India – Rector Major urges Salesians to be clear-headed and positive in the present age

27 February 2023

(ANS - Vijayawada) - On the afternoon of his second day of his Animation Visit to the India-Hyderabad (INH) Province on Saturday, February 26, 2023, the Rector Major met with Salesians and members of the Salesian Family at the "Don Bosco" School in Gunadala, Vijayawada. To all of them Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime offered words of inspiration, encouragement, and vision for the future.

The 10th Successor of Don Bosco recalled his previous visit to the Province, made in November 2016, and said he now met a province that was growing, expanding. He recalled that six years ago the Province had many communities with only two confreres, an approach that was widespread in several Provinces in the Region. But speaking from his global view of the Congregation, he noted that such a solution jeopardizes the quality of spiritual life and like the pastoral activity of the religious, and praised the effort made by the Province to make the communities numerically consistent. "We need to grow in a solid fashion to strengthen our communities. The Province continues to be young and with good prospects.

Again, Fr. Á.F. Artime showed appreciation for the variety of missions and apostolates carried out in the service of all kinds of people within INH. "I am happy with the mission carried out by the Province," he exclaimed.

Presenting some statistics, he then added that one should not lose hope when the number of vocations is declining. India today is the nation with the largest number of Salesians, as the South Asia region reached the number of about 3,000 Sons of Don Bosco this year. But at the same time, data indicate that this figure is currently the maximum possible and that a decrease is expected in the future.

The Rector Major then urged not to become discouraged or pessimistic, but to gain the mental clarity to understand what is happening today, to be creative in the approach to mission: perhaps the traditional aspirantate will no longer be so corresponding to the expectations of young people and a new model will have to be found to inspire young people to choose the Salesian way of life.

This is why he reiterated the centrality of formation: "It is one thing to have the title 'Salesian'; it is another to form authentic Salesians."

With reference to what has been seen in recent days, he then noted two strengths of the Salesians in India: the name "Don Bosco," which opens all doors, and the widespread knowledge of the Salesian mission for young people.

Finally, he encouraged all present to continue working with transparency and harmony, reminding them, "We must guarantee what is most essential to the poorest youth."

At the conclusion of his speech, the Rector Major made himself available for questions from his confreres.


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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