France - "I have always shared my desire to communicate God's love to young people": interview with Fr John Paul Swaminathan

02 April 2021

(ANS - Paris) - Fr John Paul Swaminathan, born in 1987 in Tamil Nadu, South India, was sent to France as a missionary and, working in Europe, he told how his inner happiness doubled.

Blessed to be sent to France…

The most inspiring and encouraging experience that keeps me always in movement is “God’s compassion and love towards me”. I can never explain how deep this joy is to be a Salesian of Don Bosco. My inner happiness is doubled by the grace and gift to be a Salesian Missionary in Europe. I never chose or wanted to be in France. As with every missionary I must go through all the struggles in the beginning, but God was, is, and will be with me. I feel really loved by my confreres in FRB province. What more do I need than this? Even before coming to France I always shared with my confreres my desire to communicate GOD’s Love to young people through Media. I never knew that this dream would get its form in an unknown country, called France. God’s plan and His way of leading is extremely inspiring.

What is the “added value” or benefit of a young SDB coming from a different continent to work in Europe? Is the Salesian “Project Europe” still in vigor?

Confreres coming from different continents to work in Europe should not be seen and interpreted that “most of the confreres are elderly here” and therefore the congregation is sending them. We are an international congregation, receiving and sending confreres to the places where they are needed. This is something that is a part of our congregation’s DNA. The question if Project Europe is still relevant should be answered by each confrere who lives with young missionaries coming from different continents.

You are working in both, Mission Animation and Social Communication sectors in your province. Do you think it is good?

Being in both sectors makes my work easy and less problematic. I always had a soft corner for Mission Animation because I am a Salesian. This flame will remain with me always. Don Bosco had to face industrial revolution, we are facing digital and technological revolution today. Due to COVID-19 this digital revolution has come to light and we are able to see and experience its positive and negative effect. It is time now for the Salesians around the world to ACT like Don Bosco with the one and only goal “to see our young people HAPPY here and the next world”.

Source: Cagliero 11


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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