by Cleric Jokim Manar for BISMumbai

“Where there is a will, there is a way.” The quote seems ancient, however, its application is up-to-date. The current scenario couldn’t stop Fr. Leon Cruz and a team of Salesians from guiding the youth, to creatively engage in meeting the young, to find them where they are. ‘Tea with Salesians’ is an online weekly catechesis, where the participants come together to share and discuss different topics. The requirement for participating in ‘Tea with Salesians’ is that a person comes online with a cup of tea. In this meeting, there is a team of Salesians (both SDB and FMA) who actively animate the participants. There are short sessions on the pre-decided topic, followed by group discussions in groups. This helps the young to internalize and apply what they’ve listened to and shared. ‘Tea with Salesians’ comes with a package of peculiar Salesian creativity and liveliness in animating the youth.

On 18 July 2020, ‘Tea with Salesians’ was held for the 3rd time. The participants came together to discuss the topic ‘Laudato Si’, an encyclical written by Pope Francis in 2015. This year is, incidentally, declared by our Holy Father as the year of Laudato Si.

The first session of the online meeting saw three short talks given by Father Wyman Gonsalves sdb, Sister Melissa D’Souza fma, and Anushka Viegas.

Father Gonsalves stressed on the point that we are interconnected beings. He exhorted us to make known the all prevalent environmental issues. This initiative could begin from home. Sister Melissa shared some practical ways of solving environmental issues. She stressed that we need to differentiate between our wants and our needs. Our needs are limited, but our wants are never-ending. She challenged us to be courageous, to develop righteous anger against those who destroy our environment and to persevere in doing good, in caring for God’s creation. Ms. Anushka Viegas shared that there is a correlation between nature and our mental health. She exhorted the participants to keep a check how much wastes they segregate, to perform a “waste audit”. She urged the participants to be minimalists rather than being consumerists.

The Second session was a group discussion. The participants were divided into groups and were given two questions for discussions, taken from ‘Laudato Si’ article 14.