Kolkata Gifts Young Salesian to Don Bosco World Mission

Fr Shiju with lone Italian missionary in Kolkata city, 89 year old Fr Stroscio Rosario

KOLKATA, (C.M. Paul) – In a touching farewell ceremony to Don Bosco Relic visit to Kolkata province, Fr Provincial presented Fr Shiju James Thottupurathu leaving for overseas missions.

“It is our humble gift to Don Bosco on his visit to our province,” said Fr Thomas Ellicherail at the solemn Eucharist marking Provincial Community Day and farewell to Don Bosco, 19 July 2011.

In a faith filled statement Fr Provincial added, “we in the province felt that this is something that the Lord will bless.”

The celebrations held at Nitika Don Bosco opposite the Provincial House had over 80 priests and some 10 Brothers participating.

Fr Shiju, 33 year old young priest from Kerala has been nursing the missionary dream for over ten years even though his companions and superiors tried to remind him of the missionary challenges to be faced in Latin America.

L to R: Fr Provincial & Vice Provincial with Fr Shiji at Farewell Mass for DB Relic visit, 19 July 2011.

“I always wanted to be a missionary. I had expressed my desire as a young Salesian, but my superiors insisted that I should take time to discern,” said Fr Shiju addressing confreres gathered for the farewell to Don Bosco.

“Even though we are short of personnel to man various works in the province, I am glad that Fr. Shiju has volunteered for mission ad gentes, inspiring in us the missionary zeal,” said the provincial stating the acute shortage of personnel he is facing.

A house like Don Bosco School Park Circus which normally had more than 20 confreres, has currently just seven confreres (five priests and two lay brothers). They run Primary & High School, andTechnicalSchool, as well as Night School and Non-Formal Technical school. The community which used to have 7 or 8 clerics doing practical training and college studies, today has no clerics in training at all.

On a positive note and as sign of the tangible assistance of divine providence to this generous act Provincial announced the good news of a missionary returning to the province after 26 years of missionary work in Bolivia. The missionary Fr Joseph Punchakunnel was principal of Salesian College Sonada Darjeeling and several years Novice Master before he left for South American missions.

Director of Don Bosco Vocational Training Institute Monsadah and Warden of St Albert’s Home Monsadah on Indo-Bangladesh border Fr Shiju is expected to leave forRomeearly August. He will participate in the annual international missionary preparatory course held at the Salesian University Rome before he leaves for Guatemala.



Filed under Don Bosco casket, Don Bosco relics Tour, Don Bosco Relics Tour India

2 responses to “Kolkata Gifts Young Salesian to Don Bosco World Mission

  1. Very happy to read the send off from Kolkatta to Guatemala, EL PETEN
    apostolic vicariate entrusted to the care of Salesian Congregation.

    Hope the live meeting with Don Bosco will raise more missionary vocations
    in the whole of South Asia.

    Fr. Shiju is one of the 25 new salesian missionaries of 2011, one of the seven Indian missionaries within this 142nd missionary expedition (Sept, 25 from Valdocco, Turin, Italy)

    Fr. Vaclav Klement, general councilor for the missions

  2. Four Indian provinces are sending seven missionaries in the upcoming 142nd Missionary dispatch from Valdocco, 25 September 2011 which will have 30 Salesians and six caritas Sisters of Jesus. Of this there are five Salesian missionaries of the earlier groups who have not attended the missionary course. They are 27 year old scholastic Simon Nongrum and 25 year old scholastic Suresh Ekka of Guwahati now working in Belgium North, and 39 year old lay brother Jacinto Dias of Panjim province working in South Africa Province.
    Leading among the Indian provinces in this year’s missionary course is Tiruchy with four confreres (Arockiam Thomas John – 30 year old scholastic for Middle East, Raj Arockiam Mariasusai – 43 year old priest for Belgium North, Rajan Pushparaj – 43 year old priest for Austria and John paul Swamy (Swaminathan) – 24 year old scholastic (not assigned yet). Followed by one confrere each from Chennai, Bangalore and Kolkata provinces.
    Chennai province Fr Alphonse Arulnadam – 41 year old priest is assigned to Ireland while Bangalore province Mathew Valiyakattel (Nice) – 24 year old scholastic is assigned to the Middle East.
    The Indian contribution to this year’s international missionary group is seven confreres from four out of 10 provinces.
    That is a far cry from the challenge Rector Major put forward to India during the centenary celebrations of the arrival of Salesians in India. In 2006, the Rector Major put a challenge to the ten Indian provinces saying, “ I need three confreres from each province every year for mission ad gentes.”

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