South Asia Salesian Family Does Mission Study in Kolkata

Sr Agatha & Fr Maria Arokiam at Mission Study

KOLKATA, (C.M. Paul) – Some 50 members of the Salesian Family in South Asia (India,Sri Lanka, andNepal) are engaged in a five day mission study in the three-fold context of South Asia– rich cultures, ancient religions and oppressive poverty, at Nitika Don Bosco, 7 – 11 August.

“This is not a seminar where you come and listen to speakers,” insisted Fr Alfred Maravilla from Salesian Mission Dept. in Rome explaining the study day concept.

Fr Maravilla said, “study days are meant to foster reflective discussions and a deeper contextualized reflection on the importance of initial proclamation in the three fold context of South Asia.”

Explaining who are the recipients of initial proclamation, Fr Maravilla said, “[they] are not only those considered to be ‘non-Christians’ but ‘those who do not know Christ, especially the unbaptised as well as the baptized.”

The study days convened by SDB & FMA mission departments follow workshop methodology with three moments: situationer (context), study & reflection, and formulating action plans. Members of the Salesin Family participating in the study days are: Salesians & Salesian Sisters, Missionary Sisters of Mary Help of Christians, Sisters of Mary Immaculate and The Disciples.

Salesian Mission Study Days Kolkata, 7-11 Aug 2011

The moderators of the sessions include Fr. Maravilla and Sr Agatha Shadap FMA assisted by study facilitators Sr. Teresa Joseph FMA and Fr T. C. George SDB national mission delegates.

The speakers chosen outside Salesian family circles are expected to give a ‘different voice’ regarding the topic and help participants to ‘think out of the box’.

The speakers are: Mr. Henri Tiphagne (Initial Proclamation in a multi-cultural Educative setting), Archbishop Felix Machado of Vasai (Initial Proclamation through the dialogue of life in a multi-religious context), and Mrs. Luz Maria Engineer (Initial proclamation and human promotion and empowerment).

Fr Maravilla insists, “this is not a formation seminar for missionaries. It is directed to participants with a certain level of theological, missiological and anthropological and academic formation.”

Sr Maria Ko FMA’s daily contextualized Biblical reflection is designed to spark off new mission insights.

Besides provincial mission delegates participants from Salesian Sisters include Mission Councilor Sr Alaide Deretti, Regional Councilor Sr Lucy Rose  and Kolkata provincial Sr Maria Pettayil.

Among the Salesian superiors fromRomewas Regional Councilor Fr Maria Arokiam Kanaga. Salesian Mission Councilor Fr Vaclav Klement is occupied with a mission meeting in Europe.

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1 Comment

Filed under Human promotion and Empowerment, initial Proclamation, Missionaries, Proclamation in a Multicultural educative setting, Salesian Mission study days, Salesian Sisters

One response to “South Asia Salesian Family Does Mission Study in Kolkata

  1. Fr Maravilla’s observation that first proclamation is addressed “… not only [to] those considered to be ‘non-Christians’ but [also to] ‘those who do not know Christ, especially the unbaptised as well as the baptized” clearly sets the horizon for the meeting. It includes all our settings :village, town, city, schools, colleges, university, computer centres, youth animation programmes, technical schools, non-formal settings, publications, writings, and even formation houses, formation programmes and all kinds of animation. This means ALL of us have to be involved in first proclamation and all of us can be missionaries “ad / inter gentes”. Without this sense of ad gentes mission (AGM), evangelization cannot take off. It simply means where Jesus is not proclaimed, He must be announced in a thousand and one way. The closer we come to Him the more missionary we become. There is no other way. All the rest is what we call “means”. Once we are one with Him, the spark becomes a fire, the string becomes a guitar, the ant-hill becomes a mountain, the drop becomes a fountain and the feather becomes a wing (from Amado Nervo, a Mexican poet).Teach people the simple teachings of Jesus, His parables, His stories, His miracles and His love for the Father. The rest will follow.
    I feel the irreparable loss that has happened to the Church is the affirmation that a few are “missionaries”, others are not. The mistake was corrected in Vatican II: “The Church by nature is missionary”. This last mentioned is a bomb. It is still to burst in many places in the Church. To be a Christian and not to be a missionary (not in the way some understand) is the biggest contradiction. Only a revolution in our thinking can correct this contradiction.(John Paul II in Redemptoris Missio and Fr. Pascual Chavez in the recently published Spirituality and Mission).
    My advice to the participants of the meeting “Mission Study in Kolkata”
    spend time with Jesus (not only in the Church and chapels), but also when we do many other things. We shall be filled and we shall overflow… with his mind, heart and mission.
    Fr. Joseph Puthenpurakal SDB

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