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Salesian Councillor General Visits Formation Houses in Pune and Nashik


By Cl. Ranson D`souza sdb & Cl. Ian Pinto sdb
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Mumbai, Jul. 28. A feeling of great pride and intense joy filled the Salesians residing at Don Bosco Youth Centre Pune (DBYC), and Divyadaan Nashik, as they welcomed their very own Fr Ivo Coelho, the newly elected Councillor General for Formation to their communities for a visit, from 20-23 July. Fr Coelho had served the Mumbai province and the house of Divyadaan in various capacities in the past. He made the two-day visits to DBYSC on 20 and 21 July, and to Nashik  on 21-23 July.
On July 20, Fr Coelho interacted with the students of theology. They shared with him their experiences of Salesian life and their feelings at this stage of their formation. Fr Coelho invited them to reflect on their identity as Salesians, as religious and as priests-to-be.

In the evening of the same day in the Good Night talk, he conveyed the greetings and message of the Rector Major to the community and then spoke to them about the Salesian mission and GC 27. He emphasized the key-topics of the General Chapter and urged the confreres to be mystics in the Spirit, prophets of fraternity and servants of the young. He reminded them that they were there to do God's work, and to cater to the young especially the poor. He stressed also on the need for spiritual direction throughout the life of the Salesian.

On 21 July Fr Coelho celebrated the Eucharist with the community and then had an informal meeting with the staff concerning formative experiences and objectives.

In the latter part of the day he went to Divyadaan studentate of philosophy. He met the brothers course-wise and shared with them some thoughts regarding formation. In the Good Night talk here too he spoke about the key themes of the General Chapter 27, and the importance of spiritual direction in one's growth to holiness, the need to build good and healthy relationships in community and to strive for clarity of the Salesian identity. He made it clear that the Salesian charism belonged not only to the Salesians but to the church at large.

On the morning of 22 July Fr Coelho celebrated the Holy Eucharist for all the Salesians and religious of the neighbourhood.  In his homily he drew out a few points from the life of St Mary Magdalene worthy of imitation. He drew their attention to the intense love that Mary had for Jesus, her Lord and Master. He also spoke of the courage she had to face the empty tomb with a strong heart.

At the end of the Eucharist, Fr Coelho thanked everyone for coming together in love to celebrate with him and also requested prayers for his new ministry. Later he continued his meetings with the Salesians on campus.

In the afternoon the community of Divyadaan honored and felicitated him with an ebullient family circle in traditional Salesian style. It was a wonderful moment for every Salesian on campus. For Fr Coelho it was a happy homecoming.

For the Salesians of both the communities it was wonderful to see, that even after being out of the province for over three years, he still remembered each one by name.
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