South Asia Salesian Family Does Mission Study in Kolkata
By C.M. Paul, SAR NEWS
KOLKATA, West Bengal (SAR NEWS) – Some 50 members of the Salesian family in South Asia (India, Sri Lanka, and Nepal) 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, August 7-11.
“This is not a seminar where you come and listen to speakers,” insisted Father Alfred Maravilla from Salesian Mission Department in Rome, explaining the study day concept.
Maravilla said, “Study days are meant to foster reflective discussions and a deeper contextualised reflection on the importance of initial proclamation in the three-fold context of South Asia.”
Explaining who are the recipients of initial proclamation, 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 baptised.”
The study days convened by SDB & FMA mission departments follow workshop methodology with three moments: situationer (context), study and reflection, and formulating action plans. Members of the Salesian family participating in the study days are: Salesians and Salesian Sisters, Missionary Sisters of Mary Help of Christians, Sisters of Mary Immaculate and The Disciples.
The moderators of the sessions include Father Maravilla and Sister Agatha Shadap FMA assisted by study facilitators Sister Teresa Joseph FMA and Father T. C. George SDB, national mission delegates.
The speakers chosen outside the 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: 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 Luz Maria Engineer (Initial proclamation and human promotion and empowerment).
Maravilla insists, “This is not a formation seminar for missionaries. It is directed at participants with a certain level of theological, missiological and anthropological and academic formation.”
Sister Maria Ko FMA says daily contextualised biblical reflection is designed to spark off new mission insights.
Besides provincial mission delegates, participants from Salesian Sisters include Mission Councillor Sister Alaide Deretti, Regional Councillor Sister Lucy Rose and Kolkata provincial Sister Maria Pettayil.
Among the Salesian superiors from Rome was Regional Councillor Father Maria Arokiam Kanaga. Salesian Mission Councillor Father Vaclav Klement is occupied with a mission meeting in Europe.