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South Asia Formation Commission meet at Hyderabad, India
By Castilino
Hyderabad, Aug. 19. The South Asia Formation Commission (SAFC) members commenced their annual meeting at Don Bosco Provincial House, Hyderabad on August 16, 2016. The five day meeting will focus primarily on the role of the Salesian Rector, the two dimensions of the Salesian vocation, the formation plan of the region for the next three years, and the dynamics of the accompaniment process.  The meeting is being attended by Fr Ivo Coelho, the General Councillor for Formation, Fr Joyce Thonikuzhiyil, the Provincial delegate of the SPCSA and the 12 formation delegates from each Province of the region.  
Drawing up a tentative plan for the coming three years, specifically for the South Asia region, based on the plan of the Rector Major and his council was the main agenda of the first day.  The members were invited to put down very concrete and down to earth lines of action for the years ahead. The day also witnessed each delegate present a brief report of the follow up of the last annual meeting held at Chennai.  

The second day of the meeting focused on the role of the Salesian Rector and an analytical study of the statistics regarding those in initial formation.  The following day was spent reflecting on one of the dimensions of the Salesian vocation, that of the Salesian Brother. It was an enriching exercise in understanding our primary vocation as consecrated individuals living the Salesian way and not merely about priesthood or brotherhood.  

One of the practical decisions already proposed and endorsed by the members is the organisation of a course on Salesian vocation in its two forms for the vocation promoters and rectors of aspirantates within the coming three years. With a particular intent of strengthening the pre-novitiate stage, there would be a course for the directors of the pre-novitiates in the next two years, something similar to the one already being held for the directors of novices in Rome.  The group also strongly supported the idea of preparing the manuals for a healthy psycho-sexual growth of confreres, based on the two volumes already published, for the various stages of formation.

With the strongly felt need to empower ourselves in the field of spiritual accompaniment, the commission warmly welcomed the idea of involving the formees in the process of drawing up a document on this topic. In the days ahead the participants would explore possible methodologies for enriching the quality of our accompaniment process, the modality of the psychological testing for the pre-novices, discuss the best practices on formation across the region, and also draw up a project to make more relevant and tangible the ongoing year of Mercy.    

The meeting, coordinated by Father Jose Kuttianimattathil, the SAFC delegate and Father Silvio Roggia, from the Formation department in Rome, concludes on August 20, 2016.  
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