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Bricks cement missionary efforts


By C.M. Paul
South Asia Councilor Fr Kanaga and Rector of the Salesian Community at Ivrea, Fr. Eligio Caprioglio with the Indian bricks.
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Guwahati, Jan. 20. IVREA, Italy - To cement missionary efforts between Italy and India, Salesian Regional Councilor for South Asia presented two bricks to the director of the Italian Institute which supplied over 400 missionaries to India during its 43 year existence.
The South Asian Regional Councilor Fr Maria Arokiam Kanaga presented the bricks to Director of Cagliero Institute at Ivrea northern Italy last Friday (17 January) on the occasion of the visit of the relics of St John Bosco.

The Cagliero Institute was the seed bed of overseas Italian missionaries in 20th century. It was named after the leader of the first group of missionaries Don Bosco sent out from Italy in 1875 to Patagonia (Argentina) Fr Giuseppe Cagliero who became a bishop and later cardinal.

One of several missionary aspirantates of Italy in the last century, the Cagliero aspirantate alone sent out about 1,000 missionaries worldwide in the course of its existence (1922-1965). Majority of 460 foreign confreres who worked in India came from there.

Fr Kanaga, resident at the Salesian Generalate in Rome, carried two bricks from India representing the two missionary aspirantates preparing young men for Salesian missions worldwide.

''The two bricks were from Jhajjar, New Delhi, our Salesian presence for Youth at Risk project, for children are working in brick kilns. So the bricks are, so to say fruit of child labour, and symbolize those for whom we direct our efforts,'' says Fr Kanaga.

The Councilor for Missions Fr.Klement Vaclav brought the bricks from India, as a symbolic offering of the two missionary aspirantates of Sirajuli and Perambur.

Fr Kanaga explains, ''I took them to Ivera on the occasion of the visit of the Relics of Don Bosco to that famed former missionary aspirantate, which is now a school, youth centre, and a youth hostel.''

Earlier, on 5th July 2012, in a gesture of solidarity and twinning of two Salesian missionary institutes, the Rector of Salesian Community at Ivrea, Fr. Eligio Caprioglio handed over to Fr. Kanaga one brick from the chapel of the former missionary aspirantate.

Fr Kanaga says, ''I duly handed over the brick to Sirajuli. The two Indian bricks, I have now handed over to Fr Caprioglio will fill that hole in that chapel wall - a symbolic and spiritual twinning between Ivrea and the Indian missionary aspirantates.''

The Ivrea institute has extended support, with documentation and experiences the new similar venture in India.

Fr Kanaga hopes, ''What was stopped in Ivrea due to changes of times, hopefully now continues in India.''

India was one of the most important recipients of the missionaries formed in Ivrea.

The Salesian missionary Venerable Fr. Francis Covertini who worked in Bengal and buried in Krishnagar (Nadia dist) and Ven. Fr. Giuseppe Quadrio are among the saintly past pupils of Ivrea.

The two Indian missionary aspirantates are situated in the provinces of Guwahati and Chennai.

The Sirajuli institute in northeast India, near Tezpur, started on 22 November 2011 is named after Hubert D'Rosario the first Indian archbishop of northeast India (Shillong-Guwahati). The southern India mission aspirantate which began on 29 June 2012 is in Chennai at Don Bosco, Permabur.
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