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Fr. Fabio addresses members of the Guwahati Salesian Family

By Fr. Bivan Mukhim
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Guwahati, Mar. 8. Around 120 members of the Salesian Family gathered together on Friday, 6 March at Don Bosco Provincial House to listen to the General Councillor for youth pastoral, Fr. Fabio Attard SDB who addressed a conference. The theme of the conference was 'The Salesian Youth Ministry - Don Bosco's Pastoral Vision, Our Heritage'.
Fr. Fabio started by telling the members of the Salesian Family that he feels blessed that he is amongst the members of the family.  He spoke of the Salesian Youth Ministry as a heritage that was given by Don Bosco himself. ''We are not doing an archaeological exercise, we are not doing a cloning and we cannot give same answers to people who asked different questions. We need to be different. Don Bosco showed us the way to be different with the need of the time,'' Fr. Fabio said.

He reminded the members of the Salesian Family that they need to plunge themselves into the situation of the young. ''The situation of the young people today is the Non-Christian or Post-Christian contexts. For this, we need to have the attitude of the 'Good Shepherd', where we go out to them. We have Don Bosco as our role model. He inhabited the life and culture of the young. He chooses the unsecured road of the young,'' he said.

Fr. Fabio encouraged those present to have no fear of entering into encounter with Young People and their relationships. ''Are we ready to enter into the world of the young? Are our communities a no-go area for young people?'' the visiting councillor questioned the members present.

He encouraged the Salesian Family members to make the community a pastoral community where young people experience love, peace and joy. ''In Voldocco we have an original pastoral community, where priests and clerics, lay people and youth worked together and joined hands to bring about change in the society.''  He asked them to introspect whether they were servants of the young or patrons of their future. He also said that like Don Bosco, we should have filial devotion to the heart of Jesus. ''In the heart of Jesus, we discover the heart of a Good Shepherd.'' He advised the Fathers, Sisters and lay collaborators present at the conference to love Don Bosco in a substantial way and not artificially.        

Fr. VM Thomas, the provincial thanked Fr. Fabio for his powerful and inspiring message. He invited all those present to have a dynamic fidelity to Don Bosco and the young people they worked for. ''We need to know more about Don Bosco,'' Fr VM Thomas said. ''Like Don Bosco who inhabited the culture of the young, we too are called to share their life. The young people await you. You need to listen to them and feel with them in their suffering and joy.''
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