Bengaluru: Fr Joyce Thonippara, Salesian Provincial of Bangalore Province, speaking as chief guest of the Salesian Family Day of the Karnataka region and on the occasion of the Feast of Christ the King, said the process of fidelity continues to be committed. He said ‘be more challenged by facility than fidelity.’ The programme was held at Kristu Jyoti College (KJC) near here on Sunday, November 25.
Narrating an experience, Fr Joyce said once a mother told him that her son used to ask a lot of questions. When enquired whether he asked any question on religious matters or saints, the mother told him he never raised anything of that sort. He advised her to speak to him on religious topics and on saints such as St. Alphonsa and others as this would help him think differently and think about God and religious matters.
It is easy to challenge the weakness and imperfections of others. To be challenged about the fidelity is not easy. He also used Shakespear’s words to drive home his point. Jesus attracted all of us the most like he did for his disciples.
Different groups exist in the society. Some have no courage to come out openly. Some followed Jesus but commitment was lacking. The disciples asked Jesus – “Who can we follow” . He further said loyalty is a way of life. Don Bosco gives great example from his life and activities. Devotion to three things are necessary - Eucharist, Mother Mary and Pope. Christian way of life is most successful way. We need to reduce influence from outside. It is every one’s duty to continue to be committed Christians for sanctification. Fr Joyce once again stressed on the importance of devotion to Eucharist, Mother Mary and loyalty to Pope.
Fr Jose Koyickal, Vice Provincial, began his speech on the recent synod of selected bishops in Rome which the Pope stressed on giving importance to youth, to strengthen faith and to find vocational discernment.
When asked for reactions in the Synod, Charles Maung Cardinal Bo and Archbishop of Yangon asked several questions. Giving his assessment, he quoted Don Bosco to emulate his examples and to follow his footsteps. Don Bosco was full engaged for the young, by the young and of the young. We need to strive to get young people more spiritually inclined and Christ-centred. He recommended to do what Don Bosco would do today, not exactly what he did in his time. “What I can do for the young people today,” Don Bosco used to ask every day as he got up.
We can set the whole world afire. Nothing can separate us from the love of the lord. We are all called to holiness. One should feel the need to avoid being lukewarm, cold and tepid, instead, be bold and courageous. Accompany the young spiritually and for, greater commitment. Are we going to get back to the routine life, he wondered. No, one has to be more enthusiastic and better placed with passion. We should read the signs of the time. Cherish a zeal for Christ. Youth is the tabernacle, waiting for us. Get to be great enthusiastic for Christ and to be more faithful and effective.
Speaking on the occasion, Fr Varghese Pallippuram, Delegate of Salesian Family, said Salesian Family has 31 groups of members. Out of those, eight were present in the province and six different groups have reached as participants of the day. Some of the members of the group included Salesian Fathers, Sisters, Cooperators, MSMHC (Missionary Sisters of Mary Help of Christians), SMI Sisters of Bishop Morrow, ADMA (Association of Mary Help of Christians, VDA (Volunteers of Don Bosco). He said we need fraternal collaboration with the same spirit. Salesian Family has 31 at present and many more are waiting to join the family.
This is the 150 th year since the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians was built in Turin. And Fr Joe Kallupura had been promoting the devotion to Mary Help of Christians, he added.
Fr Joe Kallupura, Director ADMA said God made mess into a message and victim into victory. Why Mother Mary appeared in three places, he asked. It is not due to holiness of the places. Two third of the world is under the clutches of the devil. Devil prowls…. (Peter 1:5), Persecution continues in Church and pursue all paths to holiness (2Tim 3:12). In 1917, the First World War began and she appeared in Lourdes in 1958. In 1858, Communist Manifesto was released and she appeared again. The apparition of Mary is like God opening a window to the world. Almost 21 crore women get pregnant and two third go for abortion. Bengaluru is the Garden City, Kerala gets first for divorce and Gulbarga is the poorest place in Asia.
A person uses 75 per cent of his life for sleep, six years for journey and only six months for prayer. Fr Joe spoke of spiritual intelligence and right attitude in mind, right spirituality and prayer in life. It was written on a door –“God is nowhere” And a child read it as “God is now here” and an atheist became theist. We get right frame of mind if we are deeply united with God, quoting Don Bosco, he said. ”Ask and you will receive, seek and you will find and knock and the door will be open”, quoting the Bible he said. If we pray, surely God will grant our request.”If you want to see miracles, ,have devotion to blessed holy Eucharist”, said Don Bosco.
“All who believed were together (Acts 2: 44). The community of believers was of one heart and mind.” (Acts 4: 32). “And upon this rock I will build my Church and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.” (Mt. 16: 18). This is the 150th year of the blessing of the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians at Valdocco in Turin, Italy, built by Don Bosco in 1868. Don Bosco founded ADMA in that Basilica in 1869.
Fr Gilbert Choondel (from Kolkata) presented Strenna 2019 which is on Holiness. Explaining the word ‘Strenna’ he said, it is a new year gift from the Rector Major which is in the form of a message, given to the whole Salesian Family every year. It speaks of holiness, happiness, universality, perfection, charism (the way of the spirit lead out in a unique way), virtues, Everyone’s holiness (Lev. 11:44), Salesian holiness and tips to holiness. Among other things Fr Gilbert urged all present to practice the fruits of the Holy Spirit, be yourselves and creative, belong to the Church, do not be heroic or demand holiness from others and practice living together among others.
Elza D’Cruz, Salesian Cooperator, Avalahalli presented a report of the fifth world congress of the Association of Salesian Cooperators which was held at Fraterna Domus, via Sacrofanese, Rome, Italy from October 25 to 28, 2018.There were a total of 318 participants from 66 countries. The total number of participants from India was 24. The theme of the congress was: Salesian Cooperators-called to be co-responsible.to respond to new challenges.
The inaugural address was given by Mother General Yvonne Reungoat who urged the participants to listen to the Holy Spirit and make room for dialogue with others. She also talked about the need to be credible witnesses of God and respond with humility and empathy. The inaugural message was followed by a video message from the Rector Major Don Angel Fernandez Artime in which he asked the Salesian Cooperators to be courageous. There was also a video presentation on ‘The World Challenges of Today’.
The regional world councilors presented the challenges of their respective regions. Asmirian Montilla of the Pacific Caribbean region talked about the socio-economic, religious, technological, educative and social media problems of her continent, most specifically on human-trafficking, social corruption and the need to bring gospel values into politics, business and work areas.
Philip Yu of the East Asia-Oceania region presented on the problems of ageing population of Salesian cooperators, parents’ work timing affecting the young and the art-risk migrant youth from Northern India. From the French speaking African region, Patrick Hinvi spoke about extreme poverty in the region, terrorist attacks by Boko Haram, dearth of medical care for endemic diseases, civil wars and political misrule. Antonio Boccia of Italy-Malta region introduced the problems of his region; especially the reception of migrants, sense of loneliness and ostentation from excessive social media use, weakening of direct personal relationships and the young not having spiritual and authoritative guidance from parents and adults.
Rector Major addressed the gathering and answered questions from the participants. He urged the Salesian Cooperators to be true witnesses of God and live trustworthy and credible lives. He also talked about the three pillars of the Salesian family- Jesus at the Centre, Focus on the young and speaking on behalf of the oppressed. On answering questions, he spoke about the need to walk together as the Salesian family in places where the mission can continue, guided by the Holy Spirit and remembering that Christianity grew from an oppressed community. Sr. Leslie Sandiago, the FMA delegate, guided the participants through a personal reflection on which world challenge they found the most important.
The World Cooordinator Noemi Bertola presented her report on the activities of the Salesian Cooperator Association in the world and the previous six years of efforts. Sr.Maria Luisa Miranda, Councillor for the Salesian Family Sector addressed the audience and invited them to be like three cords which are intertwined – uniting by being flexible and humble. On the third day of the Congress, the SDB World Delegate Don Giuseppe Casti talked about ‘Co-responsibility’ of the Salesian Cooperators. Co-responsibility is the vocation of the Salesian Cooperator:
A directory of members and organizational communication was published by the World Council. The ASC World Administrator Cinzia Arena then presented her report on Financial Solidarity.
‘24 steps for ongoing formation of the Salesian Cooperators’ prepared by South-East Asia World Councillor Antuvan S (from Bangalore Province) was published. This methodology was well received and appreciated by the audience..
The Rector Major Don Angel announced Antonio Boccia of Italy-Malta region as the new World Coordinator at the end of the third day. On the last day of the Congress, the guidelines for the next six years, 2019-2024 was presented. This was followed by an address by the new World Coordinator Antonio Boccia
Earlier, Fr Rector, Kristu Jyoti College, welcomed all to the Family Day- 2018. The programme began with lighting of the lamp by representatives of various groups. A prayer dance was presented by Salesian novices from Avalahalli. Marina Jitty Jose sang modern classical songs and boys from Savio Centre, Chitradurga, performed Disco dance. Brothers from KJC helped in various ways for the success of the Family Day.
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