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Delegates pledge to rekindle fire of Missionary enthusiasm in South Asia Region
By Father Joseph Palamthattel
Shillong, Oct. 16. The Provincial Delegates for Missionary Animation (PDMA) and a few other delegates from the twelve provinces of the South Asia Region gathered at Provincial House, Don Bosco Okhla, New Delhi together with Father Guillermo Basanes, the General Councillor for Missions, Father Nestor Guria, Delegate Provincial of SPCSA and Father T.C. George, the Regional Delegate for South Asia to reflect on the missionary dimension of the Salesian vocation and its praxis in the region. The two day meeting held on 14-15th of October 2016, and organized on behalf of SPCSA focused on the urgent need for Missionary animation in the Region.
As the majority of the PDMAs were newly appointed, the role of the PDMA was revisited. The reports dealt with the activities undertaken in line with the action plan of the previous years. At the Eucharistic celebration presided over by FatherBasanes, and Father Nestor, (Provincial In-charge), Father Basanes led the group into deeper reflection on the evangelizing mission of the Salesian. The sessions, the talks and the sharing by the participants contributed towards a greater understanding of the challenges faced by the Church as a whole and the Congregation in particular in this most important work in our trying times.

Earlier, on 14th October, the delegates were welcomed by Father Jose Mathew, the Provincial of New Delhi Province who called upon the participants to become 'missionary disciples' who are joyful, courageous and trusting in God like Mary, and to be aware of the urgency of the evangelizing mission of the Church. "Catechesis is the heart of our missionary mandate," said Father Nestor, the Provincial of Dimapur.

That Missionary animation faces numerous challenges in the variety of situations in the Region was highlighted in the course of the meeting. It is vital that the PDMA and the commission members are spiritually and individually prepared to carry out the work of missionary animation in the Province. Great opportunities await the Salesians in the Region. Father Basanes challenged the fastest growing Region to prove its missionary enthusiasm by contributing a greater share towards the missionary expeditions of the congregation each year. A greater responsibility has to be taken by all the provinces in order to support the two Regional missionary Aspirantates at Sirajuli and Perambur. Quoting the Rector Major Father Angel Fernandez, Father Basanes presented two points for the consideration of the Region. He said Don Bosco did not remain in Italy alone. New frontiers are knocking at our doors; whom shall I send? ''He highlighted the fifth dream of the Rector Major for the congregation: Be a Missionary congregation! He called upon every Salesian in the SA region to be a missionary and termed the Institutions run by Confreres who have lost the missionary spirit as the worst form of cancer in the Society. Besides sending missionaries to other parts of the World, SA should also be ready to receive missionaries into the Region, Father Basanes insisted.

The meeting concluded with the firm resolve by the members to rekindle the fire that burnt in the heart of Don Bosco and the early missionaries who came to our land. Emphasizing the urgent need for collaboration and networking among the members and synergy with the local Church through media and planning, the group planned to be more actively involved in the animation of the region at the community, provincial and Regional level. The annual get together infused a great amount of enthusiasm into all the participants. It strengthened their resolve to make the SA Region a truly missionary region.
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