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Fr. Fabio Attard visits Guwahati Province


By Bivan Mukhim
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Guwahati, Mar. 5. Rev Fr. Fabio Attard, the General Councillor for Youth Ministry of the Salesians, started his visit of the Salesian Province of Guwahati on 3 March. He will be visiting many Salesian presences during the coming days, and will have the opportunity to address the confreres and the members of the Salesian family of Guwahati province.
At the Provincial House he interacted with the Salesians and spoke to them regarding the Handbook on youth ministry published by the department of Youth Ministry of the congregation as the source and a guide map for youth animation. He stressed that in the Salesian context the work for young people is the ultimate goal. ''We give vocabulary of youth ministry to the Church'' he said, poing out that  among all the religious in the Church, the Salesians have the most extensive work for youth. Fr. Attard also stressed that the document on youth ministry could be used by any congregation.

''The document on youth pastoral has been translated into different languages to suit the context of the place. There are copies available in English, Italian, Spanish, French, Polish, Flemish, Slovak, Japanese, Thai and others,'' Fr. Attard said.

While thanking the provincial and the confreres for the warm welcome given to him, he reminded every Salesian of the consecration. ''We consecrate ourselves for the young people and through our consecration we do what we can and give our best for the young,'' he said. He also said that we need to have pastoral intelligence to know what we are doing and why we are doing it. A special aspect of the document, he said, is that it is based in the non-Christian as well as post-Christian contexts and therefore gives suitable guidelines for giving a Gospel based value education to the youth.  

The provincial Fr VM Thomas,  while welcoming the visiting councillor said that the Salesians have contributed much to youth work in North East India and to the country as a whole. ''The Salesian province of Guwahati in particular has contributed significantly to youth pastoral and youth works in the region. At the national level too, confreres of the province have played responsible  roles in the animation of Salesian youth pastoral ministry,'' he said.

Fr KO Augustine, the Rector and Parish Priest of Gojapara, in his sharing said that the youth ministry document in its various expressions caters to the Salesian priority for youth, and the inspiration of the Preventive System is realised through it. He also said that the manual contributes significantly to the Church's heritage. ''The graphic and presentation is one of the best and it embraces all aspect of youth ministry,'' he said.
 
On 8th March, he will conclude his visit to the province and will then visit the province of Dimapur.
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