BIS #6594 Salesian Brothers’ Meet at Lonavla

by Brother Aliester D'Souza for BISMumbai

The Salesian Brothers of the Province of Bombay met for their ongoing formation program on 11 and 12 March 2022 in Don Bosco Lonavla, the province aspirante. A total of 09 Salesian Brothers participated in the meet.

The first half of day one was animated by Father Chrys Saldanha sdb. From his vast experience of working in the formation department, Father Saldanha dealt with three topics: the identity of the Salesian Brother, the mission of the Salesian Brother, and promoting vocations to Salesian Brotherhood. While speaking about the identity, Fr. Saldanha presented the ‘identity card’ of a Salesian Brother which makes him an educator pastor, a consecrated person and a layman. With regards to the mission he highlighted the special obligation which a Salesian Brother has in the evangelization of culture i.e the apostolate of the world. In order to promote the vocation of the Salesian Brother, he mention about the five psychological processes which a youngster goes through in making vocational choices namely: attraction, projection, experience of the apostolate, accompaniment and prayer.

In the afternoon, the Salesian Brothers joined the community and aspirants in praying the Way of the Cross. Post tea, the Salesian Brothers played a friendly basketball match with the aspirants. It was a great opportunity for brothers to mingle with the aspirants in the things that they love.

Later in the evening, the Salesian Brothers had an opportunity to interact with the aspirants through conferences. They shared with the aspirants about their own vocational journey, the identity of a Salesian Brother, and how to be open to God’s call. After night prayers Brother Bryce Fernandes sdb gave a good night talk to the aspirants on paying heed to their dreams through which God reveals and manifests his plans, like he did in the life of Don Bosco at the age of nine.

On day two Father Blany Pinto sdb, the Rector of Don Bosco Lonavla, address the Salesian Brothers on the spirituality of St Francis de Sales. He presented in short the life of Francis de Sales, and advised the Brothers to imitate Francis in his gentleness and meekness in their ministry. Father Pinto stressed on building a covenantal relationship with God through prayer, and recommended the Brothers to belong and be connected to him.

The Salesian Brothers visited Maria Ashiana – a therapeutic center run by the Salesians in Lonavla. They were welcomed and greeted by Father Xavier Devadas sdb. Father Devadas spoke about his apostolate, the interventions and processes carried out by the Institute for those youngsters suffering from substance abuse. He challenged the Salesian Brothers to seek and reach out to youth in such difficulty.

The two days of animation program concluded with Salesian Brothers meeting among themselves to evaluate the year gone by and the various initiatives taken by them to animate the local communities and the province as a whole. The Brothers also drew up new lines of action to help, foster and to make known the identity, credibility and visibility of the Salesian Brother.