India – Grand celebrations for Rector Major in Guwahati and Mumbai

13 November 2017

(ANS - Mumbai) - Four days of intense activity, including anniversaries, significant encounters, celebrations and moments of animation as the authentic Successor of Don Bosco: how Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, the Rector Major, spent the last days of the week just passed in the Indian Provinces of Guwahati and Mumbai.

On Thursday, November 9, at Guwahati, the Rector Major first met the Salesians  and then the local Salesian Family. To the former, he reminded them to always be joyful and dedicated to young people at social risk; the latter, whom he met at the replica of "i Becchi" built in front of the Provincial house, he invited to be always  proud of Don Bosco's mission, engaging in their respective realities, nurturing the emergence of new groups and being testimony to Salesian membership through a climate of harmony and love among all members.

During the day, the X Successor of Don Bosco was also the main guest of the celebrations for the 25th anniversary of the Institute of Missionary Sisters of Mary Help of Christians, twelfth group of the Salesian Family, an event that also recalled the presence of Sister Philomena Mathew, Superior of all 6 Provincials and the Delegate for Italy.

On Friday, Fr Á.F. Artime met the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians in their Provincial house; then, accompanied by Fr Maria Arokiam  Kanaga, Councilor for South Asia, by his  secretary, Fr Horacio López, and by the Guwahati  Provincial, Fr Thomas Vattathara, the Rector Major visited the Salesian University campus in Tapesia.

In the afternoon, he met with 2,000 street children at the Salesian reception center "Snehalaya." He exhorted them to own the values transmitted by the Salesian educators, values which would make them successful people in life, and then he added, much moved: "I am with you. I will continue to bless you. I can see your beautiful dreams in your eyes. Those dreams we will make reality."

The high point of the visit to the Guwahati Province was reached on Saturday, November 11, with the encounter with the young people of the India's North-East, and especially, the launch of the Salesian Youth Movement at the Damra parish. About 10,000 young people from all over the region participated in the youth festival for the occasion, which also served to celebrate the 95th anniversary of the Salesian presence in the region.


On the last day of his Indian journey, the X Successor of Don Bosco spent his time in Mumbai, visiting the Salesian reception center of Matunga. "I'm glad the Provincial wanted to bring me here. He could have taken me anywhere, but I'm happy he brought me here. You are in our hearts before anyone else. All Salesians  give their lives for you," said the Rector Major to the guests of the center, who had welcomed him with songs and cultural exhibitions.

Finally, Fr Á.F. Artime presided over a solemn Eucharist at the Sanctuary of Mary Help of Christians of Matunga on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the spiritual center, created in 1957 by the initiative of the Salesian missionary pioneer, Father Aurelio Maschio. During the day, several other clerics celebrated solemn masses to commemorate the anniversary; among them, the Archbishop of Mumbai, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, and his auxiliaries Msgr. Dominic Savio Fernandes and Barthol Barretto.

All photos and videos of the days are available on ANSFlickr.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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