Fr Javier Zudaire
What is the story of your life?
I did my aspirantate in Huesca and San Vincenc dels Horts and there I met missionaries from India, in particular Fr José Luis Carreño. I was so impressed by this way of life that I asked to go on the missions.
What does your missionary work consist in?
My job is to preach and spread the Gospel among the tribes of the State of Meghalaya, India. We take care of souls and of vocations so that there will be no shortage of labourers in the Lord's harvest. And of course we take care of the education of young people through various schools.
And work in parishes?
The parish involves a multitude of different activities: schools, medical dispensaries, catechesis, lay groups, companies, managing rice fields, roads, wells ... In every parish there is a health centre run by some religious and an SUV that serves as an ambulance in an emergency. On many occasions this vehicle has been the cradle of newborn babies and the deathbed of sick people who died while being transported to the nearest hospital, which is about 250 km away.
What stands out from all the years you lived in India?
That the hand of God is perceived in everything. We are bringing the Kingdom of God, and we experience the special protection of Mary Help of Christians. Don Bosco's motto "Work and Temperance" is always present when we work for poor, simple, hard-working people. In recent years the Bible, prayers, songs and psalms have been adapted for the different ethnic groups, cultures and languages.
How do you see India?
In this area you can feel the Salesian spirit. The name of Don Bosco is a magic word in the whole North-East of India. The pilgrimage of the relic of Don Bosco to the different cities of this area evoked a feeling of admiration and respect for the Salesian System. There is a bright future for the Church and for the Salesian Congregation in the footsteps of the Salesian pioneers who have shown us the way.