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Rector Major gives South Asia Region The Road map for the future
By Rector Major, Fr Angel Fernandez Artime
Mumbai, Mar. 7. My dear confreres and friends, my first words, along with the members of my Council are: THANK YOU; really THANKS-A-LOT, said the Rector Major addressing the Salesians of South Asia region on the last day of the team visit as he laid down the proposals for future action.
Rector Major, Fr Angel Fernandez Artime addressing the Salesians of South Asia region
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The reasons for such gratitude are:
  • The excellent reception and care.
  • The precise organization of everything and your unstinted generosity.
  • The environment of true communion created among all the participants.
  • The richness of the interventions.
  • The depth of the studies and conferences.
  • The great freedom with which all of us reflected and talked, and the open hearted reception towards all opinions.
  • The real work of research and discernment which is such an opportunity for growth as a Region.

  • My speech today is but a foretaste of what will be the communication of the Rector Major to the Region, after the Interim Session of the Council of April, having deeply reflected on all the elements brought out in this Team Visit.

    For now I highlight the following:
    1. The reflections so well brought out in this meeting contain a great wealth, which of course, you yourselves will take into account in your planning. Your initiative to open up the life, identity and mission for examination and study by Salesians, by lay people and young, with a large and open participation of so many of them shows your courage and openness. I wish to compliment you for this because the significance of lay experts who led the study makes it very valuable.

    2. We believe that the strategic plan is indeed well presented and thought about. We wish that all the Provinces would take it up for the animation and government.

    3. The effort of the South Asian Region to be faithful to our Faith, the Gospel and Don Bosco in the multi-cultural and multi-religious context is not easy, and hence deserves our appreciation.

    4. As we say in the entire Congregation, we encourage you to take much care of the Salesian Identity. An identity that should have the following elements: Examine the reality of our lives as consecrated persons, the value and witness of our status as religious with Don Bosco and our Constitutions as our permanent guides. We must be very careful of the danger of clericalism among us.

    5. Formation continues to be a priority in the Region, in ongoing formation and particularly in every phase of initial formation. A personalized formation with greater discernment at every stage, and an attentive accompaniment that can guarantee the charismatic identity of the young Salesian. Develop:
  • Your openness to a more multi-cultural formation in the Region, with wider collaboration among the Provinces in line with the Department for Formation, is noteworthy.
  • Your sensitivity and decision to take greater care of the vocation of the Salesian Brother is valuable and precious.

  • We need to lovingly take care of our young Salesians, their formation for the present and for the future, helping them in their human, spiritual and Salesian maturity.

  • 6. Your conviction on the priority of choice for the poorest children and young people from the rural and slum areas is a guarantee for our charism. We should always ensure our loving and effective presence among boys/girls and young people. Planning their transformation into great persons is a duty that beckons us.

    7. At the end of the GC27, the whole Congregation was reminded that sharing our mission with the laity is not something optional but an obligation coming from our charism. We ask you to take bold decisions in this regard. We are sure you accept this idea, but you have to make and implement concrete decisions in this regard in your local communities. We remind you that many of our lay mission partners are capable of taking greater responsibility in our various works for the young. They can also be involved in the social and political goals of our Congregation. This is a great and indispensable strength for us.

    8. It is clear that you must grow as a family and take greater care of the Salesian family. It is true that there are 12 groups in the Region but we Salesians have a more direct responsibility towards the Salesian Cooperators, ADMA, Past Pupils and the VDB. The Salesian Family needs to grow more everywhere and particularly in certain provinces.

    9. The animation of communities and the Rectors is a priority. The local communities have to grow up in this thinking, not just the Provincial and his Council. We must make sure that the local communities journey on the path of the vision we hear speak of.

    10. We appreciate your animation in the Provinces by means of circulars of the Provincials, written in communion with the Rector Major.

    11. We know and thank you for your generosity in sharing your resources with the entire Congregation, which is visible. I make a standing appeal for such continued generosity. We believe that such sharing will do much good to the Provinces, even if they are struggling for their own needs. I invite you not to be hesitant to create a climate of commitment to mission Ad Gentes, particularly among the younger confreres. Sending a confrere is never a loss. We can never overtake God in generosity.

    12. Finally, the Congregation has a lot of hope in the Region of South Asia. It needs the contribution of the Region for its own growth in spirituality, intellectual reflection, the option for the poor, for its experience of having incarnated the charism in the Asian soil.

    God Bless You All!


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