peter Salew, Prof. Mario Llanos, Prof. Cyril D\\`Souza, Prof. Giuseppe Roggia
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Kolkata, Dec. 17. .  Rome: Fr Peter Salew of the Salesian Province of Dimapur, hailing from the Mao Naga Tribe of Manipur in India, successfully defended his trend-setting thesis ''Vocational Dialogue in the Salesian Educative-Pastoral Ministry with Special Reference to the Nagas: An Explorative-Empirical Study from the Perspective of the Salesian Family in the North East India.''
Fr Salew is the first Naga Salesian to obtain a doctorate in Rome and this historic event was witnessed by a jam-packed auditorium of friends, confreres, well-wishers, admirers, students and professors on December 16, 2013 at the Salesian Pontifical University, Rome.

The thesis is a passionate exploration into the dynamics of vibrant vocational dialogue in the particular context of Naga society, understanding the socio-cultural factors of the Naga youth while examining the role of the essential pedagogical and pastoral implications for effective Salesian educative-pastoral ministry. The study analyses the background of the Salesian Mission in North East India, highlighting the charismatic, inspirational and paradigmatic tenets of the charism of Don Bosco and his pedagogy, while identifying and proposing renewed and vibrant pedagogic-pastoral approaches to vocational dialogue.

Prof. Carlo Nanni - Rector Magnificus stated, ''this thesis is a trend-setter in the path of vocational dialogue. The panel of examiners comprising Prof. Mario Llanos, Prof. Cyril D'Souza and Prof. Giuseppe Roggia were effusive in their praise, congratulating the researcher for this precise and clear, enormous effort.

The defense concluded on a thunderous note of appreciative applause signaling the commencement of festivities and an evening of gleeful celebrations.

Considering the innovative enormity, originality and positive incarnating capability of the work, Fr Salew has been asked to publish three chapters of his thesis, deviating from the standard norm.

Reflecting on his research Fr Salew says: ''For me this is both a point of arrival, yet a point of departure. This effort has ushered in a vast horizon of possibilities, allowing one to embark on a vocational dialogue on many aspects from varied perspectives. It is a challenge and a possibility for improved and greater commitment.''
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