BIS #6738 SocCom and Formation Joint Meet at Guwahati

By Br Aliester D’Souza for BISMumbai

The joint meeting of the Provincial Delegates of the Social Communication and Formation sectors of the South Asia Region was held from 2 to 5 August 2022, at Don Bosco Institute, Guwahati.

The theme guiding the meeting is ‘Towards a Salesian proposal for formation in a digital world: Educational ethics and Pastoral aesthetics’. A total of 34 Salesians are participating in the programme including Fr Ivo Coelho, the General Councillor for Formation, and Fr Gildasio Mendes, the General Councillor for Social Communication.

The meeting commenced with the Holy Eucharist on the morning of 2 August. Fr Coelho, who was the principal celebrant, spoke of the intersection and intrusion of formation and social communication in the lives of Salesians and the young.

At 9:00 a.m. Fr Januarius Sangma, the Provincial of the Province of Guwahati, officially welcomed the participants. Fr Coelho and Fr Mendes then welcomed the gathering explaining the theme and setting the tone for the Joint Meet. They stressed the need to study and reflect the effect of technology on religious life especially on the formation sector. Fr Mendes, in a special way, spoke of how all communication for the Salesians is centred around the Word of God.

For most sessions, the two sectors met separately to discuss topics specific to their department. However, on 4 August, they met together for a fruitful discussion of how social communication could be included at different levels in the formation of young Salesians. It was enriching to hear various standpoints, new methods and innovative ideas from the lively discussion that followed.

On the final day, Fr Biju Michael, the General Councillor for South Asia, met the delegates and exhorted them to work towards the promotion of vocation in the region. Stating the fact that the region accounts for a fifth of the young population in the world, it is imperative that Salesian work continues to thrive with greater zest.

The days of the joint meet were indeed moments of grace. Don Bosco Institute, Guwahati, were generous hosts who not only provided logistics for the participants but also enlightened the delegates with the rich culture of North-east India through a lively display of song and dance during the cultural programme.

Fr Robert Pen - Formation delegate of the South Asia region, Fr Ashley Miranda - Formation delegate of the province, and Br Aliester D’Souza - Social Communications delegate of the province, represented the Province of Bombay at this meeting.