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SPCSA General Assembly plans for Don Bosco's birth Bicentenary


By BIS Reporter
Top: Fr. Joyce Francis, Provincial of Bangalore province receives the award on behalf of Don Bosco Child Labour Mission, Davangere (Karnataka). Bottom: Fr. Albert Johnson, Provincial of Tiruchi Province, receives the award on behalf of Don Bosco Care Home for the HIV/AIDS Infected Youth, at Nilavarapatti, Salem.
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Kolkata, Feb. 26. .    Hyderabad:   The Salesian Provincial Conference of South Asia (SPCSA) held its annual General Assembly meeting on 24-25 February, and the SPCSA Council meeting on 26-27 February 2015 at the Salesian Provincial House of Hyderabad. About 40 Salesians from the 12 provinces of the region took part in the two day General Assembly. The participants comprised of the provincial Superiors of all 12 provinces of India and Sri Lanka, and the heads of commissions of the various sectors of apostolate and network groups. The Provincial Conference is headed by the Regional Councillor Fr. Maria Arokiam Kanaga.

During the assembly sessions presentations were also made regarding the upcoming programmes for the concluding celebrations of the bicentenary of Don Bosco's birth.

Fr. Jose Mathew, Provincial of New Delhi Province, presented the plans for the Youth Expo 2015 which will take place in New Delhi on 29 - 30 September 2015. He announced that the mega gathering is expected to attract over 12,000 young people from all over India. Among various items planned there will be a multi-talent show, youth walkathon, exhibition on Don Bosco and the Salesian works,  cultural shows, and prayer moments. The Rector Major of the Salesians, Fr. Angel F. Artime is expected to be the Chief guest of the event along with many other dignitaries.

The Youth Expo will be preceded by a multi-city Don Bosco international Film Festival, on 8-9 August, in about 15 Indian cities showcasing short films on youth related themes. The awards of the short film festival will also be given during the Youth Expo 2015.

Fr. Nirmol Gomes, Provincial of Kolkata Province, presented the three day national Salesian Family Congress slated for 25-27 September 2015 in Kolkata. The programmes will have dignitaries from the government as well as social milieu. Events planned include an exhibition on Don Bosco's life and works, panel discussions, presentations on and by the Salesian Family groups,  national conference of the Salesian Cooperators, a mega pubic function at the city Indoor Stadium for young people, etc. The Rector Major of the Salesians will be present also at these events.

The Conclusion of the SPCSA Assembly included the Pascual Chavez Award ceremony at which awards were given to two prominent social work ministries of the Salesians. The awards were conferred on Don Bosco Child Labour Mission, Davangere (Karnataka), and Don Bosco Care Home for the HIV/AIDS Infected Youth, at Nilavarapatti, Salem (Tamil Nadu, India). The  provincials of Bangalore and Tiruchi received the awards on behalf of their Institutions.

Don Bosco Care Home was awarded for the comprehensive care given to HIV/AIDS infected youth. The Salesians of the Institute give Shelter, nutritious food, medication, academic education, counseling and guidance, vocational skill development to about 55 HIV infected youth of the age group 10 - 24, and counseling and nutritious food supplements to over 150 infected boys and girls at their own homes.  They also promote awareness of HIV/AIDS among a high-risk population consisting of 336 families with whom they are in contact.

Don Bosco Child Labour Mission, Davangere was awarded for their innovative ministry of education and rehabilitation of child labourers, street children and young at risk. Through their social ministry the Salesians of Davangere  reach out to almost 40,000 youth of various categories.

On the two days, a major part of the General Assembly meeting time was set aside for the presentation of revised and amended Statutes of the Salesian Provincial Conference of South Asia (SPCSA) and its Commissions and Network groups. The meetings were coordinated by the SPCSA Secretary Fr. Noel Maddhichetty.
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