BIS #6743 INB Extraordinary Visitation Commences

By Br Aliester D’Souza for BISMumbai

Fr Biju Michael, General Councillor for South Asia Region, commenced the Extraordinary Visitation of the Province of Bombay on 11 August 2022. He will be visiting the houses and the Salesians of the province over the next three and a half months.

Fr Biju Michael arrived at 10:30 a.m. the previous day, and was welcomed at the airport by Fr Savio Silveira - Provincial of the Province of Bombay, Fr Ashley Miranda - Vice Provincial and Fr Manuel Murzello - Economer. On his arrival at the Provincial House, he was greeted by the members of the Provincial Council and the Provincial House community.

In his homily during the eucharist on the morning of 11 August, Fr Biju Michael reflected with the community on the mercy, compassion, and grace of God rather than human merit in the plan of salvation.

In his meeting with the Provincial Council in the morning, he discussed the implementation of the recommendations of the previous extraordinary visitation, the implementation of GC28 in the province, and matters regarding the life and mission of the province.

The meeting of the leaders of the communities with Fr Biju Michael began at 06:30 p.m. After an elaborate moment of prayer led by Fr Biju Michael, he was felicitated with a shawl and a traditional Maharashtrian cap. Then, Fr Silveira formally welcomed him to the province. He spoke of the visitation being a moment of grace especially in the golden jubilee year as the Salesians recalibrate and journey ahead in the spirit of Don Bosco. He introduced Fr Biju Michael, and gave a brief history of the Salesian presence and expansion in the province.

Fr Biju Michael gave the opening conference to the leaders of the communities. He explained the scope and rationale of the extraordinary visitation, and spoke of how they, as leaders, could play a major role in transforming existing processes. He then facilitated an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses (SWOT analysis) of the province and asked the leaders to highlight the key areas that need greater attention.

Towards the end of the conference, Fr Biju Michael greeted each one personally, and gave each of them a souvenir. Truly, a season of grace has set in the Province of Bombay with the arrival of Fr Biju Michael.