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VOCATION GUIDANCE: A MISSION RELAUNCH
By Fr. Antony Christy sdb
Chennai, Jan. 26. The South Asia Vocation Guidance Meet ends with a unanimous commitment to relaunch the mission of creating a culture of vocations in the individual provinces. There were 30 participants from the provinces of India and the Vice province of Srilanka. The Rector Major and the General Councillor were present in spirit, the former through the call to create a culture of vocations through the strenna for this year and the latter with the video conference he gave to the participants.
Organised by the DBYASA, the Meet was convened by the Delegate for Vocation Guidance for DBYASA Rev. Fr. Brian Moras sdb and present all through were Rev. Fr. Joe Almeida, the Provincial incharge of Vocation Guidance in the SPCSA and Rev. Fr. Maria Charles the Director of DBYASA.  Thanks to the hosting Province of Mumbai and its Provincial house, the meeting was a pleasant experience. Now that the annual exercise is over, what do we expect out of this?

A boom in the number of vocations? No. That is not what the theme concerns itself about. Rev. Fr. Fabio Attard, the General Councillor put it succinctly during his video conference saying, 'the culture of vocations has not got to do with numbers but to do with the whole picture of Don Bosco's Charismatic experience.' A youngster to feel at home with your proposal of a vocation has first to feel at home with you, said the Councillor, drawing attention to why the Rector Major calls Don Bosco an ingenious Voction Animator - because he created an atmosphere where the young felt at home to search for meaning to their life.

Keeping with the theme, Creating a Culture of Vocations the presentations of the three resource persons, Fr. Ajoy Fernandes the Vice Provincial of Mumbai, Fr. Maria Charles the Director of DBYASA and Fr. Joe Almeida the Provincial of Guwahati, were well prepared and designed to prod the participants to concrete action. The outcome: there was a concerted 'yes' to the call to create a culture of vocations in the provinces. Searching for ways and means to do it the participants came up with the following possibilities - to create an awareness among every confrere about the mind of the congregation regarding the project and process of Vocation Guidance being part of the larger picture of Youth Ministry; to create systems - like networked teams, networked departments - within the provinces to ensure a holistic vocation ministry; to initiate activities that require holistic plans and participation of all the Salesians passionate about their life and its meaning and witness; to nurture good catholic families  and to convince oneself and the provinces that vocations are primarily fruits of our personal and collective witness of life.

The departing feeling of the participants was one of joy and optimism that we are passionate about the Spirit that Don Bosco has left as our legacy and that it is enough for us to rekindle the energy as individuals and provinces to relaunch this specific mission in South Asia - to create a culture of vocations!
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