Friday, 17 August 2012

India - A missionary heart beats in Nashik post-novitiate

A Report on ANS
(ANS – Nashik) - For the past ten years there has been an active missionary group formed of young Salesians in the post-novitiate community at Nashik. The members have recently written to Fr Václav Klement, General Councillor for the Missions, to update him on the group’s activities and renew their commitment to develop their missionary dimension. They did not have long to wait for Fr Klement’s appreciation and encouragement.

The post-novitiate is about 180 km from Mumbai. This year the Salesian house, called Divyadaan (God’s gift), is home to 51 Salesians in formation: 39 in the first year of philosophy and 12 in the second. Amid the community and private routines of study and prayer there is time, for a group of 14 students, for the missionary group led by Fr Tony D’Souza, a staff member who was himself a missionary in Africa and Kuwait.

“The Missionary group in Divyadaan is a group of young Salesians volunteering even now to work in the Missions”, write the young Salesians, introducing themselves to Fr Klement. “The motto we have chosen for the year 2012-13 is ‘Be my witnesses’.” The group leads the community liturgy on the 11th of each month, the anniversary day of the first Salesian missionary expedition (11th November 1875), by animating the Mass, and leading guided meditation, rosary, adoration and other prayer services. Special attention is given to Missionary Week which runs from 4th to 11th November.

This year the missionary group has started a blog, Divyadaan Missionary, which is updated week by week with resources such as meditations written by the group’s leader, Fr Tony D’Souza. Through this means, the young Salesians keep in contact with missionaries they know at first hand.

With great interest, the group reads the Missionary Bulletin Cagliero11, produced by the Missions Department, and has followed the work of the recent Study Days on Salesian Presence among Muslims. Fr Savio D’Souza, Rector of the post-novitiate, warmly supports the initiative. Delighted by the enthusiasm of the group, Fr Václav Klement wrote “I thank the animators for their effective guidance of this very important initiative! This has happened two years after my visit to Nashik and a year after the appeal of the South Asian Salesian Provincial Conference to set up missionary groups in all provinces beginning with the houses of formation. Prayer for the Missions and new missionary vocations, together with continued sensitivity to the missionary dimension of the Church and Salesian Congregation are the two main characteristics of a missionary group”, wrote Fr Klement, welcoming the fact that the Nashik group keeps contact with other formation houses in India. Quoting the Second Vatican Council, which reminds us that “The pilgrim Church is missionary by her very nature”, Fr Klement exhorted the young Salesians to nourish “the same missionary zeal of Don Bosco, who lived for the salvation of young people around the world”.  Published 14/8/2012

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